.

.
Click above for what became the consented plan, plus Transport page.

2016-02-28

[Reposted from 2011] 'Broken Barnet': "Barnet Council - a culture of Decadence, Failure, Incompetence and Corruption"


Link to 'Broken Barnet' web site

"... [Barnet Council Audit Committee chair and noble Lord,] Lord Monroe Palmer moved to the MetPro Audit Report's recommendations, repeating his view that the report made:
" reading ... Horrendous . [I hope] we don't have to wait for the public, for the bloggers, to tell us, before another report like this had to be presented."
[We note: Barnet has paid £1.4-million over five years, without any contract at any time, to a largely-illegally-unregistered security company, MetPro Rapid Response Limited, which went into liquidation earlier this year, owing 'hundreds of thousands of pounds', to be replaced by a new company, MetPro Emergency Response Limited, which the Council started and continued to pay, again without any tendering or contract whatsoever. 

This company also made illicit video recordings of the public attending council meetings, within Hendon Town Hall (where the Pinkham Way protesters were called 'a rabble', by the way).]
"Barnet Council's Chief Executive thought the problem, guess what:
"Says something profound about the [London Borough of Barnet] culture."
 
Corruption in action

"Yes, Mr Walkley: it speaks of a culture of decadence and failure, incompetence and corruption.

"The trouble is that Captain Pugwash and his hapless crew ... are insisting on taking the listing vessel out onto the high seas, of massive outsourcing of public services, in the meanwhile, seaworthy or not ...

"Lord Palmer again raised the question of potential fraud. This was neatly deflected by Jeff Lustig, Director of Corporate Governance, by a mention of the 'Corporate Fraud Team'. Will we ever hear any more, I wonder?"


More material is at 'Barnet Eye'.


More about the 'Barnet Blogsphere':


"Easy council" scandal puts Town Hall outsourcing reforms in the spotlight.

Investigations by local bloggers uncovered serious contract irregularities at a flagship Tory council. The case may have wider implications for public service reform.


Tue 1 March: London Assembly Regeneration Committee discusses Brent Cross Cricklewood: Arrogance and Corruption by LB of Barnet


Hammerson giving evidence to a
House of Commons Select Committee in 2011:
"There's a danger redevelopment could be 
side-tracked by agitators, and that 
NIMBYS will undermine the process.
Therefore,
it is key to have strong local leadership
in the local authority."

"The Regeneration Committee is tasked with monitoring and reviewing the Mayor’s regeneration functions and spending decisions. This includes oversight of the London Legacy Development Corporation, the Mayor’s powers through the London Plan, which are being used to promote particular areas for regeneration, and the operation of his new Mayoral Development Corporation that covers the Olympic Park.
"You can find out more about the Committee's current work here or view the reports it has published in the investigations section.

"Agendas, minutes and other papers for meetings of this committee may be accessed at the link at the top of the page.  To be added to the distribution list for agendas and minutes, please use the contact information below.

"The Regeneration Committee’s terms of reference are agreed by the London Assembly and can be viewed here.

"Information about the Assembly’s former Housing and Regeneration Committee can be found here."










Intensification areas
in the next London Plan

Date published: 08 February 2016 
(Part of reports document above)

The London Assembly Regeneration Committee has written to the Mayor of London about the effectiveness of the Intensification Area designation on regeneration.
  • The Committee has identified a number of findings and recommendations that the next mayor of London should consider when producing the new London Plan:
  • The impact of Intensification Area designation remains unclear. In the next iteration of the London Plan, the GLA should set out the expected value of giving an area Intensification Area status.
  • Areas selected for intensification must have adequate transport links. A transport impact assessment should be undertaken at the time of designation and made available to local people.
  • In the next London Plan, the GLA should take greater account of when development in Intensification Areas spills over into neighbouring areas. This can have an impact on local services, like GP surgeries and school places and affect an area's local character.
  • Future Intensification Area designation should also pay close attention to protecting and creating employment opportunities.
  • The GLA should create a system to establish development timescales for areas with formal designation in the London Plan and improve communication with developers.









This document above references, ahem, the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Development.

And Mr Reasonable:

Link to Mr Reasonable




Quoted by the London Assembly Regeneration Committee, Tue 1 Mar 2016: "Lobby on Tue 9 March 2010 for Call-In!"


Link to typical arrogant nursing of the
corrupt Brent Cross planning consent (2014)

"Tomorrow, the Brent Cross Coalition will be handing in petitions and letters to John Denham, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to ask him to call-in the Brent Cross Regeneration Application for a Public Inquiry.

"The call-in is based on the following grounds:
1. The residents of the London boroughs of Brent and Camden were not consulted on this matter, despite the scheme having major impact on residents of the two boroughs. In particular, Brent  remains opposed to this development, despite suggestions to the contrary at the Barnet Planning Committee.
2. The development will have a major impact on North West London, in terms of traffic, increased pollution and the destruction of local shopping areas in surrounding localities. These issues were not considered by the Barnet Planning Committee which had a Barnet-centric approach to the application. A wider assessment of the application is vital and would be provided by a Public Inquiry.

3. The application does not conform to the Government’s Climate Change Law to reduce CO2 by 80% by 2050. The scheme will generate thousands more car journeys every day and become a net contributor of greenhouse gases and global warming.

4. The lack of clarity in evidence presented at the Planning Committee on the proposed waste handling plant and incinerator. In the face of expert opinion by a visiting US professor on the potential health hazards of the proposed gasification process, we believe that the Secretary of State should institute a Public Inquiry. This will ensure that the health and safety of the local population, and particularly that of young children who are particularly vulnerable to the impact of toxic substances, is safeguarded.

5. The major thrust of the application is to extend the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. Other components of Phase One of the scheme, such as affordable housing, have been cut back. A proposal to increase the size of the Shopping Centre was rejected by a Public Inquiry in 1999 and a Judicial Review and High Court judgement in 2003. The proposal represents the developers’ second bite at the cherry, in much changed and less favourable economic circumstances.

6. Although the Planning Committee is supposed to make an independent judgement, the application was compromised by the fact that the Barnet Borough Council is a major supporter of the scheme and has helped facilitate the process for the applicants. Importantly, they are also major landowners in the development area."
 
Who: Navin Shah AM, Brent Friends of the Earth, residents and other local groups

What: Hand in of petitions and letters, photo and interview opportunities

When: Tuesday 9th March 2010, 2pm

Where: Department for Communities and Local Government, Eland House, Bressenden Place, SW1E 5DU (nearest tube: Victoria)




Regeneration: Already Happened at West Hendon; Coming Soon to Brent Cross: Heygate residents and broken promise of new homes that never materialise








2016-02-27

Sample of Brent Cross Cricklewood in 2008: Stopping Evil Hammerson, Dastardly Standard Life Investments, and Pusillanimous Brookfield Multiplex (who bailed out as soon as they could). AH, HAPPY DAYS!





Sarah Teather MP: "[In 2010] Boris the Mayor Shirked His Duty On Brent Cross"


Link to London LibDems report
(2010 archived data, so there may be a delay)

"The Mayor is asleep at the wheel. 

"Instead of giving this controversial and divisive Brent Cross Cricklewood scheme the extra scrutiny it needs, he has waved it through, with barely a second thought."

Construction Enquirer: "Hammerson's £1bn Croydon shopping centre start pushed back to 2017"


"Hammerson is in ongoing talks with anchor tenants for the new shopping centre"
[which may mean John Lewis has so far failed to sign up]

"Developer Hammerson has put back until next year the construction start on its £1bn scheme to redevelop Croydon's Whitgift shopping centre.

"The project is one of three major schemes Hammerson plans to start in 2017 with a combined construction cost of up to £1.4bn.

"It is the second time the developer in joint venture with Westfield has pushed the ambitious scheme back a year."

"Goodsyard plan includes a 220,000 sq ft retail 'village', 1,350 flats and substantial public realm including a new park"

"... Hammerson in joint venture with Ballymore is also hoping to start its £800m Goodsyard scheme on the London City fringe in Shoreditch next year.

"Last September, the Mayor of London called in the 2.8m sq ft mixed-use development due to non-determination by local planning authorities Hackney and Tower Hamlets."

"If all goes to plan the revamped Brent Cross sopping [sic] centre could open in 2021"

"It is also hoping to start the 1m sq ft Brent Cross shopping centre extension and refurbishment next year, subject to CPO power being granted for development land at an inquiry in May." [Yeh, right.]

[Reposted from Dec 2009] BRENT COUNCIL REITERATES OPPOSITION TO BRENT CROSS DEVELOPMENT AND CALLS FOR A PUBLIC INQUIRY



Barnet Council passed the controversial plans for the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration on 19 November 2009, claiming that neighbouring Brent had withdrawn their objections. The Coalition opposing the plans is now slating Barnet planners for misrepresenting Brent Council’s objections. [2014: Brent STILL opposes it!]

The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan, who represent residents, politicians and campaign groups across Barnet, Brent and Camden were astounded to hear Barnet planner Martin Cowie at the meeting saying that Brent had withdrawn their objections to the scheme. Letters from Brent Council’s Officer and Brent Council’s Leader, Paul Lorber show clearly that Brent continue to oppose the scheme as it currently stands.

Lia Colacicco, Coalition Co-ordinator and Mapesbury resident says:
“When contacted, Brent planning department said that the Planning Committee members had voted unanimously to formally object to the scheme. This objection stands and there are no plans to go back to Committee with a recommendation to change this stance.

“Letters from Chris Walker, Head of Brent Planning, to Barnet on October 20th, and again on November 27th, make Brent's objections quite clear. We are therefore mystified as to why Martin Cowie claimed that Brent has substantially withdrawn its objections. Brent base their objections on major traffic issues and the nature of the waste handling facility."

“Barnet Officers have not only misrepresented the views of Brent residents, but have now withheld the truth about Brent Council’s continuing position in order to push through these disastrous plans.”

Chris Walker, Head of Planning in Brent, in a letter to Barnet's Stewart Murray dated 27 November 2009 makes it clear that:
“….while significant moves have been made to address Brent’s concerns in the draft heads of terms and conditions, Brent has not withdrawn their objection to the proposed development.”

Brent Council Leader, Cllr Paul Lorber additionally wrote to the Secretary of State on 25th November reiterating his continued objections to the plans, and calling for a Public Inquiry.

The Coalition believes this means the Secretary of State John Denham must now call in the plans for Public Inquiry.


[Reposted from 2004] Mike McGuinness: "Do I HAVE to front the Brent Cross Cricklewood Public Exhibition 2014? Can't JJ - we pay him enough! Oh, he's a busted flush, is he? Gawd, give me the slanted wording then, London Communications Public Relations..."



"Hello, Gullible Punters! [He didn't say that.]

"I am pleased to inform you that the Brent Cross Cricklewood development partners, having gained planning consent for the masterplan earlier this year, will shortly begin a series of public exhibitions showcasing the detailed designs for the first stage of the regeneration.

"This first part of the scheme will:
  • Renew and revive Clitterhouse Playing Fields and Claremont Park creating two beautiful community parks, as well as starting to create Brent Riverside Park
  • Make major improvements to local roads and junctions for the benefits of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists
  • Prepare the ground for a new town centre on either side of the North Circular, linked by a landmark new Living Bridge.
["Why aren't we saying anything about the !#@$%& shopping centre? And the waste incinerator? And the extra 29,000 cars per day? Oh, we deliberately don't mention 'em! I've never understood PR."]
 
"The public exhibitions will start on Friday 10 October at Brent Cross Shopping Centre and continue until Saturday 18 October, visiting two other venues in the area – the Crown Moran Hotel on Cricklewood Broadway, and the Hendon Leisure Centre. Details of the public exhibition times and venues can be found below. ["Did you see wot I wrote for the Commons Select Committee? They didn't ask me again. Funny that."]

"The exhibitions will provide an opportunity to learn more about Brent Cross Cricklewood and how it will be delivered over the coming years as well as ask any questions and meet the project team. ["Do we mention that Hammerson is clearing off as soon as possible, and Barnet is trying to find another poor punter to keep the miserable show on the road? Oh, we keep shtum about that? Mmm."]

"In the meantime if you would like any further information about the plans, please do not hesitate to contact the consultation team on 0800 881 5303 (freephone) or email info@brentcrosscricklewood.com. Our plans will also be available on our website www.brentcrosscricklewood.com from the 10 October. ["And not a second before. We're no fools!"]

"I look forward to seeing you." ["Do we do irony, then?"]

Mike McGuinness,
Development Director ["Can I go now?"]




BRENT CROSS SHOPPING CENTRE
Centre Court, Prince Charles Drive, London, NW4 3FP
on
Friday 10 October, 10am – 8pm
Saturday 11 October, 9am – 8pm
Sunday 12 October, 12pm – 6pm


CROWN MORAN HOTEL
Sala Room, 142-152 Cricklewood Broadway, London NW2 3ED
on
Tuesday 14 October, 12pm – 8pm
Wednesday 15 October, 12pm – 8pm


HENDON LEISURE CENTRE
Studio 1, Marble Drive, Brent Cross, London, NW2 1XQ
on
Friday 17 October, 12pm – 8pm
Saturday 18 October, 11am – 5pm


2016-02-26

Evening Standard: "Number of London cyclists 'equal to a fifth of Tube passengers'"


Link to web site

"The number of people cycling in London is equivalent to a fifth of the daily number of Tube passengers, according to new research.

Transport for London revealed the latest rise in cycle journeys as it set out its vision of 1.5 million daily bike trips by 2026, double the current rate.

In a challenge to the next Mayor, the report sets out TfL's wish to 'normalise' cycling as a 'very cost-effective form of mass transit' at a time of falling Government investment and huge increases in the capital's population."

2016-02-21

Evening Standard: "Unflappable property company boss has a starring role in the Theatre of Retail"


"Hammerson's chief executive David Atkins with big plans for some of London's most popular shopping centres"


"... Hammerson is best known in London for Brent Cross. ... 'People love shopping centres,' Atkins says. 'Human beings are programmed to identify with real places in a way you can't get with a web site.'

"He cites Brent Cross, which will be 40 years old in a fortnight.

"... Hammerson is partnering with Westfield to deliver a much-needed redevelopment of Croydon's shopping centre, and has finally negotiated 'the minefield of the planning environment in the country', to extend and refurbish Brent Cross.

"I hazard a guess at how long the Brent Cross planning process took: four or five years? 'Try 15,' Atkins says. It's a mark of his calm personality that he doesn't get even remotely agitated on the subject, beyond deapanning; 'Let's just say that John Prescott [the secretary of state in charge of planning for much of the process] is not on my Christmas list.'

"The good news, he says, is that work will start soon in a project that includes building 7500 new homes to neighbouring Cricklewood. [sic]

"... With which parting patter, he buttons a thin overcoat up to his neck and paces out into the chill. I think he'll need a hot-water bottle." [continued.]

2016-02-16

The Observer: "Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers"


"Our role as obedient customers is put under the spotlight in an ambitious history of global economics"

Link to web site

"JG Ballard's last published novel, Kingdom Come, unfolds in a fictional London suburb called Brooklands, where a vast shopping mall [wonder which one] fosters a bovine social docility. In the book's wayward conceit, consumerism is a totalitarian device used to control people and their artificial wants. Fired up by dreams of wealth, Brooklanders indulge in Black Friday-style bargain-hunting in their local Metro Centre.

"Ballard was not the first to see shopping as a secular religion. Émile Zola, in his 1883 novel The Ladies’ Paradise, tells the rise of a department store in late 19th-century Paris and its role in the new mass consumption. With its silk counters and perfume department, the store looks forward to our age of indiscriminate purchase and credit binge. Far from aiding the French economy, Zola's cathedral of commerce heralds a new retail Europe of consumer anxiety, boom and bust.

"...Free-trade champions tend to see consumption as embodying the individual’s right to “consumer choice”. In their neoliberal view, money spent on material goods bolsters the values of democracy and prosperity for all. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher ('the priestess of neoliberalism', says Trentmann) sought to demolish anti-consumerist Marxist attitudes as a matter of urgency. When, in March 1987, she toured Soviet Moscow in a Cossack-style fur hat, the Russians embraced her as an emissary of barcode freedoms and wealth."

2016-02-13

Much of the Barnet Planning Committee is being replaced (by sentient beings with greater capability)


"Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years, experts warn, and the rise of robots could lead to unemployment rates greater than 50 per cent"

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"Robots will have taken over most jobs within 30 years leaving humanity facing its 'biggest challenge ever' to find meaning in life when work is no longer necessary, according to experts.

Professor Moshe Vardi, a professor in computational engineering at Rice University in the US, claims that jobs of many middle-class professionals will be outsourced to machines within the next few decades, leaving workers with more leisure time than they have ever experienced.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, Prof Vardi said the rise of robots could lead to unemployment rates greater than 50 per cent:
"We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task."


[Reposted from Jun 2014] "Have councils abandoned the poor, searching for economic growth?"


"From Hackney cosying up to the digital elite to regeneration in Southwark – councils risk forgetting they're part of the safety net.

"Some council choices are questionable, such as the displacement of social tenants in Elephant and Castle (below)"

Link to The Guardian

"Is the state abandoning the poor? The hyperbolic question started an interesting debate this week at the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference in Manchester, provoking a backlash against a perceived 'collusion' between the modern public servant and government.

"No, we can't reasonably argue that the state has walked away from the most vulnerable. For all its failings, we do still have a welfare state. A safety net is still set out beneath us, although the corners are becoming threadbare. But can we say the same about social housing?

"Faced with cuts to government welfare reform, the housing sector now stands accused of capitulating to government whims at significant cost to them and, more importantly, to their tenants. According to the Child Poverty Action Group, 'affordable rent' (which in some areas is replacing social rent) risks pushing more families below the child poverty threshold."

2016-02-12

1976: Brent Cross opens, partly financed by London's organised crime. 2016: "Brent Cross kicks off 40th anniversary year by welcoming trio of new brands"






"Hammerson and Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust, joint owners of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, today announce that they have signed up international brands, Urban Decay, Tesla Motors and Smiggle, to join the line-up of retailers at the centre.

"Urban Decay, the leading international make-up brand offering its trend-setting lip, face, body & eye makeup, has signed up to a 399 sq ft unit located next to Kurt Geiger, and is opening its doors today. The signing is a significant move for the brand, becoming only its second standalone store in London.

"Following a successful temporary popup in Brent Cross, Californian based Tesla Motors, the designer and manufacturer of premium electric vehicles, has made the decision to take a permanent 2,060 sq ft unit in the centre. The brand launched its popup store in November 2014, as it looked to build its presence in the UK market by capitalising on consumers’ preference for experiential shopping and interacting with products before buying, and this proved very successful. The new store, which is expected to open in the spring, will become Tesla’s third in London.

"Smiggle, with its range of colourful, fun, fashion-forward stationery, has taken a 768 sq ft unit situated next to Lush in the upper level of the centre. Already a key part of the tenant mix in a number of Hammerson’s 10 UK leading retail destinations and Standard Life Investments’ shopping centres, Smiggle is set to open later this year and will be a popular addition to the centre's diverse line-up of retailer [sic]

"Conrad Bacon, Assistant Director of Retail Asset Management at Hammerson, said:
"These latest signings demonstrate Brent Cross Shopping Centre's continuing ability to attract high-quality international brands. Tesla in particular is a great example of the strength of our commercial approach – and the strength of the location. Now in its fortieth year, the centre continues to be seen as a gateway for international retailers entering the UK."
"Ed Jenkins, Head of UK Retail at Standard Life Investments, added:
"Innovation and insight have always underpinned the way we manage Brent Cross. This is what keeps the centre attractive to new retailers, such as Tesla Motors, Urban Decay and Smiggle, and fresh and exciting for customers."

2016-02-07

Barnet Press (x2) and Barnet Times (x2): Brent Cross corruption, plus Car Crisis in Barnet









The Guardian: "Is Britain a nation of debt bingers? History tells a different story"


Tap the piggy bank for web site

"... Debt still attracts easy moralising and apocalyptic warnings, but it always has to be considered alongside one's income and assets. It may be prudent for a young family to borrow, if they reckon their wages will go up over the next few years. As author Frank Trentmann shows, the golden age of credit in America and Britain was in the postwar decades, when both economies were growing fast and workers were seeing their pay rise year on year.

"However – and this is beyond the purview of the historian - that is not the case in either country today. Instead, the debt being taken out is being taken out on promises of growth that modern capitalism cannot deliver.

"Encouraged by their governments, households in the UK and the US are now using their homes as cash machines. Using official statistics, the Centre for Research into Socio-Cultural Change has found that the value of home equity withdrawal under both Thatcher and Blair exceeded the value of GDP growth during their time in power. The two losing incumbents of the past 20 years, Major and Brown, both saw housing equity withdrawal slump on their watch.

"That simple observation holds the key to explaining the post-79 era in British politics. How do you win an election? Inflate the property market. How do you mimic economic growth? Encourage housing equity withdrawal."

[Reposted from Feb 2015] Tue 3 Mar: Progressing the Corrupt Brent Cross Planning Consent: Now it's Compulsory Purchase Orders


Link to access all documents

"Major developments are planned in Barnet over the next 10 to 15 years which will see significant population growth in new and improved neighbourhoods, and significant investment in supporting facilities and infrastructure.

"The range of projects include the regeneration of our four largest estates and the development of the three strategic growth areas identified in the London Mayor's Plan - the Cricklewood, Brent Cross and West Hendon regeneration area, Colindale and Mill Hill East.

"We have established the Regeneration Service to ensure that it plays a leading role in shaping these developments and maximising their benefit to the borough. The Regeneration Service is responsible for co-ordinating the work of key council departments to this end, and works closely with Education, Housing, Property Services and the Planning Service."













2016-02-03

London Assembly: "Up or Out: A false choice. Options for London’s growth"



Date published:
29 January 2016

"The London Assembly Planning Committee has today warned that the next Mayor must start planning for London’s future from the day they collect the keys to City Hall.

" 'Up or Out: A false choice. Options for London’s growth' outlines a menu of options for accommodating London's growth. It considers approaches such as increasing the density of some parts of suburbs, regenerating estates, and building new and expanded towns outside London's boundaries.

It also explores different - but complementary - approaches for meeting this growth:
Up – are more skyscrapers and modern towers set to define our skyline?

Out – can we build to a higher density in outer London while preserving our green spaces?



RELATED (joint developer with Argent of Brent Cross from phase two) takes half share in POCKET (attempted developer of Cricklewood Green Space). WORRYING.


"One of the largest real estate firms in the US has taken a 50% share in a London-based affordable homes company to help drive a massive expansion of its development," reports Inside Housing.

"Related Companies has bought a share in Pocket Living for an undisclosed sum and plans to throw its substantial weight into scaling up the construction of discounted flats for sale and rent in London.

"Related, which began life as an affordable housing provider in 1973, has $20bn of real estate assets worldwide has been plotting expansion into the London affordable housing market for several years.

"It agreed a joint venture with Argent, one of the UK’s leading mixed-use regeneration firms last year and is engaged on key sites in Kings Cross and Brent through that company.

"This is likely to provide Pocket with access to major regeneration schemes to provide its flagship homeownership products, compact flats which are sold at a 20% discount to buyers earning less than £71,000.

"Pocket has developed 200 homes in its 10 year life, typically agreeing deals with local authorities for use of land and reductions in planning obligations

"It intends to double this in the next 18 months and step up its provision of rental homes in central London with Related’s assistance.

"Kenneth Wong, chief operating officer at Related, will join Pocket’s board under the deal. Mr Wong was previously president of Westfield America, and has also served as president of the Disney development Company.

"Mr Wong said:
"We have ambitious plans in London, and Pocket is a perfect strategic fit with our ongoing initiatives."
"He said the capacity and ambition of Related to boost Pocket’s development was 'unlimited'.

"Related has major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida, Abu Dhabi, Sao Paulo and Shanghai. Its regeneration of the Hudson Yards in New York will see 16 skyscrapers and 1.2m square feet of office residential and retail space built in one of the largest construction projects in the world.

"Its founder and president Stephen Ross is one of America’s most well known billionaires, and owns American football franchise the Miami Dolphins. Pocket has previously been funded through a Greater London Authority loan of £26.4m, crowdfunding bonds and bank finance. The financial capacity provided by Related will therefore hugely increase Pocket’s capacity to take on larger and more ambitious schemes

"It hopes to build 4,000 homes by 2023, and it aiming to increase its development to 700 homes per year which would put it among the largest developers of discounted rented housing. Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket, said:
"This transaction is a huge vote of confidence in Pocket."