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


John Lewis backs out of original plan for a completely new store at Brent Cross - so now it's refurbishment of the current store only


"Hammerson and Aberdeen Standard Investments, joint owners of Brent Cross, have signed a new agreement for lease with John Lewis to transform its department store as part of the £1.4bn Brent Cross redevelopment and refurbishment in North London.

"Having been present in Brent Cross since the centre opened in 1976 – the first 'US style mall in the UK' – the department store will undergo a full refurbishment as part of the plans and Brent Cross will remain open as usual throughout the development programme.

"The new store will include an enhanced retail layout to create a more contemporary shopping experience for customers and showcase its latest shop design. It will benefit from direct access to a brand new 1,450 space car park, which will also support the brand's growing click and collect offer."

Or you could go to John Lewis White City.

The Guardian: "Skyscrapers wreck cities – yet still Britain builds them"

"Around 500 towers are proposed for London. They're not just ugly: they symbolise Britain's greedy pandering to developers"

Link to web site

I love towers and hate towers. I love those of Siena and San Gimignano and the skyscraper clusters of Manhattan and Dubai. I admire the design of London’s Canary Wharf, and of the Shard, if only it had not been dumped on Bermondsey. I do not love the ugliness now being scattered at random along the banks of the Thames or the squalor of London's skyline. As art historian Vince Scully said of New York, he once 'entered the city like a god; now one scuttles in like a rat'.

"We have seen nothing yet. The latest survey from New London Architecture, the only body monitoring the city’s towerscape, is nothing short of sensational. At the turn of the century, the metropolis had some 30 towers over 20 storeys. Two years ago 115 were planned or under construction. Now, according to NLA, a staggering 510 are proposed. No plan for this proliferation has ever been published.

"No mayor has ever put it to the voters. Unlike any other European country, skyscrapers can go up wherever developers want, provided only that they do not spoil a view of St Paul's Cathedral. It is 'wild west' planning."

Greengauge21 report: "Beyond HS2"


Barnet news: Irish Independent: "Capita rehabilitation slow as outsourcing tarnished"

Link to web site

"We don't hear much these days about 'outsourcing' which may be no bad thing. The great Bill Gates summed up my idea of what outsourcing meant when he said that if you rely too much on other people and other countries you risk outsourcing your brain. An American novelist Tom Robbins caught the mood when he cynically quipped that he intended to outsource his next book to a couple of blokes in Bangalore.

"Nevertheless, 30 and more years ago, especially in Britain, it was all the go and it has taken until now to see the chickens coming home to roost, as Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have begun to creak.

"The collapse of British government contractor Carillion has been a particularly spectacular failure."


The Committee on Standards in Public Life: "The Continuing Importance of Ethical Standards for Public Service Providers." And they even talked to Barnet-Capita.

Barnet-Capita 'contributors':

Chief Executive,
Commercial Director,
Deputy Chief Executive and Commissioning Director for Growth and Development,
Interim Assurance Director,
Monitoring Officer,
Interim Chief Operating Officer.


The Guardian: "Social housing funding system is 'nuts', says top property developer"

Link to web site

"One of the country's top property developers has described the UK's system of funding social housing as 'nuts' and called for higher taxes to speed up building.

Roger Madelin, a member of the executive committee at British Land, told the Guardian the decades-old system of getting private developers to pay for affordable homes was 'a stupid way of meeting this social need' and that the government should directly fund them.

" 'All companies should pay higher corporation tax,' he said. 'This country needs to have more tax paid. If we did it like that we could get on and do it. It can’t work in the long term, you can't expect developers to continue to produce for the population's social needs at this level. It should come from general taxation'."


Railway & Canal Historical Society: "The London Aircraft Production Group"

Society LINK

TED: "The biggest risks facing cities - and some solutions"

"With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn't just be the center of economics - they should also be the foundation of our political lives.

"Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. 'Cities are where the future happens first. They're open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy,' Muggah says. 'They're the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism."


FT: Stocks to Watch: Tuesday 1 May, 13.00 BST: Hammerson is a bit iffy

"Exane BNP Paribas cut Intu Properties to 'underperform' and downgraded Hammerson to 'neutral', moving from 'outperform' in both cases on valuation grounds.
“On our forecasts, the bulk of Hammerson's assets offer prospective returns below the cost of capital. Moreover, risk-adjusted returns on share buybacks appear far superior to major development projects at Brent Cross and Croydon. However capacity for a capital return is limited unless the company commits to a transformational disposal strategy.” 

(Complete item from FT is above}


Planning Inspectorate: "The Local Plan examination process and the role the Planning Inspectorate plays" (apparently)

"The Planning Inspectorate maintains a list of how local planning authorities across England are progressing their local plans:
"The information is updated as examinations of plans are completed and local authorities inform the Planning Inspectorate that they have subsequently been published and adopted."



The Motley Fool: Hammerson? SELL, SELL, SELL!

Link to web site

"With its 5% dividend yield, retail-focused real estate investment trust Hammerson(LSE: HMSO) looks like a perfect income investment at first glance. However, in my opinion, the outlook for this business is shrouded in uncertainty.

"... These numbers do not give me much confidence in Hammerson's outlook, which is why I believe it could be time to dump the REIT."


BanprivatecarsinLondon: "Barcelona the walking city"

Link to web site

"... Ildefons Cerda was the visionary, pioneering Catalan urban planner whose street layout is characterised by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and octagonal city blocks. Cerdà, considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks. I was told that the street design was to have facilitated a tram network.

"The core idea was that the city should breathe and the growing population could be spread out equally, as well as providing green spaces within each block.

"Unfortunately Cerdà had not anticipated that the streets would become polluted and congested with cars and motorcycles. The wide avenues became one way motor traffic dominated speed drags. Random parking of motorcycles and cars blocked the safe passage of pedestrians and cyclists.

"Barcelona has been working hard to reverse this trend for the last ten years, improving pedestrian spaces, making walking a desirable and healthy alternative to car use. The metro is well-designed and intuitive and is undergoing expansion. There is also a well-connected train and bus network.

"The next phase is the so called Superilles or 'Superblocks' which aims to make secondary streets into 'citizen spaces for culture, leisure and the community'. In such a densely populated city with a notable absence of green space, this will create vital greening, as well as quality public space."


Barnet's Audit Committee: "Capita contracts are a shambles"

Mill Hill Councillor, Sury Khatri made a farewell speech at the Barnet Council Audit Committee:
"My time as a councillor has been overshadowed by the disastrous Capita contract. It is falling apart at the seams."


[Reposted and expanded] Barnet gives planning permission for 5-storey building for this site, on the same planning application as a new John Lewis at Brent Cross, a MILE away! (The Banality of Corruption)

Link to 'Wembley Matters' web site

Agreement dated 30th January 1987 between Mayor of Barnet, Mayor of Brent, Charterhall Properties (Cricklewood) Ltd, and Erith Plc states:
The description of development refers to provision of 'new public conveniences, public footpaths, and area of public open space'.

Public Open Space is defined as 'the creation of a public open space on that part of the site show coloured yellow on the Plan, such open space to make substantial provision for tree and shrub planting within it and to be attractively landscaped and laid out to the satisfaction of the Council'.

Paragraph 4 b(iv) refers to the Council adopting the public open space after a defects period of 12 months, 'and thereupon the Public Open Space shall become a public open space maintainable at the public expense'.

Paragraphs 4 (d) and (e) refer to not building on the land with the sewer and accepting the strips of land with public footpaths respectively."

(2014 update: Next to the road has since been improved -
the rest of the land is still under threat)
Pic: Theo Simpson

Link to HOME (see all posts).

Useless Hammerson management gets intu trouble: Daily Telegraph: "Hammerson ditches £3.4bn Intu takeover blaming high street slowdown"

Link to web site

"... David Atkins, Hammerson's chief executive, said: 'It is clear that the heightened risks to the Intu acquisition now outweigh the longer-term benefits.'

"Intu said it 'regards as unsatisfactory the explanations given by the Board of Hammerson for its withdrawal of its recommendation of the transaction... which Intu has been pursuing in good faith since its announcement on 6 December 2017.'

"Hammerson had faced a separate takeover approach from French rival Klépierre but the suitor said it had abandoned the plan last week after the UK firm's board failed to 'provide any meaningful engagement' with the proposed £5bn deal."


Hammerson now in dog-house with shareholders

"Top Hammerson shareholder voices opposition to Intu deal"

Link to web site

"British shopping centre owner Hammerson's proposed takeover of rival Intu hit a stumbling block this evening, after a top three shareholder said it would vote against the deal at an upcoming meeting.

"Dutch pension fund APG wrote to the chief executive and chairman of Hammerson saying it had 'substantial concerns' over the deal, citing the current retail environment and the increased financial leverage of Hammerson after the proposed takeover.

"The pension fund said.
"Furthermore, we believe the proposed acquisition will significantly dilute Hammerson's high-quality portfolio."

West London Orbital railway: PROMOTED by Leader of Barnet and other councillors, DEMOTED by Capita

Questions to the Mayor

West London Orbital Railway [1]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
Do you welcome the proposals of the West London Alliance of boroughs to open a ‘West London Orbital’ railway, as part of London Overground?
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
I welcome the proposals to open a ‘West London Orbital’ railway. This new line could support the delivery of many new homes and jobs in west London, as well as improving connectivity across a wide area stretching from Barnet to Hounslow where there are currently limited public transport options for orbital travel. Given the support received for the West London Orbital rail line through the draft consultation on my Transport Strategy, I have strengthened my commitment to delivering the scheme in Proposal 88 of the final strategy, which now states: “The Mayor, through Transport for London (TfL), the West London Alliance boroughs and Network Rail, will work towards the delivery of a new London Overground 'West London Orbital' line connecting Hounslow with Cricklewood and Hendon via Old Oak, Neasden and Brent Cross.” TfL is now beginning the necessary feasibility work to take this proposal forward. I look forward to continuing the collaborative approach with the West London Alliance which has been invaluable in developing the proposal to this point.

West London Orbital Railway [2]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
Will you promote longer-distance trains along the ‘West London Orbital’ railway tracks, such as services between Surrey and Bedfordshire, via several of the London Opportunity Areas?
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
  I welcome support for the proposal to deliver a new West London Orbital railway line. On the basis of the support received through the consultation on my draft Transport Strategy, the Strategy has been amended to set out the potential route and its benefits in more detail.
   As the scheme is currently at feasibility stage, no decisions have yet been made regarding service operation. It should be noted that there are a number of capacity constraints on the route that would need to be addressed, notably the interfaces with the Midland Main Line north of Cricklewood, the North London line and the Hounslow loop. These may restrict the number and destination of services that can be offered on the route. There are also several freight services using the line. Taking these constraints into account, the core ambition will be to serve the already identified corridor, as this is where the key opportunity for delivering new homes and jobs lies.
   As is common with large infrastructure projects, further details relating to the design and operation of the scheme will be outlined through future public consultation.

West London Orbital Railway [3]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
   Will you intervene in Capita's plans for a new Brent Cross station if sufficiently long West London Orbital platforms are not included? [Should have said ‘separate and sufficiently long’.]
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
   I welcome the proposals to open a new ‘West London Orbital’ railway line. This new line could support the delivery of many new homes and jobs in west London, as well as improving connectivity across a wide area stretching from Barnet to Hounslow where there are currently limited public transport options for orbital travel.
   At the northern end of the proposed route, there is the potential to include a stop at the planned new Brent Cross Thameslink station to further support new development in the area.
   The new Thameslink station will be opened in 2022 and will be delivered as part of the Brent Cross West project. As the West London Orbital scheme is only in the early stages of development, any decision to serve Brent Cross will be dependent on future feasibility work. Subject to the outcome of this work, proposals for Brent Cross will look at whether it will be feasible to support the additional new development. The new Thameslink station will have 12 car long platforms, which would be of sufficient length to support any future West London Orbital service.


[Reposted from Jan 2015] The Guardian: "Barnet council 'engaged in social cleansing' at West Hendon estate"

Link to web site

"A Conservative council has been accused of 'social cleansing' and gerrymandering over an attempt to force families to sell their homes for less than half the price of planned replacement apartments.

"The London borough of Barnet’s use of compulsory purchase powers to buy flats as part of the £520m rebuilding of the West Hendon estate by Barratt Homes is being challenged at a public inquiry by residents who say they are being forced out of the area.

"They claimed Barratt's offer of £175,000 to buy a two-bedroom flat and £115,000 for a one-bedroom flat would allow just three of the 36 owners affected in the first phase of the development to stay in an area where many had spent most of their lives. Two-bed flats in the replacement scheme by Barratt and its joint venture partner, Metropolitan Homes, are expected to sell for up to £415,000."


"Hammerson is Doomed, Doomed I Tell Yeh!": Hammerson's valuation is only achievable with total breakup

Link to ThisIsMoney web site
(scroll down, past another financial disaster)

"Brent Cross owner Hammerson is standing firm in the face of the onslaught from French shopping centre group Klepierre, which is seeking to gatecrash a sweetheart deal with Intu.

"Hammerson is unimpressed by the 3 per cent uplift in the offer price to 635p per share, which is 20 per cent below the current net asset value of the company of 790p in March.

"That is the cash which could be released if properties were sold off piecemeal. It contrasts the value of the French offer with the full asset price being paid for Westfield by another European shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco." 


Whoops - there goes Hammerson's credibility! The Guardian: "Best way out of hole for Hammerson is to drop bid for smaller shopping centre rival"

Link to and then scroll on web site

"Hammerson has waved around an asset valuation of 790p a share, ... enough to defeat Klépierre at most prices below 700p.

Hammerson's problem, however, is that it was prepared to issue stock to Intu when its own share price was 530p. That hardly inspires confidence in the 790p figure. The best way out of the hole is to drop the Intu bid altogether."


Hammerson fighting for its life! Evening Standard: "Hammerson pauses Intu deal and flexes muscles to ward off French takeover"

Link to web site

"Shopping centres giant Hammerson on Thursday ratcheted up its defence against a £4.9 billion takeover attempt by French rival Klépierre, but admitted it has put the brakes on its own swoop for landlord Intu.

"... But the malls giant's report also revealed its £3.4 billion plan to buy smaller competitor Intu — first unveiled in December — has been delayed. Its shareholders had been expecting voting documents in late March.

"The decision comes just over a fortnight after Hammerson said it had received and rejected a 615p-per-share approach from Klépierre."


[Reposted from 2002] YOU'VE MISSED IT! But don't confuse the Ninky Nonk with the proposed Brent Cross Shopping Centre expansion, from Hammy Sonn.

OK, not all the web site links have survived...

This is the NINKY NONK.
Link to
(can book tickets there as well)

Link to

This is the promised
Brent Cross 'LIVING BRIDGE'.
Early design from Chapman Taylor
- traffic not shown.
(CT: If you get round to creating a fly-through,
don't forget audio of the North Circular Road.)

This is Sir Terry Farrell's Ninky Nonk,
on the London Borough of
Hammersmith & Fulham's
web site.

Byesy-wysey to HOME (see all posts).

[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."


Brent Cross's Hammerson on the way out? Sunday Telegraph: "Hammerson tie-up faces fresh £5bn French raid"

Link to web site

"French shopping centre giant Klépierre has stepped up attempts to derail a tie-up of UK mall owners Hammerson and Intu, secretly laying the ground for a bid battle that threatens to turn hostile.

"It is understood that Klépierre has held talks with Hammerson's top shareholders, urging them to force the firm to consider its takeover proposal. The Paris-based company offered 615p a share, worth £4.9bn.

"Hammerson, which owns British shopping centres including Brent Cross in London and the Bullring in Birmingham, confirmed last week that it had dismissed an approach from Klépierre and instead plans to press ahead with a £3.4bn takeover of Intu."


Is Hammerson telling porkies? FT: "Investors sceptical of Hammerson retail property valuations"

"Why [Brent Cross] shopping centre owner took umbrage at Klépierre’s recent proposal to buy it out"

Link to web site

"After European shopping centre owner Klépierre said this week it had made an unsuccessful approach to buy UK rival Hammerson for £5bn, the target sounded almost offended in its response."

"... This disgruntled response goes to the heart of a fundamental disagreement between the UK’s largest property companies and their investors, many of whom have lost faith in 'bricks and mortar' shops, about how much these companies are worth. While Klépierre made an approach based on Hammerson’s share price, Hammerson has argued that the value of its property portfolio is what really matters. And the difference between the two is large.

"Measured by its share price before the Klépierre offer was announced to the market, Hammerson’s market capitalisation was £3.5bn. But according to the most recent figures published by the company, which owns some of Britain’s best-known shopping centres including London's Brent Cross and the Bullring in Birmingham, the net value of its assets is £6.2bn."


DiamondGeezer: "The new extension to Westfield London opened today"

Link to web site
(SCROLL DOWN to 20 March entry)

"This new extension sticks out to the north of the existing mall, on the site of the former Silver Road Industrial Estate. It's on two floors, linked by occasional escalators, beneath a twisted lattice ceiling. At the far end is a glassy atrium, with links down to a small lower level and two additional car parks. And beyond that is the big anchor tenant, a new John Lewis over four floors - the largest in the country, and allegedly designed with 'West London shoppers' in mind.

"... Before you dash, be aware that most of the shops in the new extension haven't opened yet. Some are unwrapping themselves over the next weeks, others later in the summer, and several units don't even have a confirmed brand name attached. When all that's complete, Westfield London will officially become the largest shopping centre in Europe. I'm sure those whose idea of a good day out is a focused retail odyssey will lap the place up, and spend plenty. But there's nothing here you actually need, nor that you couldn't have got somewhere else."


Wembley Matters: "Green AM urges London Mayor to reject Cricklewood Rail-Freight Facility"

Link to web site

"Caroline Russell, Green Assembly Member for London, has written to the London Mayor, urging him to reject the planning application for the Rail-Freight facility in Cricklewood."

Barnet Labour: "West London orbital rail link on the right track"

"Labour councillors have welcomed the news that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has adopted plans for a West London Orbital Rail service as part of his transport strategy. This vital investment in Outer London will improve orbital links for many Barnet residents, especially those living in Cricklewood and Hendon.

"The Environment Committee (14 March) has agreed a proposal put forward by Cllr Phil Cohen for an invitation to be sent to TfL, the West London Alliance and Network Rail to attend a future joint meeting of the Council's Environment and Assets, Regeneration & Growth committees to discuss the plans and how the Council can work with the Mayor to make these plans a reality.

"East Barnet Labour Councillor Phil Cohen said:
"The West London orbital rail link is a project that has been championed by local campaigners and our party for years. It is exciting that the Mayor is now backing it as it brings the prospect of jobs and better transport links much closer.

This will greatly benefit local residents, and I am pleased that all the interested parties will meet to look at how to take this forward."

LB Barnet: "West London Orbital Railway"

"The Mayor of London has accepted the compelling case put forward by Barnet Council and its neighbouring west London boroughs for the development of a West London Orbital Railway.

"The Mayor recently presented his Transport Strategy to the London Assembly for consideration before final publication in the coming weeks. Barnet Council welcomes the Mayor of London’s fresh commitment to the creation of a West London Orbital Railway.

"Following extensive feedback from the consultation, the strategy now also includes the potential for a West London Orbital rail line, connecting Hounslow with Cricklewood and Hendon via Old Oak, Neasden and Brent Cross.

"The West London Orbital Railway would see the recommissioning of the existing Dudding Hill for passenger use. The new line would be delivered through TfL, the West London Alliance, boroughs and Network Rail.

"The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius said:
“This is a genuinely exciting proposal and one that Barnet Council and its neighbouring west London boroughs have been championing for quite some time. There is a real need for improving rail connectivity between Barnet and west London boroughs. This will create jobs for local people and complement the exciting regeneration that is set to take place at Brent Cross Cricklewood.

“I’ve rarely seen a freight train using the existing Dudding Hill line. That gives me real hope that this project could become a reality sooner rather than later, due to the tracks already being in place.

“We will continue to work with our partners and neighbouring boroughs, as the plans for this new railway progress."


ThisIsMoney: "Shopping malls fend off £5bn French bid: But Hammerson may yet face an even bigger offer"

Link to web site

"Shares in Hammerson soared after a French rival launched an audacious £4.9bn bid for the company – throwing its planned tie-up with Intu into doubt.

"Paris-based Klepierre, which runs more than 100 shopping centres across Europe, tabled an offer of 615p a share for the British owner of the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham (pictured) and Brent Cross in north London.

"Hammerson rejected the bid but shares jumped 24 per cent, or 105.3p, to 542.4p amid signs the French will continue to pursue a deal. A source close to Klepierre said: 'We are not going away. We think this is a good deal for our shareholders and Hammerson shareholders'."

Barnet Times: "Deselected Joan Scannell hits out at Barnet Tories"

Link to web site

"A row has broken out in the Barnet Tory party after a Conservative association was accused of anti-Christian, anti-family and misogynistic attitudes by a deselected councillor.

"Speaking at a meeting of the council's General Functions Committee yesterday (March 19), Cllr Joan Scannell said the attitudes were 'rife' at Hendon Conservative Association (HCA), whose chairman, Cllr Dan Thomas, has allegedly been plotting a pro-Brexit power grab.

"Last week, the Conservatives lost overall control of the council following the resignation of Cllr Sury Khatri, who was also deselected by the HCA along with Cllr Scannell and Cllr Maureen Braun at a meeting on Sunday, March 11."


Proactiveinvestors: "Capital & Regional focused on needs-based retail as times change" [unlike Hammerson and Brent Cross]

Link to web site

"It's tough in retail at present. Three major chains have gone under this year already, others are scaling back or curbing expansion plans and the online shadow grows longer.

"[Ex-Hammerson's] Lawrence Hutchings, Capital & Regional PLC’s (LON:CAL) chief executive is undeterred and indeed believes that the current upheaval just underlines the resilience of its portfolio of 'community' shopping centres.

“The headlines are not great, but we need to get the message across that all retail is not bad.” [so Hammerson has over-played its hand at being at the posh end?]

The beginning of the end for Hammerson?: The Guardian: "Shopping mall owner Hammerson rejects French firm's £4.9bn offer"

Link to web site

"French mall operator Klépierre has approached Hammerson with a £4.9bn bid proposal in an attempt to break up the UK property firm's agreed acquisition of Intu.

"... A source close to Klépierre said it would prefer a constructive dialogue, but was not ruling anything out."

"... Nick Bubb, a retail analyst, said:
"... With many of its fashion and department store tenants in some trouble, Hammerson is going to have work hard now to convince its shareholders of the merits of the Intu deal.”