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


Wall Street Journal: "[Hammerson, et al] Challenge for 2012: Debt"

Link to Wall Street Journal

"U.K. real-estate investment trusts [like Hammerson, quoted in the subscription article] are in a bullish mood, as they emerge from the biggest slowdown in the U.K.'s property market in decades.

"But market analysts say the optimism may be overdone. After all, property values are likely to fall in 2012 because of the shaky economic climate, finance is likely to be scarce, and consumer confidence in a next-to-no-growth environment will remain low."

Hammerson's other shopping centre: Keeping Westfield out of Croydon

Link to Croydon Advertiser

"CENTRALE owners Hammerson have launched a bid to take over the running of the Whitgift Centre.

"Under the Hammerson proposals, Whitgift and Centrale could merge, to create a single shopping experience, in a bid to make Croydon one of the top five retail destinations in the country.

"Westfield is expected to enter a bidding war for this stake, but Hammerson strongly believes it has the upper-hand, having already proved its credentials by splashing out £100m on acquiring Centrale earlier this year."


Barnet Eye: "Is Barnet Council run by lobotomised zombies?"

Link to Barnet Eye web site

"... They seem to have no problem at all holding diametrically opposed views on issues at the same time.

"For example, over-development in Cat Hill (in the London Borough of Enfield) is bad. Over-development in Brent Cross is good. Some may call this being two-faced (as the councillors who oppose Cat Hill are representing people near Cat Hill [and nowhere near Brent Cross])."


Retail Gazette: "John Lewis Brent Cross: virtual window to offer sale items"

Link to 'Retail Gazette'
"Department store group John Lewis is to launch virtual window displays in seven of its stores, allowing shoppers to make purchases as part of its online Clearance sale, it was announced today.

"While the retailer does not open its shops for clearance until December 27th 2011, the online sale begins at 5pm on Christmas Eve, and customers passing the Peter Jones, Oxford Street, Brent Cross, Milton Keynes, Reading, Liverpool and Edinburgh can scan barcodes displayed in those shop’s windows on their iPhones."

Link to 'Storefront' 
"Your update on the latest news & initiatives from Hammerson"

"... [2012 has to be the year] launching our Sales Growth Insight Programme across all our shopping centres, to identify opportunities at a catchment, customer and category level. Our business planning has been heavily focussed on delivering these opportunities, and we enter next year with a wealth of actionable insight.

"Ultimately, we aim to be the multi-channel friendly property company. We've made great strides with the first Houseoffraser.com multi-channel store at Union Square, and the Amazon Collection Lockers in Brent Cross.

"But there are lots of ideas to pursue next year, all recognising the vital importance of the store at the heart of the multi-channel journey."

Thameslink route through Brent Cross leads to Farringdon (future Crossrail interchange)...

(This is part of the first video.)

...Then most trains continue to London Bridge station... 


Central London: Hammerson uses cutting edge spacial marketing on an iPad (at Brent Cross, you have to carry an A-to-Z and a mains-powered television)

Link to 'theneighbourhood' web site

"Property developer Hammerson were looking to market their 500,000 sq.ft. development London Wall Place on a prime site in Central London.

"In competitive market conditions there is a real need for property developers to demonstrate a point of difference, to help sell their space to both commercial and residential tenants, and quickly and effectively engage with their market.

"Working with communications agency Bostock and Pollitt and software developer T5C, we created a unique iPad application to meet this challenge. The first of its kind, the app is a 'portable marketing suite', giving leasing agents a powerful and flexible sales tool with detailed visualisations and a wealth of important information at their fingertips, wherever they are.

"Sitting on a complex site and designed by Make Architects, the project comprises two striking buildings. Through the interactive 3D model within the application, the building becomes easy to understand for the viewer.

"Another of the unique functions of the app is to allow potential occupiers a looking glass into the future. Utilising the iPad 2’s gyroscope position and movement sensor together with its GPS capability and compass, the app allows users to stand on site and use the iPad 2 as a ‘virtual porthole’ to look around and see how the scheme will look upon completion.

"London Wall Place has been a pioneering project, and forms part of our evolving portfolio of creative digital solutions for the property sector.

"The app is available for free from the iTunes store."

Heart-warming Good Wishes to the London Borough of Barnet

The Coalition includes the Bestway Cash & Carry firm, a local land-owner at Brent Cross. 
In this time of seasonal greetings and celebrations, our hearts were warmed by these words of Christmas Cheer, sent from Bestway to the Planning Department of the London Borough of Barnet.

"We have just read that the Councillors and Senior Management team of Barnet Council have received a 'Highly Commended' citation, in the 'Legal Bullies of the Year' section of Private Eye's 'Rotten Boroughs Awards 2011'. 

"The commendation is quoted and presented on the internet, and reads as:
Private Eye's Legal Bullies of the Year Section
"The past year saw a growing trend for councils to use the law, or the threat of legal action, to stifle free speech and limit public scrutiny of the way elected representatives spend tax payers' money. Councils seemed particularly alarmed by the increase in 'citizen journalists' writing blogs and tweeting - and holding councils to account in ways that many local papers no longer have the balls to."
"As you well know, we have personally experienced exactly this 'stifled free speech and limited public scrutiny' problem with the London Borough of Barnet, and have worked hard for a year or so with Freedom of Information Act requests and other important matters. 

"However, we are now pleased that the Examination in Public, and more recently, the support from the Information Commissioner's Office, are starting to pay dividends for Bestway's defence. We are confident that we have set up Bestway with an excellent platform from which to benefit in 2012.

"We said months ago that 'the truth is out there', regarding attempts to acquire the Bestway site at Geron Way [off Edgware Road] for a waste site. It is indeed out there, and we are getting close to finding out all that we need to know now. And let's not forget that any Compulsory Purchase Order for our land will be another, very different ball-game."

"Merry Xmas"

Hammerson and Kleinwort Benson (Tax Havens-R-Us): The Ood make a Moove at Brent Cross [Updated: plans are now on-line]

Second update: 11 November: "The consultation period for the application ends on 23rd November. The target date for the decision is (was) 14th December."

A (small) full planning application has just been made, 'F/04296/11', for land to the east of Brent South Shopping Park. The applicants are Hammerson (Brent South) Ltd. and Kleinwort Benson (Channel Islands) Corporate Services Ltd, and it will be decided under delegated powers.

Link to previous episode of
The Doctor and Quod Planning
The agents are Quod Planning.

May 2011: Estates Gazette blog:

"This morning's EGi tells us that the government has called on Mary Portas, 'queen of shops', to advise it on saving embattled high streets. BIS (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) has said it 'would announce more details shortly about its commitment to introduce a package of measures to support town centres'.


Barnet in Private Eye's "Rotten Boroughs Awards 2011"

"Their Christmas decorations are not what they were"

Click on the image above for the 'Private Eye' web site,
or read the Barnet press cutting at 'Mr Mustard'.

Also mentioned is "Broken Barnet" (Mrs Angry)
and (in the longer article) the 'Carmarthanshire Blogger'.

Our own 
"Hammerson Quote of the Year"

"... it is key to have strong local leadership in the Local Authority, at Leader and Chief Executive Level."


Hammerson avoids being "delighted" with something (now banned from its press releases?)

"Highcross [Hammerson's shopping centre in Leicester - which we have no reason to criticise, by the way] enters the Christmas season with 12,000 sq ft of new retailers signed up.

"... Sheila King, Hammerson director group retail leasing, commented:
"These new brands provide real strength in depth across our retail mix at Highcross, offering specialist fashion retailing, high end entertainment and fine art to our consumers." [Sheila completely avoids being 'delighted'!]
*The Cameron-Clegg coalition
is, er, on the right.
"Bidwell Webber De Pons* and Lunson Mitchenall acted on behalf of Hammerson.

For further information contact: Sarah Sims
Corporate Communications Executive
[Cruel of us we know, but EXECUTIVE?]
Tel: 020 7887 1057 Email: sarah.sims@hammerson.com

UPDATE: We were wrong - Hammerson is "delighted"

Link to Hammerson's Storefront

"Hammerson is delighted to announce that leading international fashion retailer Forever 21* is to open a 53,000 sq ft store at Bullring [sic] Birmingham, its first in the UK. 
* Link to [Daily Mail] [The Guardian]

"Lawrence Hutchings, Hammerson Managing Director UK Retail said:
"Forever 21's decision to open their first store in Europe at Bullring [sic] reflects both the centre's and the city's assertion that Forever 21, a proven success worldwide, will flourish at the centre. This is on the back of unprecedented like-for-like sales growth at the scheme over the course of the last 24 months."

Not to mention: 

New Stores: "Brent South welcomes Lloyds Pharmacy village"

"Lloyds Pharmacy has opened its first large format Health Village concept at Brent South Retail Park in North London.

"The 5,000 sq ft store operates an almost concessionary format, offering a range of products and services designed to endorse a healthy lifestyle. From a consultation with a pharmacist to a session with a physiotherapist. Plus video consultations with doctors, optician services and expert skincare advice. The full service offer is a one-stop-shop for wellbeing.

"In addition, Brent South has also been joined by leading Sofa specialist retailer CSL ltd, opening a 12,000 sq ft store offering a broad range of mid-priced homewear solutions."


Westfield White City (John Lewis mega-site): Consultation extended

Link to 'The Shepherd's Bush Blog'

"The consultation with residents over the controversial development of the White City area [north of] Westfield has been extended until 30th December, with a revised application having been submitted.

"The new application contains less flats ,and it also means fewer affordable units in some of the proposed blocks, which is likely to re-ignite the row over whether Hammersmith & Fulham Council is fulfilling its duty to provide affordable homes."

Public transport heaven:
There is direct access to the new
Wood Lane Hammersmith & City Line station.
To the north is Wood Lane Central Line station, next to the BBC TV Centre.
Finally, Shepherd's Bush London Overground station is to the south.

The wider area



Guardian and Telegraph: The Future of the High Street

The Guardian: "No bed of roses: Mary Portas plan gets short shrift from struggling stallholders" 

Link to The Guardian

"Mary 'Queen of Shops' Portas, the prime minister's fashionable retail guru, believes street markets are the key to revitalising Britain's dying high streets.

" 'You should be prepared to wait for a considerable time for vacancies to occur, as most waiting lists are quite long,' Westminster council warns in its street-trading fact sheet. 'It must be noted that being near the top of the waiting list does not guarantee obtaining a pitch.'

"... While Smith's Bread Man stall makes enough money to support his family, he warns that most new stalls fail. 'I've watched quite a few people try and start up around us – three-quarters of them failed within a year and the ones that survive tend to be those in chains.'

"It's a similar picture nationwide. Joe Harrison, chief executive of the National Market Traders Federation, puts the odds of survival after a year at 30-40%."

Daily Telegraph: "Mary Portas cites Barnsley market as role model to energise high street"

Link to Daily Telegraph
"After warning that town centres are facing a 'crisis point', she said car boot sales should be reintroduced to galvanise them.

"Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, she said market towns were good examples of how to attract shoppers:
"She said: 'Everyone thinks when I say markets, I’m thinking "Let’s all sit down and have a nice organic lunch" but the most exciting market I saw was Barnsley, where it’s £10 a table [stall], and you get it all out there."

BBC Newsbeat: "Market trader responds to town centre report"

Link to BBC Newsbeat

"Retail expert Mary Portas has set our her recommendations to the government about how to revive the high street and combat the problem of empty shops.

"Among her suggestions, the former store chain executive who presented the TV series Queen of Shops says there should be less red tape for market stalls.

"Newsbeat's been getting reaction to the report from market stall holder Faye Hannah, 25, who has recently set up her own business selling personalised signs in Canterbury."

In & Out Art from Hammerson's Emerging Artist

Link to ArtRabbit web site

"Hammerson´s Emerging Artist Initiative is pleased to present an exhibition of work by London-based artist Adrian Navarro.

"The space at 60 Threadneedle Street is dominated by Navarro´s new paintings: the Ring Cycles. His latest project strengthens itself along those particular creative lines that establish connections and distensions among the pictorial medium, reality, architecture and perception." 

(Our comment: Hammerson has a few 'distensions among reality, architecture and perception' to worry about at Brent Cross Cricklewood.)

Hammerson makes a stand at the British Council of Shopping Centres

Link to Yogi Creative web site

"This stand was design [sic] for the British Council of Shopping Centres, the premier retail property event in the UK. The stand incorporated all of Hammerson’s retail development’s [a grocer's apostrophy!] around the UK [even admittedly quite large, but still tucked in the corner, Brent Cross!] as well as a video wall."

Brent Cross shopping centre and Christmas

Link to Brent Cross web site

We'll let you find all the unreasonable number of exclamation marks on the Brent Cross web site.

In addition, there is a soft drink lorry at Brent Cross tonight, all lit up.

Coca-Cola Great Britain's 'Market Activation Director' says:
"We're really excited to be building festive anticipation across the country, including Brent Cross,
propelling the nation into celebratory action."


Freedom of Information from NLWA and Barnet

(The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority set up to "uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies, and data privacy for individuals".)

"On behalf of Bestway Holdings [cash-and-carry owner on A5 Edgware Road], I am formally complaining to the ICO again, and ask that the ICO investigate this matter as promptly as possible, as attached.

"We have had nothing but poor and bad performance, and a thoroughly poor attitude from officers generally, from the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) and London Borough of Barnet, and other parties involved with this matter. Our original information request will be a year old on Jan 6th 2012, and we urgently need this information.

"We stand to lose a vital site, and the reasons given are not true and correct at all. This will destroy many jobs, and will greatly affect our business, let alone the trade of several thousand local independent shops. Bestway cannot replace this location, as there are no sites available in this part of London, for B8 employment locations.

"As things stand, the NLWA, Barnet Council, and the Brent Cross developers have co-operated, to try to take our site, by way of a Compulsory Purchase Order. They are most certainly unclear as to the reasons, so we desperately need this information.

"Bestway attended the LB Barnet 'Core Strategy' Examination in Public (EiP) inquiry this past week, and had to listen to 'half-truths' regarding this matter. The missing information would have assisted us, yet we are being obstructed. Furthermore, there is another EiP, with a different Planning Inspector, for the North London Waste Plan in spring 2012, and it is not fair that we can't have this open information now, is it?

"We need your assistance to determine this complaint and, assuming that you will again agree that we am due thesaid information, AND to allow time for the NLWA to perhaps further delay complying with your decision, we need to get before a Tribunal before late Feb 2012, for the outcome to be of use to us at the Waste EiP.

"We have tried to hold our costs down here, by not using our retained Leading Counsel, namely, Mr. Philip Coppel QC. However, we expect we will need to refer this matter to him again, unfortunately, before it is concluded. Incidentally, we cannot see how, for such a massive request, that there could ever be only just 82 documents - our request was pretty extensive, and over a two-year period.

"We have worked so hard on this matter for so long now, and have been slapped down by the NLWA and LB Barnet so many time - Please therefore, help to turn this one around as fast as possible.

"Wishing all at the ICO a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year."

"Centrale shopping centre owner Hammerson 'need to overcome problems' before £50-million investment"

Link to 'This is Croydon Today'

"A STRING of problems need to be overcome, if Hammerson is to achieve its objective of helping catapult Croydon into the retail centre top-ten, the company has admitted.

"The centre's inherent problems include: 
  • its impact in North End 
  • a poor environment 
  • lack of natural light 
  • hidden shop frontages
  • inconveniently located stairs and escalators 
  • limited leisure facilities, and 
  • a poor family dining offer.
[Other than that, ...]


Daily Telegraph: "Landlords question Mary Portas' demand for Town First planning rules"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Plans by Mary Portas to improve high street management, cut business rates, and create a level playing field with out-of-town malls, have been broadly backed by business groups.

"But landlord groups have questioned 'the wisdom' of the retail consultant's call for Secretary of State level 'sign off' of all future out-of-town planning applications, to create a 'level playing field' with high streets.

"... The Federation of Small Businesses, which has over 200,000 members, backed the review, and urged 'central and local Government to take action as soon as possible'.

Evening Standard: Mary Portas: "'Crisis' on high street laid bare"

Link to Evening Standard

"The state of the UK's high streets has been laid bare, after a government-commissioned report described some town centres as 'dead', with huge increases in the number of empty shops.

"Ms Portas, presenter of the BBC programme Mary Queen Of Shops, said the high street had been 'displaced' by out-of-town shopping centres, without anyone considering the impact of such a huge change. Community had been sacrificed for convenience, and there was now no sense of 'belonging' to a local high street, she added."

Link to The Portas Review


The Guardian: "High-street rescue plan sees Mary Portas set out market stall"

Click image to link to The Guardian
(The two links below do not work on the Guardian web site -
they may be fixed. Or not.)

"A back-to-basics world of market stalls run by entrepreneurial traders is at the heart of a plan to turn around Britain's ailing high streets, by the retail 'troubleshooter' Mary Portas.

"More than 30 recommendations from Portas, set out in a review published on Tuesday, call for a bonfire of red tape, and are expected to be welcomed by David Cameron, who commissioned her to take on the study seven months ago.

"The prime minister had said he hoped the review would help 'create vibrant and diverse town centres, and bring back the bustle to our high streets'." 

The Independent:
"Can Portas save the high street?" 

Portas's business partner, marketing expert Peter Cross, told 'The Independent on Sunday':
"The high street is not just about shops. We actually need fewer shops. It is about offering something that shoppers can't get at home.

Mary wants to create a different vision. She has been brought in to do this because she thinks differently to the previous 26 people that have been asked to do a review like this. She has listened to the social as well as economic arguments. But everyone has got to give a little bit to make this work – the landlords, and the councils, but also the shoppers themselves.

Shoppers have found it easier to put the kids in the car, and drive to the retail park. But to make this work, we all have to give the power back to the high street."


Brent Cross and riots: "X Factor culture fuelled the UK riots, says Iain Duncan Smith"

Link to The Guardian

"A 'get rich quick' celebrity culture, exemplified by 'The X Factor' and the dysfunctional lives of footballers, has created a society 'out of balance', the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, says today, in an interview surveying Britain after the summer riots.

"... Duncan Smith said the riots could be partly explained by a number of short-term factors. But he pointed to a host of structural problems that he said were partly to blame, and said he wanted create balance in society, adding: 'Balance is if you try hard, you work hard, then the rewards are in balance with what you put in, and what is available.'

"He also blamed monopolistic capitalism, arguing that free-market philosophers and advocates of 'a moral market place', such as the 18th-century economist Adam Smith, had always warned against anti-competitive banks.

"... He said he was also deeply disturbed by the way in which social housing had become ghettoised:
"Now, more than ever, we live our lives by income, in a way we would not 200 years ago. If you are an executive, you probably don't live in an executive home, you live in an executive estate.

There will be a housing estate for the poor somewhere else, and preferably nowhere near you, because that will bring your house prices down."

Link to Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph: "Empathy has fled the inner city, and it’s time for me to follow"

" 'So, why you leaving then?' I’m sitting outside the Cat and Mutton, successful gastropub and emblem of everything that’s gone well with this patch of Hackney in the past half-decade. The question is asked of me by the young man who manages it, as I’ve just told him we’re moving out of the borough, off to an outer London suburb.

"We're leaving because we can. Just another working couple, worn out by inner London. It takes energy to ignore the rubbish that swirls about our feet as we pick our way home from work; it’s an effort to turn a blind eye to the repellent antisocial behaviour that marks out too many bus journeys. Ten years of trying to fix my vision solely on the beauty that does exist here. I can’t do it any more."

'The Guardian' and London School of Economics:

Search for 'RIOT',
or link to HOME (see all posts).


Evening Standard: "Croydon's set for a Westfield makeover, come what may" (and a CPO for HAMMERSON?)

Link to Evening Standard
(the photo is not exactly relevant)

"I asked Croydon's chief executive, Jon Rouse, on Wednesday if his council might compulsorily purchase land from the squabbling owners of the Whitgift Centre. Why? Because they are stalling the urban equivalent of a heart transplant by Westfield. The Aussie developer wants to replace the clapped-out centre with a Stratford-sized mall.

"Westfield might even want to build a centre far larger than the Whitgift.

"Hammerson is looking to upgrade its 700,000-square-foot Centrale mall, just to the west. If you compulsory purchase (CPO) both, Westfield could build a mall even bigger than Stratford."

Evening Standard: "Only real flair can save the high street this Christmas"

Link to Evening Standard

"The hassle of helicoptering Justin Bieber from Shepherd's Bush to Stratford was immaterial. This wasn't simply showbusiness, it was far more important than that. The hope was that an appearance by the teen idol at Westfield shopping centres at either side of London last month might actually kickstart consumer spending.

"Visa believes online shopping will be up 12 per cent this Christmas. The Centre for Retail Research thinks this is the first mobile Christmas, with £1.6 billion spent via smartphones, from a standing start last year. Even when the economy begins to recover, the clicks will take care of themselves. It is all those bricks that retailers have to work out what to do with."

Brent Cross Shopping Centre owner: Alleged fake person "maintained" Wikipedia entries

Link to The Independent

The Independent: "The arms company, the oligarch and the ex-PM's sister-in-law: lobby firm's Wikipedia hit list" 

"Wikipedia has now locked down ten user accounts that it believes are associated with computers owned by [PR company] Bell Pottinger, pending an investigation by the website's founder Jimmy Wales.

"When approached by the 'Bureau of Investigative Journalism', several companies denied having ever employed Bell Pottinger to manage their reputations, but did reveal that they had signed deals with other companies owned by its parent company Chime Communications.

"... [Brent Cross shopping centre joint-owner] Standard Life, the pensions and insurance group, had its Wikipedia presence edited more than 12 times between November and December 2010. Barry Cameron, head of media at Standard Life, said it had hired Team Spirit, an advertising and marketing firm at Chime, and that the brief had included maintaining the company's Wikipedia profile.

"... Lord Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, the owner of Bell Pottinger, said an internal review had been launched. On Wednesday the firm admitted it had used a number of accounts to change Wikipedia pages.

"Of the ten Wikipedia accounts suspended for being involved in suspected tampering by Bell Pottinger, two go to great lengths to give the impression of being real people.

" 'Biggleswiki' lists a number of personal details about himself on his user page. He claims that his name is David Biggles, and that he was born on 2 November 1979 in Hammersmith, London.

"He provides a selection of details, and claims that he met his girlfriend while living in Newcastle, but has since moved back to London. He writes:
"I currently work in engineering and really enjoy it. I get to travel around the world doing my job and have been to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, China, New Zealand and Russia.

"My interests include art, music and photography and I'm rubbish at all of them."
The Bureau has been unable to identify a 'David Biggles' who matches the above description. Searches of the electoral register yielded no results for 'David Biggles' anywhere in the UK. Bell Pottinger has since admitted that it used the Biggleswiki account."


SHOPPING CENTRE TO BE DEMOLISHED (No, not what you're thinking)

Link to BBC South West Wales

"Large parts of Swansea's St David's Shopping Centre are to be demolished as the site has been bought by the city council and Welsh government.

"They say the deal for an undisclosed sum is part of their regeneration plans for the city centre.

"Council leader Chris Holley said:
"This is a hugely important site in the city centre, but it is largely empty, and has become detrimental to our overall aim of improving retail in the city centre.

It's clear that the city centre can't be regenerated without public sector intervention, and purchasing this site gives us the opportunity to work with our development partner Hammerson, to put in place a plan to redevelop the site and regenerate the city centre."

Magic FM: Win One Thousand Pounds!

Link to Magic FM (image is from 'terms & conditions')

"If watching Angie has inspired you to hit the shops at Brent Cross, why not be in with the chance of winning a sensational £1000 Brent Cross Gift Card, to indulge on your very own shopping spree!

"Simply watch Angie's Gift Guide video, and answer the simple question below for a slice of festive winning." [shouldn't that be plural?]


The Guardian: The 'Brent Cross Riot'

Link to The Guardian

"An 18-year-old north London student with 14 GCSEs who was briefly handcuffed and had a scuffle with a police officer, but was not arrested, said:
"I was at home when I first heard about it. I'd just woke up. The BB [BlackBerry] message said: 'At 5 o'clock we're going to Westfield, at 7 o'clock Brixton, 8/9 o'clock Brent Cross' … so it was like different times for different riots.

"I thought, wow, like, there's actually a force against the government, and I thought of it as like a battle, like a war, that was starting like, to put it into perspective. To put the riots into perspective, I thought of it as a war between the youth and the government, police."

'Surrey Comet': Hammerson's Dobbo consults

Link to 'Surrey Comet' (it's a newspaper)

"Hundreds attending a public exhibition have given the thumbs up to a £40 million upgrade of Croydon's Centrale shopping centre.

"Robin Dobson, Hammerson UK Director of Retail Development said: 
"Visitors to the exhibition were overwhelmingly in support of the proposals to create a new leisure and dining quarter for Centrale."


Hammerson's Centrale, Croydon: Turley Associates and Consultation

"Hammerson, the owner of Centrale is holding a two-day public exhibition offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about the scheme and provide feedback on the plans while they are still being developed."

See previous: "Dobbo makes impeccable efforts to consult (no hapless PR outfit in sight, as with Brent Cross)"

Well, there IS a PR company involved, but there's no evidence that it is hapless:

"Turley Associates is a leading planning and urban design consultancy working in key development sectors across Britain. 
"We act across private and public sectors, bringing skills of spatial planning, regeneration, development promotion, place-making, and community involvement. 

Partnership, quality, and successful outcomes are our hallmarks:
  • Respecting the past 
  • Enhancing the present 
  • Securing the future." [Bit cheesy, though]
Link to PDF on Turley Associates web site


"These are challenging times for our towns and cities. Many have shared in a renaissance that followed a tightening of retail planning policy, and have benefitted from a surge of investment in major mixed-use projects which have breathed life into our centres.

"Others have been less fortunate, with funding now at a premium and developments scaled back, prompted by a rapidly-changing retail climate.

"... The government is committed to protecting existing investment in our towns and cities by safeguarding centres which are the 'bedrock of our economic future'.

"The vitality and viability of town and city centres is key to sustaining them as attractive places at the heart of our communities. [Hopefully they are better at PR than they are at grammar.]

Link to Turley Associates fact sheet on the Localism Act

"The legislation sets out clear statutory requirements for pre-application consultation to be carried out on certain development types and scales. Those promoting development must:
  • publicise the proposed application to bring it to the attention of the people who live in, or have an interest in the affected area 
  • consult with those people to gain their feedback 
  • acknowledge and incorporate the response to the consultation within the resulting proposals and provide feedback. [Well, it's 'pas de point' for Hammerson at Brent Cross, then!]
"There is likely to be a role for those promoting development in the production of neighbourhood plans, given the likely resource requirements associated with their preparation. ... The development you promote could become part of the principal plan for that neighbourhood." [Hammerson is ten years ahead of you there, in the London Borough of (Broken) Barnet.]

Evening Standard (2007 article):
"Croydon is the new ... Barcelona" 

"It is a place that gives concrete jungles a bad name, an urban nightmare famed for its tram system, and some of the ugliest architecture outside the old Soviet bloc.

"Now Croydon wants to turn itself into Barcelona, one of the coolest cities on the planet."

History: Busy market town in the Middle Ages. The Germans bombed it, and they built lots of skyscrapers. 
Population: 430,000 people. Kate Moss is a native. 
Quote: "From London to Croydon is as ugly a bit of country as any in England." William Cobbett in 1830.
Famous for: Trams, tower blocks and the Croydon facelift (a tight ponytail). 
Attractions: Fairfield Halls, host to Seventies disco bands.

History: Founded by Hercules 400 years before Rome. 
Population: 1.6 million. Architect Antoni Gaudi and artist Joan Miro. 
Quote: "The creation continues incessantly through the media of man." Antoni Gaudi. 
Famous for: Stunning architecture and culture. 
Attractions: Gaudi's cathedral La Sagrada Familia and a host of world class museum and galleries, including the Picasso Museum and Miro Museum. Seven beaches and FC Barcelona.


Barnet Times: "Brent Cross shoppers say no to TfL fare increase"

Link to Barnet Times

"Christmas shoppers in Brent Cross spoke out today against TfL’s plans to increase bus and tube fares in 2012. Fares will increase by an average of 5.6 per cent next year, which is just above inflation.

"The price rise is lower than expected, with Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, securing £136m of Government funding to prevent higher increases."

"Vandalised toilet leaves bus drivers urinating in bushes in Brent Cross" 

Link to Barnet Times
"Bus drivers are urinating in bushes after their toilet in Brent Cross was vandalised. 

"Transport provider TfL closed the bus drivers' toilet, outside Brent Cross Shopping Centre in Hendon, on Monday, due to ‘misuse’ of the facility. 

"Metrolink drivers, who can use facilities at the shopping centre during the day, say they are not allowed to use the toilets outside of its 10am-8pm opening hours for health and safety reasons."