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


BBC report: Barnet Press staff protest outside Tindle Newspaper's Farnham HQ

Link to BBC web site

"Union members staged a street party picket outside the headquarters of a Farnham-based newspaper group in a strike over staffing levels.

The journalists, who work on a series of newspapers in north London, travelled to Surrey to protest outside owners Tindle Newspapers on Thursday.

Hammerson: Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 January 2011 to 28 April 2011 [All Quiet on the Brent Cross Cricklewood Front, then]

Link to Hammerson press release

Key points:
  • £308 million of acquisitions announced which add growth potential to the portfolio
  • Planning application submitted for one of the UK’s largest shopping centre developments at Eastgate Quarters, Leeds
  • Planning application submitted for a new office and residential development at Principal Place, London EC2
  • Occupancy at 31 March 2011 of 96.7% (31 December 2010 97.3%)
  • Like-for-like shopping centre sales up 1.5% in UK, down 0.3% in France. Sales in both countries were ahead of national benchmarks
  • New £500 million revolving credit facility agreed.

"Hammerson Sees Above-Trend Sales, But Warns On Austerity, Inflation" [or: (song) "There may be trouble ahead"]

Who's eaten all the pi's?

"Chief Executive David Atkins said:
"Whilst the economic backdrop for consumers remains difficult, we are seeing the benefit of our focus on regionally-dominant shopping centers and convenient retail parks, which continue to attract successful retailers."


Carbon-neutral Brent Cross EcoTown? Not with Hammerson!

Link to The Guardian

"A dusty construction site on the edge of an Arabian desert is an unlikely place for a model of green living. But this is Masdar City, an $18bn (£11bn) Norman Foster-designed project where just a few hundred people are guinea pigs in the world's most advanced laboratory for hi-tech environmental technology."

Images of Masdar

"Here, residents live with driverless electric cars, shaded streets cooled by a huge wind tower and a Big Brother-style "green policeman" monitoring their energy use."


Evening Standard and Hammerson and Lord Mayor Michael Bear

(Click above for Barnet Times)
Barnet Times: "Finchley civil engineer Michael Bear, who is a top executive at Hammerson plc, a partnership company behind the Brent Cross Cricklewood development, has been elected Lord Mayor of the City of London"

Meanwhile, away from the clutches of Hammerson, lies the nirvana of the London Borough of Brent...

Link to Hopkins Architects
"Hopkins Architects' landmark Civic Centre building for Brent Council has recently started on site. The new development, in the context of two established icons, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena, will realise the Council's vision for a community building consolidating their civic, public and administrative functions on to one site."

BBC iPlayer: Edgelands: "Wilderness that is much closer than you think"

BBC iPlayer, week of 15 April 2011

Author: Michael Symmons Roberts, Paul Farley
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780224089029
Published: 17 February 2011
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd

"Edgelands explores a wilderness that is much closer than you think: a debatable zone, neither the city nor the countryside, but a place in-between - so familiar it is never seen for looking. Passed through, negotiated, unnamed, ignored, the edgelands have become the great wild places on our doorsteps, places so difficult to acknowledge they barely exist.

"Edgelands forms a critique of what we value as 'wild', and allows our allotments, railways, motorways, wasteland and water a presence in the world, and a strange beauty all of their own. Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts - both well-known poets - have lived and worked and known these places all their lives, and in Edgelands their journeying prose fuses, in the anonymous tradition, to allow this in-between world to speak up for itself.

"They write about mobile masts and gravel pits, business parks and landfill sites in the same way the Romantic writers forged a way of looking at an overlooked - but now familiar - landscape of hills and lakes and rivers. England, the first country to industrialise, now offers the world's most mature post-industrial terrain, and is still in a state of flux: Edgelands takes the reader on a journey through its forgotten spaces, so that we can marvel at this richly mysterious, cheek-by-jowl region in our midst."


60-year anniversary of the 'Festival of Britain'

Link to video of 'The Observer' film: 'Brief City' (1952)

"It may have taught the men who are building our cities something. It may have given an impetus to a new approach to building, here in Britain. But for ordinary people, it was fun."

Link to 'The Guardian'

"The Festival of Britain is remembered as an uplifting moment for a nation recovering from war. Iain Sinclair, who visited it aged eight, reflects on the celebrations to mark its 60th anniversary, in our age of corporate sponsorship and Olympics mania.
"The documentary Brief City' brought the Festival of Britain right back to me. The voice-over speaks of 'fierce little boys filled with their secret purposes'. School caps, ties, white shirts, grey shorts. The men are layered in gabardine, puffing on pipes. The women carry large white bags, as they hobble in difficult shoes.

Awkward youths, not yet assigned as teenagers, sport uniform, open-neck shirts, under blazers with badges. They peer intently at pistons and cogs, operated by boffins who wear greasy ties, under long, brown lab coats. This was a festival of doleful enlightenment, self-improving recreation."


Hammerson's "Low Carbon Energy Centre" - no, it's not at Brent Cross, you silly-billy, it's Leeds

Put the egg whites in a large bowl. 
Whisk to soft peaks, then add the sugar a spoonful at a time, 
whisking without overbeating.
"Hammerson submits a planning application to power part of its Eastgate Quarters scheme in Leeds with a Low Carbon Energy Centre (LCEC)" 

From the planning application [with comments]:
"The operation of the Development is not anticipated to give rise to any significant odour, as the combustion plant would use a combination of natural gas and Grade A specification sourced wood pellets."

[So it rather like the 'Kings Cross Energy Centre'. At Brent Cross, we burn the Pinkham Way domestic waste incinerator fuel instead!]

From 'Eastgate Quarters' web site:
Hammerson is a recognised innovator in sustainability, demonstrated by its sector leadership position in the 'Carbon Disclosure Project' and being recognised for the second year running as the top company in the UK property industry by the Sunday Times Best Green Company. Hammerson develops a 'Sustainability Implementation Plan' for each of its regeneration schemes [sorry, mind those 29,000 cars - you could get run over!] to ensure they are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

Working in partnership with Leeds City Council, retailers, partner organisations and local community groups targets will be set throughout the design, planning, development and management phases of the project in line with Hammerson's five key corporate responsibility targets:
  • climate change
  • resource use
  • community regeneration
  • supply chain
  • customers.
[Nausea is the sensation of having an urge to vomit. Vomiting is forcing the contents of the stomach up through the esophagus and out of the mouth.]


'Barnet Press' journalists hold 'Death of Local Journalism' rally, and broadcast through the ether on the wireless

Link to journalists' web site

"The Grim Reaper, a priest, pall-bearers carrying a coffin and more than a hundred mourners took part in a mass demonstration through Enfield Town at lunchtime today.

"Journalists on strike at the North London & Herts branch of Tindle Newspapers are taking two weeks’ action over a lack of staff and resources, leaving them unable to provide quality newspapers."

From Wikipedia: According to The Elements of Journalism, a book by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, there are nine elements of journalism. In order for a journalist to fulfill their duty of providing the people with the information, they need to be free and self-governing. They must follow these guidelines:
  1. Journalism's first obligation is to the truth.
  2. Its first loyalty is to the citizens.
  3. Its essence is discipline of verification.
  4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
  5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
  6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
  7. It must strive to make the news significant, interesting, and relevant.
  8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
  9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
Current state of journalism: Even in more optimistic scenarios, no one has a business model to sustain digital journalism beyond a small number of self-supporting services. The attempts of newspapers to shift their operations online have been commercial failures, as they trade old media dollars for new media pennies. ... The Internet can help democratize our media and politics. But it does not replace skilled journalists on the ground covering the events of the day, and doing investigative reporting. Indeed, the Internet cannot achieve its revolutionary potential as a citizens’ forum without such journalism.

The collapse of journalism and the democratic infrastructure it sustains is not a development that anyone, except perhaps corrupt politicians and the interests they serve, looks forward to. Such a crisis demands solutions equal to the task.

Scroll one hour, ten minutes into the recording


Friends of the Earth: "David Cameron to talk half as much rubbish"

Link to 'Friends of the Earth'
"We need to show that the majority of people want to throw away less rubbish, and have more and better recycling services instead.

"Join Friends of the Earth's campaign for a goal to:
'halve household black-bag waste
by 2020'."

Evening Standard: "[Hammerson's] Lloyd's of London new chief to earn £525k for 3-day week"

Link to web site
"Nelson is presently chairman of Hammerson and deputy chairman of Kingfisher. He leaves the board of Kingfisher later this year, but will keep the Hammerson job."

[We say: So the Brent Cross scheme is in safe hands!]

Reuters: Our very own Hammerson's John Nelson got the job at Lloyd's of London insurance market!

Link to Reuters web site

"Lloyd's of London said John Nelson would take up the position in October, when he will succeed current chairman Peter Levene."

"Brent Cross Blow Jobs" (don't ask us what it's about - we have no idea)

"2.1.1 19 Nov 2009 "We will deliver 7500 new homes, help create 27000 jobs , lollypop blow jobs Brent Cross Shopping Centre, and create a brighter future for current and. Job vacancies· Environment· Terms& conditions· Privacy policy Theregeneration of Brent Cross Cricklewood will make use of a wide range of Above: Computer-generated image showing proposed Brent Cross Cricklewood. Brent Cross Cricklewood is London's newest major regeneration project. How to find us. Brent Cross."


Warning from Brent Cross Shopping Centre: Wedding Garden Party "May Contain Nuts"

Click for web site

"Join in the royal celebrations at the Brent Cross Royal Wedding 'Garden' Party. We are inviting you to sip butler-served bubbly, sample a canapé or two, and relax on the 'lawn', while you watch the ceremony and commentary on a 9ft screen."

"The wedding cake and other foods may contain nuts."


Hammerson chairman John Nelson "to chair Lloyd’s" (of London, not the bank)

Link to web site

"Nelson was appointed chairman of Hammerson in 2005 and is also deputy chairman of Kingfisher and senior advisor to Charterhouse Capital Partners. He is also a trustee of the National Gallery."


To paraphrase Monty Python, ...

Do you want the thirty seconds of Filthy London...

Or the full one hour?

(Click above for BBC web site)

The Guardian: Why even the sainted Ray Tindle is facing a strike by Barnet journalists

Link to web site
"The nine-strong National Union of Journalists chapel [at its North London and Herts division in Enfield] have decided to take the action in opposition to the group's policy of natural wastage.

"'Just three reporters are churning out nine newspapers every week,' said the chapel father, Jonathan Lovett. 'The current Tindle business plan threatens to let once award-winning newspapers dwindle and die'."

'Barnet Press' staff to strike next week over cutbacks!

Staff at North London & Herts Newspapers say “enough is enough,” in the first strike in Tindle Newspapers’ history

 From Tuesday, 19 April, journalists at the north London newspaper group will go on strike over the Tindle business plan that is leaving once award-winning newspapers to dwindle and die.

Bad for Staff
The company is refusing to replace members of staff when they leave, while expecting increased output from its already overworked employees – seemingly with no viable strategy to revive the newspapers’ fortunes. Owner Sir Ray Tindle has claimed to be the “Saviour of local newspapers” and recently said:
“Despite the doom-mongers, regional newspapers are alive and well...”
Not in north London – here, they suffer death by a thousand cutbacks. The company says our centre has to cut costs, but last year our employer Tindle Newspapers made more than £3million profit.
  • More than a third of editorial staff have left without being replaced, and key positions are not being filled
  • Just three reporters are churning out nine newspapers every week
  • In the past few weeks, management has slashed the Sports section by half, while the future of the entire Arts & Leisure section is under threat.
Bad for the community…
As a consequence of its refusal to replace staff, an inferior product is being delivered to our readers and, therefore, our advertisers:
  • Reporters do not have time to leave their desks, meaning they are missing stories of vital importance
  • We are unable to cover a range of council meetings, attend community events, court cases and inquiries, and report them to the public
  • This leads to a failure to uphold the newspapers’ fine tradition of holding public bodies to account and the worst kind of “churnalism”.
Messages of support
“It’s a dispute that should not be happening. If this business is to have a future it must rely on the quality of journalism and sufficient staff to produce the titles.” Barry Fitzpatrick, NUJ Head of Publishing

“I am very concerned about the issues raised by staff at these papers. Residents in Enfield are proud to have – and deserve to continue getting – such a good quality, campaigning newspaper that can boast a distinctive style. We must remember what an important role regional newspapers play in the local community.” Nick De Bois, Conservative MP for Enfield North

“I’ve watched the standard of these papers drop over past months with great sadness. I believe that the local journalists are under additional pressures due to the reductions in staff and the number of papers they are expected to produce. This leaves them less able to investigate and evaluate stories, which not only affects quality, it affects community accountability as well.” Andy Love, Labour MP for Edmonton

  • NUJ members will be outside their offices in Refuge House, 9-10 River Front, Enfield, EN1 3SZ (just across from Enfield Town railway station) from Tuesday to Thursday over the next two weeks.
  • Wednesday, 20 April from noon: a mass demonstration will take place, featuring The Grim Reaper and a funeral procession.
  • North London & Herts Newspapers comprises: The Enfield Advertiser, The Edmonton Advertiser, The Winchmore Hill Advertiser & Herald, The Enfield Gazette, The Barnet & Potters Bar Press, The East Barnet Press & Advertiser, The Edgware & Mill Hill Press, The Hendon & Finchley Press and The Haringey Advertiser.
  • For more information call FOC Jonathan Lovett on 07917 871 421 or Barry Fitzpatrick on 020 7843 3706.
To find out more search:

10.30am, Saturday 16 April (free) seminar: Avoid the NEED for Brent Cross Incinerator - 'Moving towards Zero Waste'!

Click above to enlarge

"The 'Zero Waste Alliance UK' aims to protect, preserve, and improve the environment, for the benefit of the public, by the development, provision, and promotion of sustainable waste management practices. It also seeks to educate the public in all matters relating to this.

"Sustainable waste management practices include:
  • waste minimisation, 
  • minimisation of pollution and harm from waste, 
  • reuse of waste, recycling of waste, 
  • waste recovery activities, and 
  • recovery of pollutants from contaminated land,
in accordance with 'Waste Strategy for England' 2007 [now being revised].

"We seek a better environment by encouraging a cleaner and healthier way of dealing with waste issues."


Evening Standard: Minister takes on Tory council in fight against incinerator fuel for Brent Cross

Link to Evening Standard

"Transport minister Theresa Villiers is fighting her own party over plans to build Britain's biggest rubbish processing plant in north London.

"Ms Villiers says she is 'gravely concerned' about the Pinkham Way site close to Muswell Hill and Bounds Green, which could see more than 500 lorries a day delivering waste."

Barnet Press


'Broken Barnet' reports 'Council Leadership: Behaviour Normal'

Link to Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' council meeting report

"... the chamber erupted in fury after councillor Gordon chose to make a passing comment about the continuing chanting going on outside from the Pinkham Way protestors: incredibly, the word 'rabble' was used. There was outrage, not just in the public gallery, but within all sides of the Chamber. Even the Mayor's jaw dropped open, and he quickly reprimanded him by pointing out, no, he mustn't call them that, they were demonstrators ...

... The farce continued: the next item listed - and, oh, I promise you that I am not making this up - was:

A motion by Councillor Andrew Harper - Squatting.

Sorry, had to stop typing, laughing too much."

Barnet Times: "Cllr Brian Coleman says an 'anti-semitic' campaign is being run against Veolia over the Pinkham Way waste site"

Link to Barnet Times
"Councillor Brian Coleman said some protesters had been running an “anti-Zionist” campaign against Veolia over their bidding for contracts for the Pinkham Way site on the fringes of Barnet, Haringey and Enfield."

NLWA Short-list for the Brent Cross Incinerator - or a far-away incinerator - is ALSO cut from Five to Three

"The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has announced a shortlist of three bidders that have been chosen to develop detailed fuel use solutions under the NLWA procurement. This follows an evaluation of outline solutions that were received in January from five bidders.

The three shortlisted bidders are:


Bloomberg: "Hammerson Chief Atkins Sees Annual Earnings Matching 2010 on Rental Income"

Link to web site
" 'Earnings will be flat for the next 12 months,' Chief Executive Officer David Atkins said in an interview at his company’s office in London’s Mayfair district last week.

"Since replacing John Richards 18 months ago, Atkins has increased asset sales, reduced debt, made some investments, and tried to squeeze higher rents from Hammerson’s properties."

"Atkins is a 'safe pair of hands,' said Rogers at Collins Stewart. 'Will Hammerson catch the wind in the markets? I’m not so sure'."

Local Government Chronicle: "Nick Walkley wishes to engage the public..."

18th in '50 Most Influential Voices in Local Government'!
Link to LGC web site
"Barnet LBC hit the headlines in 2009 with its ‘easyCouncil’ approach.

"But 2011 is the year when the theory is put into practice, and that puts Barnet’s chief in the limelight again. Sink or swim, the sector will be watching."

And views on the administration by Mrs Angry.

"The slapstick comedy, and endless variety of lunatic fringe politics produced ... here in Broken Barnet is truly unmatched by any other local authority in London, if not the country. This is no little achievement."

Come on Hammerson! Blow the budget on a light-rail visualisation through Brent Cross Cricklewood - you know our suggested routes

This is the 'Midland Metro' extension from Birmingham Snow Hill Station, to New Street Station. 

We suggest off-road light-rail, rather than on-road trams, at Brent Cross and beyond, but that is a point of detail. 

(Hammerson suggests 29,000 extra cars every day, and multi-storey car parks, instead.)


Brent Cross incinerator fuel produced by one of three companies now! - SITA, Skanska, or Veolia

Link to news story
"Just three bidders have been left in the running for the 'North London Waste Authority' waste management contract, after the shortlist was narrowed down this month. The three bidders left to fight it out for the 30-year contract are:

A shortened short-list of INCINERATOR companies is also announced.
Link to web site

"A security company paid more than £1 million by a London council will be investigated by a government watchdog after it emerged that it was not properly licensed."

[That's 'MetPro Rapid Response', not the replacement company 'MetPro Emergency Response', of course.]


Hammerson slums it in new office fit-out

Link to fit-out company's web site
"Hammerson are FTSE 100 developers, and this fit out project provides new open-plan offices, meeting and presentation rooms, as well as dining and reception facilities."

[We say: Mmm. Nice.]

Judy Gibbons joins Hammerson as media director

Link to web site
"Hammerson chairman John Nelson said: 
"Her appointment will help us develop further our understanding of the opportunities and challenges that multi-channel retailing presents."


Pinkham Way: Producing incinerator fuel that will be sent to Brent Cross!

Click to enlarge

Estates Gazette: "Small is beautiful"

Link to web site
"2008 ... was certainly the high point for our sector, and it has been argued that we were drunk on the availability of cheap finance and seemingly perpetual retail growth, driven by consumers' willingness to spend, spend, spend."


Evening Standard: "Council guards used hidden cameras to film protesters"

Link to web site
"Private security guards contracted by Barnet council are said to have used tiny cameras hidden on their jacket lapels to film residents demonstrating against cuts to local authority services."

Brent Cross Light Railway - a new destination from Barnet?

Link to High Speed Two factsheet

"Although it is not currently part of the proposed scheme, it would also be possible to develop connections with London Overground services, to Clapham Junction, Camden and Stratford, along with access to the Central Line."

[We say: More to the point, this would be a likely destination for the proposed 'North and West London Light Railway' which would run from Finchley Central, on part of the abandoned 'Northern Heights' railway (see video), via Brent Cross, to Ealing. Details are on the Transport page.]


Blogger 'Mrs Angry' and the leadership of the London Borough of Barnet

Link above to 'Mrs Angry'
(Eric Blair [George Orwell] and '1984')

"You can ban filming, and photography, and tweeting, and you can hire people to spy on your electorate, 1984 style, but there is one thing you cannot do, and that is stop the residents of this borough from watching what you do, and holding you to account.

"I don't need a camera: I am a camera, and I am watching you."

Barnet still only wants "respectable" bloggers!

Link to Barnet Times

"Barnet Council leader Lynne Hillan told the Times Series only 'respectable' media would be allowed to film if a request was made, but later said the council would have a vote on filming of meetings.

"On Thursday last week, a meeting of the general functions committee unanimously agreed to pass the decision on to full councillors, so all members could vote.

"Councillor Robert Rams, a cabinet member who sits on the committee, said:
"Everyone agreed it shouldn’t be agreed by just our committee, but for all councillors to vote on.

We now have to look at the cost of putting in the equipment and webcasting meetings, but that will all come in the report."


Cricklewood Can!

Link to 'Cricklewood Can!' on Facebook

"The Cricklewood Improvement Programme (CIP) is a group of local residents from the Cricklewood area and representing the three boroughs of Barnet, Brent and Camden"

Link to news of CIP,
and previous post about CIP.


Barnet Times: "Barnet's bloggers get in the spirit of April Fool's Day" [Yes, you know when you've been Hammerson-ed!]

Link to Barnet Smite

"COUNCIL chief executive Nick Walkley has resigned and Barnet Council’s most vociferous critic Roger Tichborne has accepted a new deputy chief executive role with the council at £325,000 per year.

" 'The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan' carries a 'new image' of the planned redevelopment of the area, and a quote from the company."

Barnet Council's Chief Exec resigns; Hammerson releases dramatic new picture of Brent Cross redevelopment

Following the shock resignation of Barnet Council's Chief Executive (click on image) Hammerson and Standard Life Investments tried to steady the 'leaking boat of north London' by releasing a new image, just for the day, of their planned Brent Cross Cricklewood development (where work is now expected to start in 2037, although "that may be pushed back a bit, depending on market conditions - but everything is exactly on schedule, and we are all terribly excited").

A spokesperson from their PR agency, London Communications, said:
"The pedestrian walkways completely isolate people from the smog-filled A406 North Circular Road below, and the 140-metre waste incinerator chimney above, and are therefore totally environmentally sustainable, within the terms of Barnet's planning agreement."