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


Property Week: "Hammerson faces new row as City plan goes before committee"

(This plan has now been approved; this is from 24 June.)

Link to Property week

"Hammerson is heading for another row with residents of the Barbican, over its 500,000 sq ft office development on London Wall, in the City of London.

"Barbican residents say that, although Hammerson has involved them in an 18-month consultation on the design, larger concerns have been ignored. Tim Macer, deputy chair of the Barbican Association, told Property Week:
"We are supportive of many aspects of the redevelopment, but we think they’ve just gone too far and the scheme they’ve planned is just too big."
A spokeswoman for Hammerson said:
"We are pleased that the regeneration proposals for London Wall Place have been recommended for approval and that the complexities and unique nature of the site have been recognised in the report."


Hammerson loses out to Westfield White City expansion

Link to 'Shopping Centre' web site

"Westfield has started consultation on its planned mixed-use extension to Westfield London. The plans will enhance the existing retail offer, with the provision of new shops, including a new department store [John Lewis, we think - have they given up on Brent Cross?] in about 530,000 sq ft of new retail space.

"As part of the proposals, around 1,700 new homes, in a range of unit sizes including additional affordable housing, will be built in phases after the retail."

Hammersmith & Fulham
'White City Opportunity Area'

Gazette, Advertiser and Barnet Press: "Enfield nine strike a deal with Tindle"

Link to strike web site

"THE Enfield Nine have called off their second strike, following concessions from management.

"Following a successful day of negotiations Tindle has agreed to reverse its policy of non-replacement, agreeing to a six-month moratorium on present staffing levels – guaranteeing that if anyone in editorial leaves over this period, they will be replaced. They have also agreed an extra reporter to work for half the week, to help out with the current workload. The situation after six months will then be reviewed."

Enfield hosts the launch of a national, National Union of Journalists campaign on Monday, July 4, to save local newspapers. It starts at 6.30pm, at The Dugdale Centre in Thomas Hardy House, 39 London Road, Enfield, EN2 6DS.

There will be a range of speakers, followed by a Q&A session with The Enfield Nine. All are welcome.


Sunday 31 July - Brent Cross: Ace Cafe 'London Streetfighter & Stunt Fest'

Click above for more details
"Ace Cafe London, in association with StuntUK and the International StuntBikeFreestyle (SBF) competition, have teamed up again, to present the Ace Cafe London Streetfighter & Stunt Festival, to be held from 10am on Sunday 31st July. 

"It has been relocated one mile east from the cafe, alongside the North Circular Road and near the M1 motorway, at the UK's premier shopping centre, Brent Cross.

Link to Ace Cafe
"In addition to trade and industry stands and displays, this second annual event combines the cafe's legendary 'Streetfighter Sunday', and the live action finals of the SBF competition, with stunt riders from across Europe and beyond taking part, competing for an increased prize fund totalling £5K.

"London's Air Ambulance is once again the event's chosen charity."


Evening Standard: "Boris vs Ken: a battle for the whole country"

Link to Evening Standard

"Time was when Ken Livingstone was the irrepressible cheeky chappie of London politics. Crazy, huh? He's been cutting a dour figure of late. And that mood is unlikely to be improved by this week's YouGov poll, putting Boris Johnson seven points ahead of him.

"Ken has woken up to the fact that he needs to campaign in the outer boroughs, whose voters Johnson so assiduously targeted in 2008. How effective he's proving is less certain. One Labour activist in Croydon tells me that when Livingstone arrived to campaign there:
"He looked bloody miserable."

The Guardian: "Are Londoners ready to die for their air quality?"

Link to 'The Guardian'

"Yesterday, there were two stories that stood out: Brits spend 214 days of their lives in traffic jams and – more worrying – that more than 1,100 London schools, from nurseries to secondaries, are near roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles a day – which could be responsible for up to 30% of all new cases of asthma in children.

"This double whammy of news follows a report released last week that states Britain has the most congested roads in Europe. Poor air quality is the cause of more than 4,000 deaths in London each year. The cost to the public purse comes in at a cool £2bn a year. If we do not bring our air pollution within legal limits, we also face unlimited EU fines.

"The environmental group with whom I campaign, Climate Rush, has a protest planned, but will it be enough to focus policy attention on this crucial moment for London's air quality?"


'Barnet Press' on strike

Enfield Nine launch a campaign with NUJ to save quality local newspapers

"A ONE-hundred-per-cent ‘Yes’ vote in favour of strike action was the result of the second ballot at North London & Herts Newspapers, owned by Sir Ray Tindle.

"The rock-solid declaration – which included the editor joining the ballot for the first time – was the result of management’s refusal to meet or even discuss the desperate situation at the Enfield-based papers, where two thirds of the newsdesk have left without being replaced."

'North London & Herts Newspapers' comprises: 
  • The Enfield Advertiser, 
  • The Edmonton Advertiser & Herald, 
  • The Winchmore Hill Advertiser & Herald, 
  • The Haringey Advertiser, 
  • The Enfield Gazette, 
  • The Barnet & Potters Bar Press, 
  • The East Barnet Press & Advertiser, 
  • The Edgware & Mill Hill Press, 
  • The Hendon & Finchley Press.
The strike web site is HERE.


PlanningResource: "Brent Cross regeneration director loses post" (he's on his bike to Redbridge)

Link to PlanningResource
(may need to register)

"Stewart Murray, former Director for Planning, Housing and Regeneration at the London Borough of Barnet, has left the council, with his post - as well as that of the Director for Environment and Operations - having been deleted.

"Murray told delegates at Regeneration & Renewal’s National Regeneration Summit last month that Barnet council is submitting a bid to the Government to use a funding mechanism known as Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which lets councils borrow money against future business rate income, for the 20-year scheme to regenerate 150ha in Brent Cross and Cricklewood." [Despite the fact Barnet Council has always insisted that the whole scheme, including infrastructure, would be privately financed.]

Click above for
"Barnet's 'Director for Planning, Environment and Regeneration'
has had enough!"

[This shows recent advertising for his post, by Barnet - which we are told he applied for - and contradicts the top story, that his post no longer existed.]


'Public Finance': "Barnet not so fair?" (gettit?)

Link to web site

"An internal audit report has highlighted concerns over procurement processes at the London Borough of Barnet. This raises questions about the council’s general outsourcing proposals and also the government’s wider privatisation plans.

"Thanks to Mrs Angry, Mr Mustard and Mr Reasonable – the inveterate bloggers of the ‘Broken Barnet’ website [sic] – the sorry state of Barnet’s procurement and monitoring processes has been laid bare.

"The findings of the internal audit report seemingly have wider implications than the MetPro contract alone. There appears to be a systemic failure to ensure that procurement processes in Barnet are:
  • lawful,
  • transparent,
  • compliant with EU procurement rules,
  • understood by managers, and
  • generally followed.


Barnet Times: "Audit committee 'shocked' at damning MetPro report"

Link to Barnet Times

"OUTRAGED residents heard last night’s audit committee meeting slam Barnet Council, after it employed unlicensed security firm MetPro for five years, without a formal contract.

"A damning in-house report, written by assistant director of finance, Maryellen Salter, says the failure has exposed the council to 'significant' risks. She revealed there had been no checks on the now bankrupt firm’s financial status, its insurance, or criminal records of staff.

"However, Chair of the meeting Cllr Monrow Palmer made it clear he would not be naming names. He said:
"What I have been told in law is that if I start mentioning people in name, I am harming any disciplinary measures that could take place."


Evening Standard: "Mum's army will 'do a Greenham' to block massive [Friern Barnet] waste plant" (The fuel it produces gets burnt at Hammerson's Brent Cross Incinerator)

Link to 'Pinkham Way Incinerator' web site
and thence to the 'Evening Standard'

"Mothers living near the planned site of a massive waste processing plant are threatening a "Greenham Common" style protest to block it.

"The 24-hour plant at Pinkham Way, bordering Barnet, Haringey and Enfield, will process 300,000 tons of rubbish a year from seven boroughs. It is within a half-mile radius of seven schools and 100,000 homes.

"The North London Waste Authority says no incineration will take place, that the enclosed plant will create 60 jobs and 'odour control' equipment will limit smells.

"But Mrs Masson, a professional singer and actress, said she is among an increasing number of parents who are furious over the plans, adding:
"We have a growing army of mothers who are fighting this. These thousands of children have got tiny little lungs, and already struggle to breath with all the pollution coming from the North Circular Road, next door to the site."

Barnet Press article - Tax Increment Financing

(Click on image to enlarge, and usually again to magnify,
or use link, then magnify in new window)

'Dodgy Blogger' (copyright Brian Coleman. All Rights Reserved) Mrs Angry asked to leave the public gallery

Read about how Nick Walkley threw 
Mrs Angry out of the Council Chamber
"In yet another example of Town Hall tyranny, in the interval between two council meetings tonight at the Broken Barnet Town Hall, Mrs Angry was approached by Barnet's Chief Executive, Nick Walkley:
"I don't want to read tomorrow that I threw you out of the council chamber ..."


'Broken Barnet': The Friern Barnet Show, His Worship The Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet, and the MetPro security company (now in liquidation)

Link to Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet'

"The Tory councillors and senior officers of Broken Barnet would like us all to stop mentioning the cosy relationship which we now know existed between their administration and the MetPro security group for so many years.
[Reportedly £1.4 million over about five years, with a complete absence of contracts. And the near-total absence of lawful staff security registrations, with the relevant government agency, or checking by Barnet Council.]
"They have always attempted to distance themselves from the issue: the councillors maintaining a stony silence, and the senior officers seeking to avoid any direct responsibility for the failures which have allowed this scandalous arrangement to continue for so long.

"Mrs Angry can exclusively reveal some new evidence that the relationship between MetPro and our beloved council, the love that now dare not speak its name, was indeed once one of touching intimacy and lasting mutual satisfaction."

Let's hear it for the Timon Drakesmith Hammerson Long-Term Incentive Plan!

"Notification of Directors' Interests"

"Timon Drakesmith: Long-Term Incentive Plan and other share awards"

"On 6 June 2011, in accordance with Timon Drakesmith's Service Agreement, which was signed on 18 January 2011, the principal details of which have previously been published, the following awards have been made:

"(a) A conditional award of 251,046 shares was made to Timon Drakesmith under the Company's Long Term Incentive Plan ("LTIP").

"Under the revised terms of the LTIP, 50% of the shares will vest three years after the date of award and 50% of the shares will vest four years after the date of award, subject to continued employment and satisfaction of predetermined performance conditions.

"(b) As published in the Company's annual report for the year ended 31 December 2010, two further share based awards were made to Timon Drakesmith on his appointment.

"The first award was over 250,000 shares which will vest on the first anniversary of the award, subject to continued employment.

"The second award was made under chapter 9.4.2 of the UKLA Listing Rules over 83,682 shares which will vest three years after the date of award. This award has been made on the same terms as the 2011 LTIP award, including the performance conditions."

"Further details of the conditions applicable to these awards are contained in the Company's annual report for the year ended 31 December 2010."

The Motley Fool: "Who rules the roost when it comes to REITs?"

Link to The Motley Fool

"Hammerson's distinctive twist is its mix of UK and French, mainly retail, properties. It recently revived plans for a £500m regeneration of Sheffield town centre, and is undertaking a similar sized scheme in Leeds. Previously over-burdened with debt, gearing is now down to 52%, and it looks an interesting candidate."

(We say: "We always think Hammerson and Brent Cross Cricklewood are interesting.")


'Mr Mustard' web site: "MetPro - Licence to Bill" (and other James Bond puns)

(£1.4-million has been paid to two companies with 'MetPro' in their names, by Barnet Council - without any contracts.  At all.  Ever.  Over five years.)

Link to
Mr Mustard
(Click to enlarge; again to magnify)

"Let us have a look at what Barnet Council think a valid invoice looks like, as on the right is one they have paid. Think of it as 'A View To A Bill' (sorry!)

"Mr Mustard laughed, until he remembered that it was his money that Barnet Council chuck around with gay abandon - TO PREVENT FRAUD - you have already been defrauded, Barnet Council. Your name isn't even on this invoice, which is a basic requirement of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs Service.

"Mr Mustard doesn't take a Quantum of Solace from the Council's assurances that things can only get better."


Regeneration+Renewal: "Mayor launches £50m renewal fund for outer London"

Link to web site
(may need to register)

"The first round of a £50 million fund intended to boost regeneration in outer London boroughs has been launched by the mayor of London.

"Outer London is defined as the local authority areas of Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Sutton and Waltham Forest."


The Telegraph: "Blogger arrested for filming during Carmarthen County Council meeting"

A blogger who filmed a meeting of a local council was arrested for "breaching the peace" despite insisting that she broke no laws

Click above for 'BROKEN BARNET' web site
see video and story on the Telegraph web site.

(picture: Alex Murray Smith, South West Wales Media)
From 'Broken Barnet':

"Caebrwyn is the blogging name of Jacquie Thompson, a community councillor who writes about the antics of Carmarthen County Council. As it happens, she has followed the 'Broken Barnet' blog for some time.

"On Wednesday this week, Jacquie was present at a meeting of Carmarthen County Council, exercising her right, as guaranteed by Secretary of State Eric Pickles, to film the meeting on her phone. She writes:
"As I arrived, an elderly lady was presenting her petition [against the closure of her day centre]. It was heartfelt and passionate, and implored the Council to rethink their plans.

... The Chief Executive, shamefully, decided to only allow an Executive Board Member to speak - obviously in support of the Council's plans to close the centre. It was the most outragous display of council 'business' I have seen to date. This was why I was there, and why I was filming - people need to know what is going on in that chamber. That is also why they don't want anyone to record it, either ...

I was asked to leave, by the Chairman and the Chief Executive. I said that I was not doing anything wrong, it is not against the law, and no even in their standing orders (rules for meetings). As I didn't leave, the Chief Executive and the Chair called the police, and then adjourned the meeting. I tried to argue my point but was then arrested in the public gallery for 'breaching the peace'. I was taken outside the door, handcuffed, searched, my phone taken, and marched out to the waiting police cars."
"Oh dear. I wonder if, somewhere in Broken Barnet, a little moustachioed senior council officer is rubbing his hands with glee, checking the number of the local police station, and looking forward to the next council meeting?

'MetPro' Audit Committee (scandal info. is here)
Thursday 16th June, 6.30pm,
Hendon Town Hall

"On Jacqui's blog, there is an appropriate quote from George Orwell:
"Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness."

Telegraph web site:

"The arrest has sparked outrage on Twitter and blogs, with Richard Wilson, the author and free speech campaigner, writing that: "In Carmarthenshire, this is what democracy looks like."

"Mrs Thompson said that the support of users of the micro-blogging site had been "brilliant", adding that it had brought a local story to national attention. Tweets on the subject are being marked with the "hashtag" #daftarrest, with hundreds of people commenting on the actions of the council and police. Mrs Thompson's Twitter account has gained hundreds of new followers." 

See: "Barnet Council's refusal to allow citizen journalists could breach European Convention on Human Rights - resident's solicitor to Barnet council"

Vickim57 web site: "Breathing down Richard Cornelius's neck"

The bloggers in Barnet are reporting that Richard Cornelius has been elected by Barnet's Tory councillors as leader of their group, which means he will be the next leader of Barnet council. 

More details here, for instance.


BBC: "Global warming since 1995 'now significant'."

Link to BBC web site

"Climate warming since 1995 is now statistically significant, according to Phil Jones, the UK scientist targeted in the 'ClimateGate' affair.

"Last year, he told BBC News that post-1995 warming was not significant; a statement still seen often on blogs critical of man-made climate change.

"But another year of data has pushed the trend past the the standard 95% level threshold usually used to assess whether trends are 'real'."


Brent Times: "Brent Council voted best at fixing potholes"

Link to web site         

"Residents logged where they had spotted the potholes, on a website which automatically sent an email to the council. The site then monitored how quickly and effectively they had been filled.

A ‘people’s vote’ on the general condition of roads was also held, which Brent won, scoring four out of five stars. However, only four people voted.

"A council spokesman said:
"We are particularly keen on encouraging cycling, walking and the use of public transport, and realise that one way of doing that is to fix potholes." [Can you imagine BARNET ever saying that?]

'Broken Barnet' reviews Barnet Council leadership elections, and fails to honour bet over Brian Coleman (allegedly)

Link to 'Broken Barnet' posting
(click on web site title there, for all posts)

"According to one press story, there are three candidates: Andrew Harper, Mark Shooter, and Richard Cornelius.

"Sadly, Brian Coleman has decided not to risk it, or no - what was it?
  • Too many other commitments?
  • Headlining at Glastonbury?
  • Frightening babies at Finchley Carnival? (Oh, hold on, the new council charges have put the old kybosh on that hundred-year-old event, haven't they?)
So: Harper, Shooter, Cornelius.


Evening Standard: "Killer pollution in London is coming from the continent"

Link to Evening Standard

"Toxic pollution is blowing across the Channel and harming Londoners' health, MPs were told today.

"On unusually high pollution days, up to four fifths of a dangerous pollutant seeping into parts of the capital and the South-East may be from overseas.

"Environmental health expert Professor Frank Kelly, of King's College, London estimates that between 3,000 and 5,000 people a year in the capital die early, because of pollution. Some will have had their life cut short by up to 10 years. The worst particulate pollution is normally from traffic in London, especially diesel-run vehicles, or from heating homes."

Barnet Times: "Council needs to ‘tighten up’ contract management admits councillor"

Link to web site

"Barnet Council’s cabinet member for resources and performance, Cllr Daniel Thomas, has admitted the council needs to 'tighten up' its contract management after it ignored its own rules by employing unlicensed security firm MetPro without a formal contract.

"A damning audit committee review written by the council’s own assistant director of finance, said the failure exposed it to “significant” risks."

Comment left by Mr Reasonable
"I find Cllr Thomas' complacency astonishing. The MetPro report is the tip of the iceberg. The Internal Audit Annual Opinion is a catalogue of failures and lack of management control: '72% of audit reports were rated as limited or no assurance in 2010-11, compared with 67% of report in the prior year'. 

The Audit Opinion report goes on to say, amongst other things:
'Contract Management/Procurement – there is an absence of signed contracts and sound contract management generally across the Council. In addition to individual service areas, we reviewed corporate procurement and found that the devolved process has not been successful, due to the lack of monitoring of compliance with contract procedural rules, and a lack of a complete and accurate contracts register'."

Dominion site: Another planning application (the last one failed)

Link to Barnet Planning

Application Number: F/01932/11
Former Parcel Force Depot, Geron Way, London, NW2

Case Officer: Kevin Waters
Case Officer Tel: 020 8359 4516
Case Officer Email: kevin.waters@barnet.gov.uk

"Redevelopment to provide for 262 residential units, 812 sqm of commercial accommodation (B1, D1 and D2) and associated car parking and amenity space, and creation of new vehicular access from Edgware Road."


Barnet's Mr Reasonable: "Barnet Internal Audit Report - It just gets worse!"

Link to Mr Reasonable

"Having ploughed my way through the 268 pages of the Audit Committee papers I have to say that I am utterly shocked by what I have read. On top of what I have already reported on MetPro, the Internal Audit Annual Opinion Report goes much further on the various shortcomings.

"The overall internal audit opinion is only 'limited assurance' - that is, one step above no assurance."

From the report:
  • The Waste Prevention Strategy [below] has been ineffective in delivery of outcomes
  • The Waste Prevention Strategy has not been reviewed since 2005, to ensure that it remains fit for purpose or current
  • There are no governance arrangements in place to scrutinise, oversee and challenge the Waste Prevention Strategy
  • The Waste Project Board does not have a terms of reference, and focuses mainly on project management issues not strategic issues.

Link to document


BBC: "Fight to save Elephant and Castle's '£15m urban forest' "

Link to BBC web site

"As Elephant and Castle undergoes a £1.5bn regeneration, a local group is fighting to save the trees they fear will be removed.

"One of the group, Guy Mannes-Abbott, said the council had undervalued the trees, both for their financial value, and for what they bring to the community in the bustling area. He said existing residents felt the council had not involved them enough in plans for what is supposed to be a community-wide regeneration:
"It is about being engaged in the process. The main thing is to involve the existing community."

'OPEN Dalston": "Dalston's 'Transport Interchange' vision to be realised (not)"

Jan 2014:
If you are after up-to-date Overground maps and timetables, go here.

Link to 'OPEN Dalston'

"Transport for London and Hackney Council may be triumphant now that their vision for a rail/bus Transport Interchange for Dalston will be realised, when the 488 bus route extension from Clapton to Dalston Junction starts running this Saturday 4th June.

"However, we were originally told that 70 buses an hour would use the Transport Interchange but it now turns out that only the 488 bus will use it (That's five 488 buses an hour, at peak times)."

Click above for the [out-of-date] Overground network map

Jan 2014:
If you are after up-to-date Overground
maps and timetables, go here.


NLWA: "Pinkham Way - outline planning application submitted"

1 June 2011

"The joint outline planning application for the Pinkham Way waste site [on the border of Friern Barnet] was submitted to Haringey Council on 31 May.

"Once the application has been checked by Haringey Council, to ensure that all the required documentation and plans are present, the formal consultation process will start.

"As part of the formal planning process, Haringey Council will publish the details of the application on their website and letters will be sent to local households and businesses, so that local people are made aware of our proposals for the Pinkham Way site.

"Haringey Council will hold the next stage of consultation with local people. This will include a public meeting, called a Development Management Forum, where residents can raise issues of concern. We will attend this meeting, where we will make a further presentation of our plans, listen to the concerns of local residents and businesses, and answer questions."