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


Image released of new Thameslink trains: calling at West Hampstead, Old Cricklewood, Replacement Cricklewood, Hendon, Mill Hill Broadway,...

Er. that's it.

"Hammerson's major London development delayed over traffic concerns." (We know what you're thinking, but it's not Brent Cross)

Link to Croydon Advertiser

"THE £1 billion redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre has been delayed, after concerns over whether the nearby Fiveways junction could cope with the increase in traffic.

"It has been expected that the Westfield/Hammerson plans would be considered by Croydon council this month.

"But a desire from the developers, Transport for London (TfL) and the council to ensure transport issues connected with the scheme are properly sorted mean the scheme is now being scheduled to be presented to councillors in September, after the authority's summer recess."

Insider Media:
"Hammerson, the retail developer behind the $130M
Victoria Gate scheme in Leeds, has submitted
its detailed planning application to Leeds City Council."

"The planning application to extend [out-of-town] Elliott’s Field Retail Park
has been approved by Rugby Borough Council.
Elliott’s Field is located two miles from Rugby town centre,
close to Junction 1 of the M6."

As at 29 June:
Hammerson still doesn't know where its Brent Cross Shopping Centre is.

BBC: "High Street failure creditors owed £2bn - report"

Link to web site

"The collapse of High Street retailers has left unsecured creditors such as suppliers, landlords and customers being owed £2bn, research suggests.

"... Report author Nick Hood, a business analyst at Company Watch, believed more retail casualties were inevitable:
"We are far from seeing the end of the High Street cull."
His research was done on behalf of an independent review into the High Street led by retail veteran Bill Grimsey, the former chief executive of Wickes and Iceland.

Mr Grimsey said the findings demonstrated how the structural changes taking place in retail were causing huge damage to High Streets and the wider economy:
"We can't just stand by and carry on fiddling at the margins. The current model for our High Streets is unsustainable."

Barnet Times (x2), Barnet Press (x2), Ham & High, Wembley Observer, and Brent & Kilburn Times (x2) - Why is London Communications Agency too stupid to notice there are TWO local newspapers in Brent?

(Click to enlarge. You may be able to magnify by clicking again.)


Barnet Times: "Brent Cross shopping centre 'best in Europe' under Hammerson and Standard Life plans on display this week"

Link to web site
('desperately' and 'excitedly')

"Brent Cross Shopping Centre manager Tom Nathan admitted the huge project has been a long time coming, but believes [mixing your tenses there, Barnet Times] people are now desperate for developers to 'get on with it'.

"... Mr Nathan, who joined the centre as manager 12 years ago, said:
“Brent Cross is in need of becoming bigger, more modern and having facilities people really want.

... The overwhelming message so far is 'please get on with it'.

I came here 12 years ago, thinking a redevelopment was around the corner. It has been a long 12 years, but I’m very excited, the retailers are very excited, and this will be fantastic for the area."

[Reposted from Feb 2013] The Observer: "Will supermalls save high streets or drain life out of local traders?"

Link to web site

"Trinity Leeds's developer, Land Securities, believes it is creating the future of British retail. Despite the downturn, it has already leased 90% of the centre by value and more than 80% by floorspace. Builders are putting the finishing touches to large stores for Primark, Next, M&S and Topshop in a city that has reinvented itself as a thriving financial hub.

"We have tried to take shopping forward in the UK," says Andrew Dudley, who is overseeing the development for Land Securities. "Experience is everything. You really need to excite people about coming into towns and cities."

With that in mind, Trinity Leeds will attempt to tie itself into the digital world with screens that can interact and play games with passers-by. There will be free Wi-Fi throughout the centre and other screens will flash up local news and, potentially, live coverage of nearby music and arts events. There's a customer service centre, where shoppers can leave bags while they go to the cinema or pick up items they've ordered online.

" 'Retail is not just about shopping. It's about taking the best from online, the high street and events venues, and bringing it into one place,' says Paul Smith, marketing manager for Trinity Leeds.

Daliy Telegraph (Oct 2012):
"Trinity Leeds:
a £350m bet on the economy"

BDonline: "Revised plans for Allies & Morrison's Brent Cross Cricklewood"

Link to web site

"Revised plans for the £4-billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme, masterplanned by Allies & Morrison, will be submitted for planning later this year.

"... The new proposals include a new network of covered streets and spaces in and around Brent Cross, as well as a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the North Circular Road by Chapman Taylor."




Barnet Press Group: "Fears over North Circular fumes"

Link to web site

"TOXIC FUMES churned out by traffic along one of the busiest roads in the borough are slowly poisoning residents, according to a report published this week.
"The North Circular Road, that stretches from Brent Cross through to Edmonton, has been named the most polluted road in London.
"The Mayor of London’s office released figures for diesel exhaust fumes for every major road in London following pressure from anti-pollution campaign group Clean Air in London.
The report reveals that in the space of one year 12.2 tonnes of diesel fumes were pumped out per kilometre along the road."

LSE: "Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy": Final report

Link to web site

"Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy is the concluding report of our major global survey of 90 city governments, and a case study analysis of innovative green strategies in eight cities.

"... Going Green offers a fresh perspective on the environmental challenges that cities face, along with the opportunities and barriers to going green and fostering economic growth.

"The survey covers key aspects of green policies and the green economy, smart city technology, green policy assessment and urban governance. It provides a comprehensive overview of the experiences of cities around the world, as they make the transition to a green economy.

"This final report includes a new section featuring findings on cities’ policy approaches across six sectors:
  • land-use
  • transport
  • buildings
  • energy
  • waste
  • water

"These results allow for comparison of policy tools and successes between sectors, with the surveyed cities reporting most success in the waste and water sectors. The results also report on the types of economic impacts arising from green policy across sectors, and the roles played by different levels of government."

"Sainsbury's boss says corporate tax row is a question of morality, not legality" (Hammerson and Standard Life at Brent Cross know all about tax havens, don't they?)

Link to The Guardian

"Sainsbury's chief executive, Justin King, has challenged senior business leaders and fellow retailers over the UK corporation tax furore by arguing that the issue is a question of morality, not legality.

"He criticised companies that argued they paid enough tax legally and said there was no moral high ground in making such statements. The boss of the UK's third-biggest supermarket also warned that companies with aggressive tax arrangements faced a boycott from consumers, who view tax from an ethical standpoint.

"Speaking at the British Retail Consortium's annual symposium of business leaders on Tuesday, he said:
"Tax is a moral issue, I would argue. Every business in a position of trust should be able to stand up and try to explain why they arrange their affairs the way they do if they believe they have nothing to hide."


TfL proposals - # "Fast train to Barnet" #

Link to the unique selling proposition
for light-rail at Brent Cross

(Persist if necessary to load this PDF file.)

Wed 26 June: GLA: "Meaning of regeneration on the agenda, as new committee examines its impact on London"

"What does regeneration mean to London?

Can regeneration help drive the capital’s growth, and at the same time reduce deprivation and inequality?

How will the capital provide adequate infrastructure to support its growing population?

"The first meeting of the Assembly’s new Regeneration Committee will debate how London should benefit best from regeneration.

"Members will also quiz experts on how current funding streams – including the Outer London Fund, Mayor’s Regeneration Fund and Growing Places Fund – can deliver results, as well as discussing whether there is potential for greater use of Transport for London (TfL) investment funding and other funding mechanisms such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to drive London's regeneration plans forward.

 The following guests will be questioned by the Committee:
  • Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning
  • David Lunts, Executive Director Housing and Land, GLA
  • Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director – Development, Enterprise and Environment, GLA
  • Professor Loretta Lees, Department of Geography, King’s College, London
  • Dan Harvey, Chair of Institute of Civil Engineers – London Region and Executive Director, Environment & Transport,
    Ramboll UK Ltd
  • Iain Smith, Public Affairs Manager, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
"The Committee is also requesting viewpoints from other experts, decision-makers, opinion formers and the public on what regeneration means to London, overcoming problems and how best to use funding so ensure London remains a booming capital city, ready to meet future challenges.

"The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 from 10am in Chamber at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1). Media and members of the public are invited to attend.  The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Read the full agenda papers for the meeting.

Huffington Post: "Rumours of London's Recovery Have Been Greatly Exaggerated"

Link to web site

"Leafy Barnet is one of the most prosperous of London's boroughs - and one of the last places you might expect to find a food bank. However, due to necessity, there's been one operating for the last six months.

"Hundreds of people have had to use the service, which is fast becoming a more common feature across suburban London. There are now 40 food banks throughout the city, and they which have issued food parcels to over 42,000 people.

"Many in the media act as if London is living in a separate world from the rest of the country, with some claiming that it has all but recovered from the crash. A recent feature in the Daily Mail repeated the claim that London has 'shrugged off the recession' and others have concluded that Britain is experiencing a polarised 'two-speed' recovery which sees London benefit while the north of the country stands still. There is definitely money in the south, but not everyone is benefiting from it. The problem with these critiques is that they judge the health of the city by its most affluent residents.

"The reality, though, is that London is a city of great inequality. One recent study described it as the most unequal city in the developed world."

If they can design in light-rail at Old Oak Common, they can design in light-rail at Brent Cross...



Old Oak Common - the other end of the Brent Cross Railway! (Actually, more likely to be a new London Overground link to Cricklewood/Hendon - but Hammerson may screw it up)

Link to Evening Standard

"A vision for a 'Canary Wharf of the railways' regenerating one of west London’s most deprived neighbourhoods is being unveiled this week.

"At a cost of at least £10- billion, more than 100 acres of windswept railway sidings and semi-derelict wasteland at Old Oak Common, just north of Wormwood Scrubs, would be the setting for the capital’s next large scale 'phoenix-like' revival.

"Local consultation starts on Friday over plans for a project that would be twice the size of the redevelopment of the King’s Cross railway lands."

Link to:

'The London Plan': Devising the cunning current one

Policy 2.15 Town Centres (Link)

Issue: Will the proposed strategy facilitate suitable local strategies for town centre development and enhancement?
(2.109) In essence, Policy 2.15 represents an overarching policy framework for town centre development in general.

It is supplemented by two tables in Annexe 2. Table A2.1 identifies the network of strategically significant centres. This includes two International Centres within the CAZ (West End and Knightsbridge) and, outside the CAZ, 12 Metropolitan Centres, 35 Major centres and 147 District Centres.

In addition, it recognises 20 CAZ frontages. Among other things, this table indicates the policy directions for each of these centres by placing them within one of three categories (high, medium or low growth). It also highlights 68 of these various types of centre where there is some need for regeneration.

(2.110) Table A2.2 signals centres where change to the network might take place over the Plan period. These include two Major and two District Centres that are shown in Table A2.1 to have potential to move up to become higher order centres (Metropolitan and Major respectively) as contributions to regeneration (Stratford, Woolwich, Elephant and Castle and Surrey Quays/Canada Water) and seven currently unclassified centres which have potential to become classified either as District Centres or CAZ frontages.

One further centre, Brent Cross which was unidentified in Table A2.1 because it was deemed to be a free-standing regional shopping centre and not a conventional town centre, is shown in Table A2.2 as a candidate for change from Regional to Metropolitan Centre status. (Whoopie!)

BBC: "Housing report critical of government 'short termism'"

Link to web site

"Successive governments have failed to produce a coherent long-term strategy for housing, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said.

"In a report, the Rics housing commission said some of the coalition's policies were providing short-term help for the house-building industry.

"But it argued that ministers' lack of consistency over the past 50 years has exacerbated the failures of the market."


[Reposted] Hammerson: the incompetent property company that has no idea where its Brent Cross shopping centre is located

"Brent Cross is a UK retail success story. Located in one of the UK’s most affluent catchments, it has a loyal and partisan customer base which thrives on having access to the best of both UK and international brands.

"Located at the junction of the M1 motorway and the London North Circular [no mention of public transport, then!], it is well positioned to serve the 2m people within its core catchment area who spend just under £9.9 bn on non-grocery items [We'll add a full-stop now for you, shall we?]

"Brent Cross has one of the largest retail catchments in the UK, and is the largest of Hammerson’s portfolio." [So you would be a really incompetent company, not to know here it was, wouldn't you?]

Take a look at the map provided:

BBC: "Town centres 'missing out on new retail development'." (Quite a convenient day for this story to arise, eh?)

Link to web site

"Planning rules are doing little to coax local authorities into locating big new retail developments in town centres, research suggests.

"Developers in England have applied for twice as much shopping space out-of-town as in-town so far this year, the study by Estates Gazette found.

"... The government's Town Centre First planning policy, which came into effect last March, is supposed to require planning authorities to encourage development within town centres before looking out at out-of-town sites.

"This data suggests councils are not always implementing the new strategy." [What? Barnet?]


[Reposted] Property Week: "Hammerson and Barnet Council to launch search for Brent Cross partner"

Link to web site

"Hammerson, Standard Life and Barnet Council are preparing to launch a search for a new development partner for the Brent Cross Cricklewood development to build out the non-retail aspects of the scheme.

"At a Barnet Council Cabinet Resources Committee meeting yesterday [in April 2013] Hammerson and Standard Life agreed with the council to bring in a new development partner for the southern section of the site, enabling the pair to focus on the retail extension to Brent Cross. They also agreed to a phasing plan for the development.

"GVA has been appointed by the council to find the new development partner, and also to explore potential funding strategies to bring forward infrastructure within the regeneration area, including the Thameslink Station. This review will be completed later this month [April] and will be presented to the council later this year. The procurement process is expected to start in 2014.

"The report of the meeting states:
“The council and Hammerson/Cricklewood Regeneration Limited are investigating the best way to secure a development partner to deliver the southern parts of the Brent Cross Cricklewood Regeneration. The council will lead this process with the support of Hammerson / Cricklewood Regeneration Limited.

This approach will enable Hammerson to focus on the delivery of the shopping centre at Brent Cross, and the significant infrastructure required to support the comprehensive regeneration proposals.”
"The document submitted to the council suggests that Hammerson and Standard Life’s re-phasing strategy will enable a start on site by 2017 in accordance with the existing permission, and a potential opening date for the extended shopping centre by 2020."

Link to Barnet Times:

Transport for London 'Urban Design Toolkit' (can talentless Hammerson actually understand this?)

Link to web site

"Valuing Urban Realm – Business Cases for Public Spaces’ was conducted for Transport for London in 2006 by Accent and Colin Buchanan. It investigated user attitudes towards the public realm and found that:
"Members of the public value high quality streets and are willing to pay for improvements."
The second phase, carried out for Design for London by MVA Consultancy in 2008, examined the relationship between street quality and property value, as well as the attitude of private stakeholders towards investing in improved quality. It found that:
"There is a positive, significant and consistent value added to private business by maintaining and improving the public realm."
The third phase of the study addresses the health and social benefits of public realm improvements, drawing primarily on existing research on the benefits of pedestrian-oriented environments. It found that:
"Health and wellbeing are positively affected by space and community events."

"Social cohesion is positively affected by space and maintenance."
All research carried out was rigorous, transferrable and statistically significant [although incapable of being understood by Hammerson senior staff].

[Reposted] Lord Mayor of London (ex): Finchley's and Hammerson's 'Lord Bear of Brent Cross and the 266 bus to Cricklewood' (well, almost)

Link to, er, The London Gazette

"The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify her intention of conferring the Honour of Knighthood upon the undermentioned:
"Michael David Bear, lately Lord Mayor, City of London. For services to Regeneration, Charity and the City of London." 

Link (in two steps) to The Guardian
Even though we warned her against doing that to Hammerson's 'Director of Regeneration' since 2003 (is that paradox or irony?) many times:

Link to The Guardian

Although to be fair, the next Lord Mayor is even worse:

Link to Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph:

"To summarise the charge sheet: the Corporation is a plutocratic old boys club, in hock to big finance that’s masonically secretive and blind to the City’s excesses. Not only is reform long overdue, but abolishing the Lord Mayor would be a top place to start.

"Wootton relates how the previous Lord Mayor, Michael Bear, has had a 'year-long initiative called Restoring Trust in the City'. To the observation that it doesn’t seem to have worked, Wootton responds that while Bear’s work was 'away from the public gaze', the next phase is 'much more public'."

The Guardian: "The housing shortage: one nation?"

Link to web site

"Houses for £1 and a loan to do them up" 

"During the past few months the city councils in Stoke-on-Trent and Liverpool have been inundated with applications after launching projects allowing people to buy a derelict home for just £1 upfront.

"... Some might feel that nothing illustrates the absurdity of the UK property market better than the arrival of these '£1 homes' schemes at the same time as new figures showed that the national average asking price has hit a record £252,000, and housing charity Shelter warned that many people face a wait of more than a decade before they can get on the property ladder, because of the shortage of affordable homes.

"With house building rates at their lowest for decades, campaigners say it is vital to get as many as possible of the 710,000 empty homes in England back into use. That has been one of the triggers for the new schemes, which often involve properties located within failed regeneration zones."

Link to web site

"Prime central London property prices inflate bubble fears"

"It may seem that the only way is up [in London property prices] but politicians, retailers and even estate agents are warning that expensive homes are creating soaring rents, an exodus of small shops and a ghost town atmosphere, and that the market could turn out to be a bubble.

"... David Adams of John Taylor, a high-end estate agency, says:
"Trigger events, such as a second international banking collapse or the introduction of higher UK property tax, could expose the prime Central London [PCL] property market as being nothing more than a bubble.

"It is easy to see a failed bank or a heavy duty mansion tax completely changing the perception among international buyers. You could see 20% wiped off prices overnight. It would be the end of PCL as we know it."