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


Doubling the Brent Cross Shopping Centre: Hammerson says the wealthy will arrive by bus! (New York Review of Books: "Capital in the Twenty-First Century")

Link to web site [image is from elsewhere]

"Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics, isn’t a household name, although that may change with the Harvard University English-language publication of his magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Yet his influence runs deep. It has become a commonplace to say that we are living in a second Gilded Age—or, as Piketty likes to put it, a second Belle Époque—defined by the incredible rise of the 'one percent'.

"But it has only become a commonplace thanks to Piketty’s work. In particular, he and a few colleagues (notably Anthony Atkinson at Oxford and Emmanuel Saez at Berkeley) have pioneered statistical techniques that make it possible to track the concentration of income and wealth deep into the past—back to the early twentieth century for America and Britain, and all the way to the late eighteenth century for France.

The result has been a revolution in our understanding of long-term trends in inequality. Before this revolution, most discussions of economic disparity more or less ignored the very rich. Some economists (not to mention politicians) tried to shout down any mention of inequality at all: 'Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution,' declared Robert Lucas Jr. of the University of Chicago, the most influential macroeconomist of his generation, in 2004.

"But even those willing to discuss inequality generally focused on the gap between the poor or the working class and the merely well-off, not the truly rich—on college graduates whose wage gains outpaced those of less-educated workers, or on the comparative good fortune of the top fifth of the population compared with the bottom four fifths, not on the rapidly rising incomes of executives and bankers.

It therefore came as a revelation when Piketty and his colleagues showed that incomes of the now famous 'one percent', and of even narrower groups, are actually the big story in rising inequality.

Another review and videos: Huffington Post.

Link to The Guardian

The Guardian:
"Thomas Piketty's Capital: everything you need to know about the surprise bestseller"
"Piketty's argument is that, in an economy where the rate of return on capital outstrips the rate of growth, inherited wealth will always grow faster than earned wealth. So the fact that rich kids can swan aimlessly from gap year to internship to a job at father's bank/ministry/TV network – while the poor kids sweat into their barista uniforms – is not an accident: it is the system working normally.

"... Piketty has, more accurately, placed an unexploded bomb within mainstream, classical economics. If the underlying cause of the 2008 bank catastrophe was falling incomes alongside rising financial wealth then, says Piketty, these were no accident: no product of lax regulation or simple greed. The crisis is the product of the system working normally, and we should expect more.

"... You would expect the Wall Street Journal to dissent, but the power of Piketty's work is that it also challenges the narrative of the centre-left under globalisation, which believed upskilling the workforce, combined with mild redistribution, would promote social justice. This, Piketty demonstrates, is mistaken. All that social democracy and liberalism can produce, with their current policies, is the oligarch's yacht co-existing with the food bank for ever."

[Reposted from Aug 2013] Evening Standard: "Mayor's aide: build outer London rail and tram links to beat jams"

Link to web site

"New rail links around the capital could help London cope with its soaring population.

"Deputy mayor for transport Isabel Dedring said light rail and tram services are under consideration for outer areas.

"But she said these would only be an 'intermediate measure' as the extra capacity they would provide would be absorbed by new arrivals as the population soared to 10 million over the next 20 years."


Brent Cross: Hammerson's total incompetence and Standard Life's low-key inadequacy! Can Transport for London rescue their unsustainable project? (Hopefully not with 29,000 extra cars every day, though)

"Outer London orbital rail??
 Link to PDF report

"An increased demand on limited road space means congestion is likely to remain a feature of the network in 2021/22. To address this, we will need to consider new ways of managing demand and providing capacity for living and moving. To understand the scope of change needed and the role of strategic measures, we will begin a series of further studies to understand their application more fully. These will include:
  • A study of the Inner Ring Road, to assess its strategic ‘moving’ function and role in enabling new development
  • Assessment of further measures to tackle congestion including increases in junction and link capacity, and enhancements to orbital capacity
  • Feasibility studies to assess more radical solutions. For example, physical measures to improve the public realm cater for growth, and increased levels of cycling and pedestrian activity while providing alternative space for vehicle movement
  • Assessment of measures to further manage demand in Inner and Outer London, including: 'maximum' application of smarter travel initiatives; time or area-based HGV restrictions; a tougher town centre first higher density, mixed development policy, including parking restraint; and ‘car-lite’ housing development
  • Development of a longer term strategy for delivery and servicing activity in London,potentially complementing work to develop an Ultra Low Emission Zone andincluding consideration of restrictions on vehicle access to central London.
"TfL will start these studies immediately, and aim to complete them by late 2015"

"Hammerson says: Brent Cross will create 27,000 new jobs." The Observer and New York Times on job loss through technology

Link to The Observer

"It's no joke – the robots will really take over this time"

"... At this point, many readers will yawn knowingly. We have, after all, heard this kind of heady talk before – in the 1960s, for example, when robots arrived on automobile assembly lines and there were dire predictions about mass unemployment caused by these new machines. It didn't happen, or at any rate it didn't happen as advertised.

"Many assembly-line jobs did disappear, but new kinds of enterprise appeared, and displaced workers found new employment and the prosperity machine rolled on. So are BBC Newsnight's David Grossman and his MIT interlocutors just winding us up?

Not so, they insist. The problem, they say, is that most people have no idea of the abilities of these new technologies. They point to the Google self-driving car as an example of a capability that – until recently – most people thought would be the exclusive preserve of human beings for a long time to come. Yet the cars now exist and are safer than human-controlled vehicles.

"And if computers can safely drive cars in crowded urban environments, they can certainly do a lot of the tasks currently performed by office workers. This time, in other words, is different. We really are standing on the brink of an inflection point."

Link to New York Times

"Tech Leaps, Job Losses and Rising Inequality"
"... Conventional wisdom in economics has long held that technological change affects income inequality by increasing the rewards to skill — through a dynamic called “skill-biased technical change.” Losers are workers whose job can be replaced by machines (textile workers, for example). Those whose skills are enhanced by machines (think Wall Street traders using ultrafast computers) win.

It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that this is not the whole story and that the skills-heavy narrative of inequality is not as straightforward as economists once believed. The persistent decline in the labor share of income suggests another dynamic. Call it 'capital-biased technical change' — which encourages replacing decently-paid workers with a machine, regardless of their skill.

For instance, research by the Canadian economists Paul Beaudry, David Green and Benjamin Sand finds that demand for highly-skilled workers in the United States peaked around 2000 and then fell, even as their supply continued to grow. This pushed the highly-educated down the ladder of skills in search of jobs, pushing less-educated workers further down."


"Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 January to 22 April 2014." (Interim? Hammerson should get some PERMANENT management.)

  • UK leases signed 8% above ERV, French leases 1% above ERV
  • Footfall and sales in UK shopping centres up 0.6% and 0.5% respectively
  • Value Retail brand sales continued to grow at double-digit rate
  • Occupancy remains high at 96.6% (31 March 2013: 96.6%)
  • Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille, now 96% let, scheduled to open 24 May 2014
  • Completed £109 million acquisition of Saint Sébastien shopping centre, Nancy.

"David Atkins, Chief Executive, said:
"Economic recovery, particularly in the UK, is generating confidence in our consumer markets. We have seen improving leasing demand over the period, and have struck deals at good levels in both the UK and France. In addition the ongoing strength of investment demand in both our territories is providing support for valuations. We are on site with a number of retail developments, and are progressing other major retail schemes, to capitalise on this demand from both the consumer and investment markets."

Hammerson has three strategic priorities which guide our capital deployment, operating model and financial management:
  • creating high-quality property;
  • maximising income; and
  • capital strength.
Our strategy is underpinned by high-quality real estate. We create compelling retail venues in successful locations with services and experiences tailored to the local consumer demographic.

[... Highlights of UK sites:]
"Construction is underway at Victoria Gate, Leeds and Le Jeu de Paume, Beauvais. At Victoria Gate, Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed the contractor, and the £150 million scheme, which will deliver 34,000m² of high-quality retail including a new John Lewis, is due to be completed by the end of 2016. Construction of Le Jeu de Paume in Beauvais is progressing well, and we expect the 24,000m² scheme north west of Paris to complete toward the end of next year.

"Croydon Council has approved the use of compulsory purchase orders required for the £1 billion redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre by the Hammerson/Westfield joint venture. We welcome the decision made by the Council, which is an integral part of the land assembly process, and will help deliver the major retail regeneration of Croydon’s town centre.

"Detailed designs for phase one of Watermark WestQuay have been submitted to Southampton City Council. The proposals comprise a 10-screen cinema and up to 20 restaurants alongside a major, high-quality public piazza adjoining the existing WestQuay shopping centre. The application focuses on the architectural features, landscaping design and materials proposed within the development.

"We have continued to progress our plans for Bishopsgate Goodsyard [London] in conjunction with our JV partner Ballymore, and following a period of consultation with stakeholders we anticipate submitting a planning application for the mixed-use site in the coming months.

"... We have submitted a detailed planning application to Swansea City Council for the refurbishment of its 22,600m² Parc Tawe Retail Park. The £10 million retail park redevelopment will create six new retail units, four new restaurants and a drive-through coffee pod. This is in addition to upgrading the existing retail fascias for leisure brands including Odeon and TenPin, and a flagship Toys R Us store.

"In March our planning consent for the redevelopment of Elliott’s Field Retail Park, Rugby, was successfully upheld following a Judicial Review challenge being dismissed. We are now in discussion with retailers ahead of a start on site this Autumn.

"... Already this year we have secured a number of leasing firsts across the portfolio, including the first French Sole store outside London at Victoria Quarter, Leeds, and Five Guys’ first restaurant in the Midlands at Bullring in Birmingham.

"... We have been recognised for our creative approach to securing income from our portfolio. WestQuay recently won the BCSC Opal Award for best use of interactive media for its Monster Headphones interactive window.

[... and Brent Cross? ...]

[... er, ...]

"... Brent Cross won the award for best use of unusual commercial space with its ‘drive-in movie’ concept." [Not exactly an environmental award for the Staples Corner - North Circular Road - M1 Motorway road junction investment at Brent Cross, then.]


The Guardian: "How 'decent' will Hammersmith and Fulham's 're-imagined' Earls Court be?"

"The resemblance between one of London's largest redevelopment schemes and the political vision it is supposed to fulfill appear increasingly small"

Link to web site

"The argument long made by Hammersmith and Fulham council (H&F) for the wholesale demolition of homes, businesses - including the famous Earls Court exhibition centre - and London Underground maintenance facilities in Earls Court and north Fulham is that doing so will clear a space in which a 'decent neighbourhood' can be created.

"The council began using the term 'decent neighbourhoods' in public as long ago as June 2009, when an important planning policy document published for consultation listed neighbourhoods it intended to make decent. Part of the council's case was that the Labour government's 'decent homes' programme had been a sticking plaster measure against social disadvantage in housing and that something much bolder was required. Five neighbourhoods were picked, and they included the territory since encompassed by the Earls Court Project, one of London's largest redevelopment schemes.

"Last Thursday, H&F approved the plans of its developer partner, the property giant Capital and Counties (Capco), for the construction of part of this promised new neighbourhood."

Link to web site

"Quality Street: Peabody rolls out the Future of Affordable Housing"

"Rising above a bend in the railway tracks at Bethnal Green in east London stands something of an architectural anachronism. Front doors pop out from a stately two-storey plinth, clad in bottle-green glazed bricks like a Victorian pub. Inside, there are big flats, with tall ceilings and views in two directions, looking out over a shared courtyard garden.

The building has the generous scale and quality of an old factory conversion, the kind now reborn as million-pound studio flats, luxury lifestyle solutions to be snapped up in London's crazed housing super-bubble. But it is nothing of the sort. It is a new affordable housing development, built by the Peabody Trust and designed by the young architectural practice Pitman Tozer.

" 'We were inspired by the design of some of Peabody's first schemes, built back in the 1860s,' says Luke Tozer, standing in the newly named Mint Street, framed by the building on one side and railway arches on the other. 'They were all about using a limited palette of substantial materials, with simple details and the occasional decorative flourish. And they've stood the test of time, 150 years later'."

Cricklewood: The Movie

Vision on Cricklewood from TWC Projects on Vimeo.


Evening Standard: "Eric Pickles: Tear down estates to boost poor inner-city homes"

Link to web site

"Plans to create hundreds of thousands of homes in inner London were unveiled today by the Government.

"A Big Bang approach will see old estates torn down and more families housed in new apartment blocks, making the heart of the capital more densely populated than it has been for decades.

" 'Past experience tells us that mere tinkering won’t work. We need to be more ambitious,' Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told the Evening Standard. Mr Pickles was today setting out for the first time how £150-million set aside in this year’s Budget may be used to speed up the regeneration of some of London’s most neglected estates. He envisages low-rise blocks that meet modern environmental standards being built on the sites of run-down areas like the notorious [sic] Aylesbury estate in south London.

"The number of people living in the inner zone of the capital could be increased by up to 850,000, according to an analysis carried out for the Government by estate agent Savills."

The Independent: "Builders use red-tape reforms to duck deals on affordable homes"

Link to web site

"Developers are using a new law intended to cut bureaucracy and kick-start the economy to challenge their obligation to contribute to the building of affordable new homes, The Independent can disclose.

"Figures seen by The Independent show that the Planning Inspectorate is considering 10 appeals lodged by house builders which aim to cut or eliminate planning restrictions by claiming they would make schemes unviable.

"It comes amid a rebellion by some Tory-run local authorities against the policy of scrapping council-set quotas for affordable homes, and claims that the Coalition has tilted the process too heavily in the big developers’ favour.

"Of three appeals dealt with by the inspectorate to date, two have found in the developers’ favour. In the first, Redrow Homes, [the company benefiting from the Met Police strange determination to do a deal over Hendon's Peel Centre sports grounds] which recently reported a doubling of its group’s half yearly pre-tax profits to £47.5m, successfully challenged Torridge District Council in Devon over its stipulation that 60 out of 151 new homes it was planning there should be affordable."


Evening Standard: "Airpocalypse now: how to solve London's pollution problems"

"It’s official, London’s choking — so how can we clean up the capital’s act? From flying superpods and bike bridges to car-sharing communities, Rosamund Urwin finds some pollution solutions"

Link to web site

"There's a map of London that reminds me of an MRI brain scan. It shows the average level of the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide in the capital in 2010. Blue and green represent a low level, an aureolin shade tells you that NO2 is at the European Union’s acceptable limit, orange and red are bad, burgundy the worst. Most of central London is yellow, and there’s a predictable amber puddle around Heathrow. But the network of London’s main roads are painted a dark, boozy red — the capital’s outdoor smoking lounges.

"The air quality in London is among the worst of all the European capitals. That’s thanks in large part to fumes from diesel vehicles, which were encouraged to cut carbon dioxide emissions. So we’ve clogged our lungs trying to stop the ice caps melting. As well as NO2, particulates (minuscule bits of soot) are also cause for concern. During the recent Saharan dust episode, we saw a spike in the levels of these pollutants (the particles known as PM2.5 are especially hazardous to health as they are so small, they can travel deep into the respiratory tract).

"Air pollution is a stealth assassin, usually unseen but brutal. Poor air quality has been blamed for almost 4,300 deaths in London each year."

Barnet Times: "Do We Have a Car Crisis?"

Link to web site

"In a recent survey run by Barnet Greens among traders in East and High Barnet, the top issue cited was parking. The papers are full of parking issues, and our Mr Mustard has become a national TV star on the back of his parking-related one-man lobbying and support campaign. But is parking in reality just the loudest-squeaking aspect of a wider problem?

"One of the privileges of campaigning is talking to a lot of residents. What is the number one issue that comes up? Parking, speeding, congestion, speeding, traffic, parking on and on.

"I've come to the view that we have a car crisis that dare not speak its name. I sense there's a fear of admitting there's a crisis before an election lest one provokes the Motorist: that all-powerful constituent who has done for more than one politician."

Barnet's Mr Mustard on BBC1's 'Parking Mad'

(Mr Mustard's web site)

(video via Barnet Bugle)


Thurs 24 April: Finchley Society: Finchley to Friern Barnet


(Reposted from June 2011] Regeneration & Renewal: "Barnet to draw up bid for TIF funding tool"

Link to web site

"Stewart Murray, director of planning, housing and regeneration at the London Borough of Barnet, said the council will submit a bid to use Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which lets councils borrow money against future business rate income, for the 20-year scheme intended to regenerate 150ha in Brent Cross and Cricklewood.

"Murray told Planning: 
"Although we have a commitment from the developer Hammerson and Standard Life Investments to deliver phase one, with such a massive scheme, there's a viability gap. [There's more than one viability gap in the Brent Cross planning saga.] If the council is able to retain the uplift in business rates, this will enable us to 'forward-fund' - or borrow against - that uplift to fund early infrastructure investment, accelerating the next phases of the scheme." [That is (convenient when it all goes wrong) public-sector, not private-sector, risk.]

Stewart Murray, Director of Planning, Housing and Regeneration of London Borough of Barnet
"Thank you most kindly to all of your team who did an excellent organisation job this week at the National Summit. I enjoyed my piece immensely and hope it was informative if not thought provoking. The rest of the Summit was overall excellent and very much down to the organisers, facilitators and great line up of speakers and participants. Well done." [We're doomed.]

Link to Barnet Press 'TIF' story:

And Mr. Director of Planning, just fancy that (two links) ...


"Barnet Cabinet Member for Housing 'not fit for office' - claim"

Link to Barnet Times

"... Councillor Tom Davey made the statements on the social networking site in 2008 and 2009, but they have since been republished online via Political Scrapbook.

"In one status update the current Cabinet member for housing had suggested it might be easier to find a job if he were 'a black female wheelchair-bound amputee who is sexually attracted to other women'.

"In another post he referred to 'benefit claiming scum' and said he dislikes paying for the 'lazy bastards!'

"In January 2008 he posted that he was 'more excited than Harold Shipman in a nursing home', and in March 2009 he said he was 'smacking his bitch up' adding 'that’ll teach her for ironing loudly whilst the football is on!'"

GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: Evening Standard: "Housing crisis overtakes transport as biggest concern for Londoners"

Link to web site

"The capital’s housing crisis has become an increasingly important issue on the political agenda, following the rise in prices during the economic recovery.

"House prices are now increasing more quickly than at any time since the peak of the property boom immediately before the credit crunch, figures show. The value of the average London home went up by 17.7 per cent in the year to February, a rate not seen since the 18.8 per cent recorded in July 2007 on the eve of the Northern Rock collapse. It means home owners saw their properties rise in value by an average of £63,000 — around twice median London salaries — to a record £458,000 in 12 months.

"City economists said talk of a bubble in London is now 'fully justified' as desperate house buyers outbid each other at frenzied open days to win the few properties coming on the market. The average first-time buyer property now costs £358,000."

[Reposted from Aug 2013] Off-shore tax haven company, linked to Mayfair property world, wants waste incinerator in Ealing - and at Brent Cross!

(Brent & Kilburn Times, 2013/8/22)

Another one at Brent Cross!

The Guardian: "London has become a citadel, sealed off from the rest of Britain"

Link to web site

"... The property bubble is lifting prices all over the UK, [but] London has long since left everywhere else behind. Over the past year, property values in the capital have risen by 18%, and the gap between prices there and the rest of the UK is the biggest since records began. The average monthly London rent is now £1,126.

"Having moved out in 2004, I know what this means: unless you are an international plutocrat, a highly-paid City type, or someone either clinging on in social housing or putting up with life in a shared hovel, it is an increasingly impossible place to live.

"Although the inequality London embodies is felt just as keenly inside its boundaries as outside them, the obstacles to living in the capital harden a view of it as a cut-off citadel – somewhere that not only fixes economic policy in its own interests but hoovers up public investment. The dire political consequences of this are all around us, though a capital-focused media often fails to see them."

"Report suggests 500 lives a year could be saved 'if London had Danish levels of cycling'"

Link to Evening Standard

"The lives of more than 500 Londoners a year could be saved if cycling in the capital increased to the level in Copenhagen, a major health report has claimed.

"The World Health Organisation report said that an estimated 542 premature deaths from pollution and road collisions would be avoided if 26 per cent of journeys were made by bike, the rate in the Danish capital.

"At present, only three per cent of journeys in London are by bicycle.

"As part of a 'call to action' across Europe, WHO researchers forecast that 8,196 jobs would be created in London if it could dramatically increase its cycling rate."

[Reposted from April 2013] "Around for the long-term" Hammerson selling up south of the North Circular Road! New property punter wanted!


(The talentless Hammerson airheads will like this) "China's 'eco-cities': empty of hospitals, shopping centres and people"

"As part of its plan to move tens of millions of people out of the countryside, China is building hundreds of brand-new cities. Tianjin Eco-city is a relatively successful example, but many of its 'green' buildings still echo like gymnasiums"

Link to The Guardian

"Last month, China announced its new urbanisation plan, a massive feat of technical and social engineering which will move more than 100 million country-dwellers into cities over the next six years. The question is how. 

"China’s current development model has proved environmentally disastrous; ghost cities and towns have triggered fears of an impending real-estate meltdown.

"Chinese authorities began encouraging the construction of 'eco-cities' in the middle of the last decade; since then, hundreds have sprouted across the country. While the concept is vaguely defined, most eco-cities are built on once-polluted or non-arable land, comply with stringent green architectural standards, and experiment with progressive urban planning and transportation infrastructure.

"The catch is that they simply may not work – if, indeed, they get finished at all."

Link to GOV.UK
"Government offers support for locally-led garden cities"

"Communities with ideas for a new generation of garden cities will receive support from the government to turn their ambitions into reality, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today (14 April 2014).

"A prospectus published today will help communities work up proposals for ambitious new developments, which are locally-led, include at least 15,000 homes and have the backing of existing residents.

"There is genuine enthusiasm and ambition for growth in communities across the country, but new developments must be well-designed, and bring together high-quality homes, jobs, and green spaces in communities where people want to live raise their children.

"We want to work closely with areas which bring forward strong expressions of interest to help them develop their proposals, understand the barriers to delivery and offer government brokerage and support through the Large Sites scheme and other existing schemes where it can help to unblock these.

"Ministers believe these locally-led developments will play a crucial role in delivering the number of new homes the country needs, but it is vital that they are not imposed from above."


"Banks fiddled while Rome burned: how to predict the next global financial crisis"

"Amid signs of another asset bubble, and as memories of the last crisis fade, we might be seeing the beginnings of the next crash"

Link to The Guardian

"The past week has seen a shudder pass through stock markets as investors have taken a closer look at some of the more highly valued technology stocks. Easter traditionally marks the start of the British house-buying season, and this year's begins with sales at a six-year high and prices up almost 10% on a year ago. The appetite for risk was highlighted by the demand for the five-year bonds issued by the Greek government.

"Inevitably, the talk is of bubbles about to pop, of a new speculative mania, of lessons not learnt. This talk is a bit premature but the warning signs are there.

"... There are a couple of reasons to beware. One is that central banks could leave policy too loose for too long. Dario Perkins, of Lombard Street Research, is one analyst cautioning that if the Fed leaves policy as loose as forecasts suggest, it could create new asset bubbles. The other is that in the age of Facebook and Twitter, only 'now' matters. If we have lost our capacity to remember, trouble may come sooner than we think."

London's Population: Barnet's Brent Cross to take the strain? (Assuming a naïve new punter can be found, to replace the discredited Hammerson)

"Three variants of trend-based population projections and corresponding household projections are currently available [from the Greater London Authority]. These are labelled as High, Central and Low, and differ in their domestic migration assumptions beyond 2017.

"The economic crisis has been linked to a fall in migration from London to the rest of the UK and a rise in flows from the UK to London. The variants reflect a range of scenarios relating to possible return to pre-crisis trends in migration.
  • High: In this scenario, the changes to domestic migration flows are considered to be structural and recent patterns persist regardless of an improving economic outlook.

  • Low: Changes to domestic migration patterns are assumed to be transient and return to pre-crisis trends beyond 2018. Domestic outflow propensities increase by 10% and inflows decrease by 6% as compared to the High variant.

  • Central: Assumes recent migration patterns are partially transient and partially structural. Beyond 2018, domestic outlow propensities increase by 5% and inflows by 3% as compared to the High variant."
"GLA 2013 round population and household projections" - link

"The Mayor of London has commissioned work to develop a Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London, working with other members of the GLA Group, London Councils and drawing in external expertise where appropriate.

"The Mayor’s 2020 Vision sets out the critical infrastructure required on the road to 2020 and beyond. The London Plan, which is currently undergoing further alterations, sets out London’s needs to 2036. Given the long-term nature of infrastructure planning, the next set of investments needs to be drawn up if London is to sustain and accommodate its growth for the rest of t he first half of this century.

"The Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan will set out London’s strategic infrastructure requirements to 2050 across the main aspects of infrastructure, namely public transport, roads, energy, water, waste, ICT and partially social infrastructure. Uniquely, it will also provide a bottom up assessment of London’s infrastructure requirements and the funding and financing options to pay for them.

"It will ensure the infrastructure London needs for continued economic growth is clearly articulated. Our aim is to demonstrate to the Government, Londoners and investors that infrastructure is a key priority and that London has a clear plan to ensure it has the necessary infrastructure to meet the demands of its growing population and remain a leading world city.

"This paper sets out the progress to date in developing the first Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London. It discusses the key the mes that are emerging across infrastructure types that in our view need to be addressed if London is to effectively plan for and deliver its long term infrastructure requirements. It outlines the steps we will undertake to publish a Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London by the Autumn 2014."

"Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan for London" - link


Hammerson nearly went under in 2008-9. Will that happen to Hammerson's replacement developer at Brent Cross, after it clears off?

Link to The Economist

"What is mankind’s greatest invention? Ask people this question, and they are likely to pick familiar technologies such as printing or electricity. They are unlikely to suggest an innovation that is just as significant: the financial contract. Widely disliked and often considered grubby, it has nonetheless played an indispensable role in human development for at least 7,000 years.
"At its core, finance does just two simple things. It can act as an economic time machine, helping savers transport today’s surplus income into the future, or giving borrowers access to future earnings now. It can also act as a safety net, insuring against floods, fires or illness. By providing these two kinds of service, a well-tuned financial system smooths away life’s sharpest ups and downs, making an uncertain world more predictable. In addition, as investors seek out people and companies with the best ideas, finance acts as an engine of growth.
"Yet finance can also terrorise. When bubbles burst and markets crash, plans paved years into the future can be destroyed. As the impact of the crisis of 2008 subsides, leaving its legacy of unemployment and debt, it is worth asking if the right things are being done to support what is good about finance, and to remove what is poisonous."

Also from The Economist:

What’s gone wrong
with democracy?

"The progress seen in the late 20th century has stalled in the 21st. Even though around 40% of the world’s population, more people than ever before, live in countries that will hold free and fair elections this year, democracy’s global advance has come to a halt, and may even have gone into reverse. Freedom House reckons that 2013 was the eighth consecutive year in which global freedom declined, and that its forward march peaked around the beginning of the century.

"Between 1980 and 2000 the cause of democracy experienced only a few setbacks, but since 2000 there have been many. And democracy’s problems run deeper than mere numbers suggest. Many nominal democracies have slid towards autocracy, maintaining the outward appearance of democracy through elections, but without the rights and institutions that are equally important aspects of a functioning democratic system.

"Faith in democracy flares up in moments of triumph, such as the overthrow of unpopular regimes in Cairo or Kiev, only to sputter out once again. Outside the West, democracy often advances only to collapse. And within the West, democracy has too often become associated with debt and dysfunction at home and overreach abroad.

"Democracy has always had its critics, but now old doubts are being treated with renewed respect as the weaknesses of democracy in its Western strongholds, and the fragility of its influence elsewhere, have become increasingly apparent. Why has democracy lost its forward momentum?"

Barnet Times: "Police called in as protesters lobby MP Matthew Offord over lack of affordable housing [at West Hendon]"

Link to web site

"Police were called to keep the peace, as tens of protesters from across the capital turned out to lobby MP Matthew Offord over the lack of affordable housing in West Hendon.

Link to
'Save Our Welsh Harp'
[West Hendon is part of the same Barnet 'Supplementary Planning Guidance' area as Brent Cross Cricklewood. It is alongside the Welsh Harp reservoir.]

"Campaigners walked from the West Hendon estate to St Matthias Church in Rushgrove Avenue in Colindale where Mr Offord was hosting one of his MP Direct meetings last night.

"Mr Offord, who is the MP for Hendon, sent out invitations to a group of his constituents, but said the 'ragtag bunch' were not on the list."

Published by 'Barnet Rebel' on 12 April 2014:
"This is a 14-minute film of the protest demo in West Hendon, London NW9, where residents marched to see their MP, to discuss the 'regeneration' of their neighbourhood. Changes mean residents losing their homes, and secure tenants and leaseholders being charged thousands of pounds for 'safety improvement works', despite their homes being due for demolition.

"The MP declared the meeting 'private', and refused to meet the plucky band of concerned pensioners, children and other worried residents.

"Inevitably, the frit MP used the police as his private security and taxi service, to prevent him meeting his own constituents and suffering tax-payers. See you on the political scrap-heap of failed politicians in 2015, [Mister] Offord."

Additional report from Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' web site:

"Whose West Hendon? Our West Hendon:
MP Matthew Offord hides in a police van,
and refuses to face his own constituents"


Broken Barnet: Question from Councillor Brian Coleman about the Re/Capita jolly to 'le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier'. (That's abroad, you know.)

Brian had one or two questions.
"Following revelations that Haringey Council spent £16,000 in Cannes, did Barnet Council have any involvement in MIPIM - or, as he explained, with a commendable grasp of French - Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier.

"Mrs Angry was not entirely certain he know what it meant, but our Brian was clearly fuming he wasn't asked, as indeed was Mrs Angry, who could do with a trip to Cannes. (Any offers, please DM. Mrs Angry is happy to pretend to be your wife, if necessary. Not yours, Brian, obviously: no offence).

"Anyway, yes, someone from the new Barnet-Crapita Joint Venture 'Re' went - no, not, as you might think, to 'Re'lax in the south of France and drink champagne on a yacht, but to ... what was it ...
to ... dum di dum,

... where is it? ...
ah! ...
to publicise the opportunity
... erm, for
... ah,
potential partners for the
Brent Cross South Development. [given that 'here for the long term' Hammerson is giving up.]

"Mmm. Bound to be shedloads of those hanging about the Croisette, desperate for a chance to flog a penthouse view of the North Circular, and easy access to Staples Corner.

"Oh: the officer from Re was 'supported' by 'a member of Capita who is assisting with the procurement activities for this project'.

"We are told: Another Capita representative attended in a business development capacity, to promote Re and its service across London.

"Why? This was a jolly aimed at property developers, wasn't it?

Video of guest speaker at MIPM,
London Mayor Boris Johnson:

"... And then: All costs incurred in undertaking the above were met by Re and Capita. Well, yes: so costs of this trip to the Riviera were at least in part-paid for by us, the taxpayers of Broken Barnet.

"On to the business items. But first a brief statement from Labour leader Alison Moore about a matter that was exciting the Tory councillors, and of course Brian, the non-aligned member, beside himself with glee at the opportunity to distract attention from the story of his [LB of Barnet] laptop, and all the open speculation that has been swirling around the borough in regard to the circumstances behind its 'disposal'...

"... At this point in the proceedings, the doors to the public gallery opened, and a woman entered with a young boy in a wheelchair. He clearly has severe disabilities, and, as his mother, who sat next to Mrs Angry, explained, he is a pupil at Mapledown School, the school near Brent Cross, which is facing cuts in budget from the council."

[Source: Mrs Angry's Broken Barnet.]