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


31 October, and the London Communications Agency is more trick than treat, regarding Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent. Meanwhile, a nicer story from an animal charity...

(Story from Brent & Kilburn Times)

"Animal lovers are being urged to cast a happy spell on a black cat this Halloween, by adopting one from a charity in Kensal Green.

"Black moggies are often overlooked by people seeking a new pet, possibly because of they are associated with bad luck and witches.

"The Mayhew Animal Home in Trenmar Gardens are calling for people to give them a second chance, as they are just as normal as cats of different colours.

"For more information about cats available for adoption, visit themayhew.org/cats."


Evening Standard's 'Letter of the Day', aimed at London Communications Agency and Hammerson: Barnet's New Gyratory, based on its corrupt Brent Cross Planning Consent

(Click to enlarge)

Planning Resource: "Book review: Rebuilding Britain: Planning for a better future"

"Henry Cleary reviews Rebuilding Britain: Planning for a better future by Hugh Ellis and Kate Henderson"

"Early in the Coalition Government, a then colleague described presenting to his Minister the emerging plans for a major railway project whose reduced journey times would transform the relationship between cities. The Minister's enthusiasm was instant... 'This really is strategic planning ...mmm, but we mustn't call it that'.

"Loss of 'strategic planning' is just one of the disconnects which Hugh Ellis and Kate Henderson point up in this powerful and provocative book, a call to arms to re-invigorate a planning system in crisis. A crisis because positive public engagement has declined, politicians are reluctant to defend, the benefits of development to communities are unclear, and the capacity to handle really urgent big picture pressures - housing supply, climate change and north-south divide (national and global) - is dangerously weakened.

"Of course, as the railway example shows, an enormous amount of planning is going on and on such projects engagement can be very high but they aren’t seen in a big picture. The authors see an increasing fragmentation, driven by the market, deregulation, and, in their survey of current policies, a growing disconnect between neighbourhood, local plans and national infrastructure and the disappearance of any wider objectives in terms of what good planning can achieve.

"The book prompts the question of how many of the world’s problems can (or should) planning take on and will that make it any easier to get people to see a bigger picture. The authors have no doubt that planning needs a moral and political agenda "how a collective vision can create the conditions where more sustainable and co-operative living is encouraged and the quality of life improved".

"Is this the way to rebuild a movement? There are big challenges – increasing technological complexity, higher consumer expectations, globalisation and (relatively) poorer and weaker states; it was a lot simpler in 1946. The difficulty with resupply of planning’s moral compass from the visionary heritage of pioneering settlements from Thomas More to the New towns and Freiburg, as the authors intend, is that the boundary with social and political reform is difficult to limit as a look at the pioneers illustrate. Housing the poor quickly leads on to tackling wider inequality (north-south, inter-generational), re-distribution of (land) wealth and so on.

"But look back a lot further; it was not just the Soviets who gave the p-word a bad press. Until 1945 our national character had for centuries distrusted grand plans and kept the state small until crisis forced action and not always conceded even then Wren was given short shrift in his plans for rebuilding London after the Great Fire. Addressing a District Council planning committee today on how the revised local plan will be based on the principles of Thomas More, Gerard Winstanley and Henry George would be a fascinating but probably short-lived exercise.

"Having said this it is surely accepted now that visionary planning at the level of whole new communities can play a huge role in the long-term success of the project and that must mean engaging with the values and aspirations that those who live there want to achieve. The TCPA Garden Cities principles make a start and the recent Wolfson Garden cities competition has re-energised some of that skill at practical level.

"Kate Henderson and Hugh Ellis are not only concerned with rescuing a concept of utopia and restoring visionary planning; they also offer specific proposals including: a new legal objective for planning to restore its wider sustainable development (social and equity) objectives; a national spatial plan, a revived RCEP to help cope with emerging science as in climate change and for planners to be recognised as community development workers.

"The authors gives us a stimulating and timely debate but I am less pessimistic than them on current trends. Big spatial issues – airports, trains, London, high streets and housing are getting attention, not least politically. But we need to be less reliant on Government to join up the discussions. Government may stop doing things but cannot then oppose others picking up the reins. Trust and engagement would be better promoted by a neutral third-sector expert body. A National Trust for Planning anyone?"
Planning for a better future is published by Policy Press ISBN 978 1 44731 759 3 paperback
Henry Cleary, independent advisor on housing growth, retired from DCLG in 2011.

BBC: "Has quantitative easing worked in the US?"

Link to web site

"One of the biggest economic experiments of our age is coming to an end. The United States Federal Reserve has called time on 'quantitative easing' (QE), a policy that has pumped trillions of dollars into the US financial system.

"The jury is still out - and will be for a long time - on whether it has worked. There are real anxieties about what the consequences will ultimately be.

"... QE may be ending, but we can be sure the debate about its impact will not. Has it saved the US, and perhaps the rest of us, from economic disaster? Or has it sowed the seeds for the next financial crisis?"

Barnet Times (Brent Cross, Hammerson, NIMBYs and Mike McGuinness)


BBC: "Viewpoint: How the consumer dream went wrong"

"Consumer culture began as an ideological dream that people could change the world, says Jon Alexander. But has it gone too far?"

Link to web site

" 'On January 24th, Apple will release the Macintosh, and you'll see why 1984 won't be like "1984".'

"These words make up the voiceover of the most important advertisement ever made.

"The ad didn't just announce the arrival of a computer the Macintosh, or even just the arrival of Apple as a brand, but something far more significant:

"In the 90 seconds that this ad took to play out, in the first commercial break of the 1984 Superbowl, the voice of Apple declared that the Consumer had come of age, and was now the dominant force in society. All would bow before them - or rather us - and provide us with whatever we wanted, or suffer the consequences. And that this would release us from the tyranny of oppression.

"Taken in the context of the Cold War in which America and the West now finally had the upper hand, it is hard to overstate the ideological significance of this moment.

" ... We could, it seemed, have it all. So what went wrong?"

Hammerson's plus gros Brent Cross, Côtes du North Circular: At the water's edge of the Welsh Harp

(The Guardian)

" 'Ordre, ordre. Je veux te – si je peux be so bold – welcomer ici. It is not souvent que the Lady Mayor de Calais gets to meet moi,' said Keith Vaz in the pre-rehearsed speed-dating routine he usually reserves for his mirror. Natacha Bouchart looked startled, as much by the sound of her native language being badly mauled as by the nature of her welcome. She had made the day trip on Eurostar to give evidence to the home affairs committee on immigration only to find herself treated like an illegal immigrant.

"... This was too much for Conservative Michael Ellis, a man born to play ARP warden Hodges in Dad’s Army. Having just learned his government was on full 'drown before swamping' alert for all illegal immigrants, he wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to bag a Frenchie. 'You should look after your own borders,' he yelled, eyeballs quivering with excitement at an encounter with the enemy. 'I’m only a mayor, not a president,' she replied, though the French version sounded more like: 'Why don’t you sod off, you rude bastard'?"

Barnet Times, Feb 2014
(Apparently, "not in Phase One"
was changed from "now in Phase One")

Construction News: "Residential to form a 'significant' part of Argent's future pipeline" (Argent is on short-list to continue with Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent)

"Major commercial developer Argent has said that residential will be a 'significant' part of its future pipeline, according to its partner Nick Searl who was speaking at the Construction News Summit 2014.

Mr Searl said the team was looking at several residential-led projects [Oh no, not Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross one!], including the 1,500-home development at East Wick and Sweetwater at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

"He was talking on a panel chaired by outgoing British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace, with Great Portland Estates head of projects James Pellatt, Derwent London executive director Paul Williams, and Hammerson chief investment officer Peter Cole [of whom the less said, the better].

"Ms Peace said that with an increase of mixed-use development, all clients were increasingly becoming housebuilders, but asked whether commercial developers were good at building homes.

"Mr Pellatt argued that commercial developers did not make good housebuilders, while Mr Searl said the commercial sector did not have the 'baggage' that came with some residential developers, allowing room for them to be more innovative in the sector than traditional housebuilders.

"Derwent’s Mr Williams said his team would remain focused on commercial and would only 'dabble' in residential development.

"Hammerson’s Mr Cole said the team had begun development construction again, including at its Les Terrasses du Port project in Marseille, France, as well as its major £1bn UK retail-led scheme in Croydon, in partnership with Westfield [but is clearing off, licking its wounds, rather than continuing with Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent].

"Mr Searl said Argent would be 'upping the ante' on the work that is taking place at King’s Cross, with more than six years of construction left on site.

"Derwent is progressing on its commercial-led scheme in Shoreditch, White Collar Factory, and Mr Williams said work on Saatchi and Saatchi’s new headquarters in Fitzrovia would begin next year.

"Mr Pellatt said GPE was 'halfway through an ambitious speculative development programme', with development focused on the West End and the East end of Oxford Street.

"He added that the team would continue to speculatively develop because of good demand and competition in the market.

"Argent’s Mr Searl echoed the GPE head of projects’ faith in spec development and added the landscape had changed over the five years since his team has been developing King’s Cross, with people from across sectors interested in the office space in the area.

"Mr Williams said London was adapting 'massively' to this shift in demand and added that it was interesting to see how 'footloose' people have become, with a rise in pre-lets."


[Republished from July 2014] The Guardian: "In a successful modern city, the car must no longer be king"

"Our love affair with automobiles has shaped our cities and our lives – but mature metropolises are finally realising that the needs of people are even more important"

Link to web site

"We bottled water and it became fashionable. That’s what we need to do for walking.” By the late 1990s, it was obvious to us that making London more walkable – and “liveable” – was fundamental to the future success of the city. There seemed an urgent need to create streets and spaces that made people feel they were planned for them, not cars; that exploration on foot or a bike was a positive choice, not a necessary evil.

"As chief executive of the Central London Partnership (CLP), I led the lobbying for the pedestrianisation of Trafalgar Square. We were in the last gasp of a century that had brought us the motor vehicle: the resulting love affair with cars, and their link with modernity, had shaped our towns and cities, and our lives.

"Fifteen years on, the notion of a liveable city is well understood, and measured. Mature cities across the world have shifted their priorities towards people-centred urban spaces, accelerated by the realisation that reshaping our cities around quality of life is intrinsically linked to economic success. 

"Of course, getting the balance right is crucial, which is why there is a segment in The Human Scale – Andreas Dalsgaard’s documentary on the work of Gehl Architects – that makes my stomach crunch in frustration."

BBC: "Second phase of London cycling 'Quietways' announced"

Pedal to the web site

"Phase two of London's cycle 'Quietways' scheme has been announced, extending segregated cycle lanes and junction changes to all 32 boroughs.

"Phase one comprises seven routes in 15 boroughs, the first of which are due to open in spring 2015.

"Phase two will re-shape roads and junctions in Ealing and Twickenham town centres and other major thoroughfares.

A 'significant number' of the new projects should be under way by 2016, the mayor's office said."

"Quietways and the long road
to change for cyclists"

Evening Standard: "Generation grim: young Londoners 'face having worse homes, jobs, transport, schools, healthcare and pollution'"

Link to web site

"Far more Londoners expect the next generation to have worse homes and jobs, a poll reveals today.

"The already crowded public transport system, they think, will deteriorate despite billions being poured into upgrading the Tube, and Crossrail opening in 2018.

"With the capital’s population predicted to top 10 million within 15 years, schools, hospitals and GP services, they say, will be less good.

"The environment is also expected to get worse, even though increased efforts are being put into tackling pollution in the city. The 'generation grim' picture emerged from a YouGov survey of Londoners."

Sat 22 Nov: North London Waste Authority: "LCRN / NLWA Give and Take Day"

Link to 'Give and Take Days' web site

"The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) in partnership with the London Community Resource Network (LCRN) are delivering a series of re-use events in North London, as part of NLWA’s waste prevention programme which promotes reduction and reuse across North London.

"LCRN / NLWA Give and Take Days – your chance to pass on items you no longer need and pick up something you do for FREE.

"Please note that you can only give: books, DVDs/CDs, garden ware, IT, tools, clothes/shoes, small furniture, small electrical items and toys. We also accept: large furniture and white goods.

"FREE BULKY ITEMS COLLECTION - you can have large furniture and white goods collected for free by registering with us. No items outside the North London boroughs will be collected from households. Please note, collection will depend on availability as we expect a high demand on this service and that we will apply a First-Come, First-Served (FCFS) service policy.

"During the events we will also be running clothes up-cycling activities and repair workshops:
  • Clothes up-cycling activities - you will learn how to create new clothes, kitchen items, accessories and toys from old clothes.
  • Repair workshop - you will have the opportunity to repair your own electrical items and learn the most common DIY by participating to our repair workshop. Please make sure you have deleted all your data from your items and bear in mind we do NOT take responsibilities for your items. FCFS service policy will be applied."

BARNET Residents
Saturday 22 November (12.00 to 3.00 pm)
Green Man Community Centre, Strawberry Vale,
East Finchley, N2 9BA
"Give": 12.00 to 1.45 pm
"Take": 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Repair Workshop: 12.00 to 1.45pm
2.00 pm to 3.00 pm

The Guardian: "Bank of England warns City misconduct is undermining public trust" (in the bunch of crooks)

Link to web site

"In her first speech as deputy governor of the Bank of England, Nemat 'Minouche' Shafik said the behaviour of traders in foreign exchange, currencies and bonds markets pointed to a pattern of behaviour that goes beyond a few rogue players.

"Saying she had found the behaviour of Libor riggers outrageous, Shafik said that the ongoing fines for misconduct were 'like salt rubbed into the wounds to public confidence in financial markets'.

"About £4bn of fines have already been levied for manipulation of key benchmark rates such as Libor and the City is braced for fines for rigging the currency markets to be announced next month. Shafik said:
"Public outrage is based on the fact that rewards in finance are disproportionate and the system is rigged."


Consultation until 31 Oct: "London Infrastructure Plan 2050." (No, that's not ten-to-nine.)

Link to web site

"The Mayor has launched London's first long-term infrastructure plan. This is a consultation about London’s growth and how we can make the city better for everyone.

"Infrastructure is fundamental to every Londoner, every day, from turning on the taps in the morning, to travelling to work, to switching off the lights at night.

"The document sets out what infrastructure London requires. It is the first ever strategic attempt to set out London's infrastructure needs, how much it might cost and how we pay for our needs. The aim is to prepare for, and benefit further from, London's growth: bringing fresh thinking into the city's infrastructure needs now, in order to meet them more costs effectively in the long term.

"By its very nature, infrastructure underpins everything you do. You make London and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think by completing the consultation questions by 31 October 2014. If you prefer a standalone document please send it to infrastructureplan@london.gov.uk."

'Community Infrastructure Levy': Barnet's Role in its Downfall


The Observer: "America stems the flow of funds – just as China stalls and the eurozone risks going backwards"

"Janet Yellen of the Fed is winding down its quantitative easing programme, but might she soon have to wind it up again?"

Link to web site

"There is growing unease as the US central bank prepares to turn off its printing presses. Over five years the Federal Reserve has pumped almost $4.5 trillion into the US economy, in a desperate effort to counter the effects of recession and the collapse of hundreds of banks following the financial crash.

"... the Fed’s next move could be crucial. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen appears ready to maintain the $4.5tn cache of bonds and mortgage-backed securities that make up the bulk of the Fed’s balance sheet. As the bonds mature, she will buy new ones to keep the balance steady. But she may be edging away from raising interest rates from 0.25%, a move pencilled in by many economists for February.

"There was a time when it appeared that the US and UK would both raise rates in concert, and February was the chosen date. A downturn in the UK’s growth outlook has scuppered that idea. But the US economy may be suffering the same malaise. Manufacturing figures last week showed the sector expanding at a much slower rate than just a few months ago."

Link to web site

"How giving the lowest-paid a big rise could just solve our productivity puzzle"

"As recoveries go, this one brings rich pickings for politicians. The rest of us may be baffled that the slowest trudge out of recession in history has been followed by the fastest growth of any advanced economy. You may be asking why unemployment has tumbled, yet wages have not risen. And why all that austerity, only for George Osborne to have drifted further from his deficit goals?

"But for MPs gearing up for an election, it is a take-your-pick kind of recovery. One man’s Britain mired in a 'cost-of-living crisis' (Ed Balls) is another's 'employment powerhouse' (Danny Alexander).

It is this discrepancy in the jobs market that is most widely felt and keenly pondered. Employment is rising fast and yet wages are falling once inflation is taken into account.

Independent on Sunday: "Millions face years on the breadline: Britain has more long-term low-paid workers than ever"

Link to web site

"A generation of Britons is destined to spend years languishing in low-paid jobs barely above the minimum wage, with the number in poorly paid work at a historic high, a major report will reveal this week.

"More than five million workers are in low-paid work, with the proportion of people on low salaries rising from 21 to 22 per cent last year, according to the new research by the Resolution Foundation think-tank. It badly dents hopes of an economic recovery driven by consumer spending: millions are in jobs so poorly paid that they have little if anything left to spend after their basic needs have been met.

"Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said that the scale of the problem is a 'financial headache' for the Government because it 'fails to boost the tax take and raises the benefits bill for working people'.

Link to web site

The Guardian:
"Low pay is breaking Britain’s public finances: the evidence can’t be denied"
"How much more evidence do we need? Last week's 'Britain Needs a Pay Rise' rally couldn’t have had a better endorsement than the alarming official figures that emerged this week. Low pay is not just unjust, it's crippling the country’s finances.

"On Wednesday Steve Machin, research director at the LSE's centre for economic performance, laid out to a meeting of economists the collected evidence on the nature of falling pay – and warned that this is beginning to look not like a slow recovery in wages, but a permanent, structural feature of the UK economy. He showed how the group-think of economic forecasters has consistently and wildly over-estimated an expected increase in wages: the OBR forecast for March this year was a wage rise of 4.3%. What happened has been a continuing real fall.

" 'There has been a startling and unprecedented lack of wage growth as unemployment falls,' Machin says. The 'herd mentality' of forecasters is always to expect things to improve, but there is no sign they are right. This begins to look like the new permanent, as flatlining real median pay began back in 2003, long before the crash. Nor, finds Machin, is immigration a cause of falling pay: areas with high or low immigration saw pay fall equally."

Link to: 'Are more jobs low-paying?'


Hammerson development unrelated to Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent (2): Hackney Citizen: "'Biggest thing in the area since the Plague*': Bishopsgate Goodsyard consultation opens"

Link to web site

"Campaigners are urging residents to contribute to a public consultation on the Bishopsgate Goodsyard development, calling it 'the biggest thing to happen in the area since the Plague'.

Property developers Hammerson and Ballymore propose to turn the Goodsyard site which includes the historic Braithwaite Viaduct – one of the oldest railway structures in the world – into flats, offices and a public park.

The proposed scheme, worth £800 million, also includes four residential towers, two of which would reach 48 storeys. A 13 storey commercial block is also planned for the current Boxpark site.

However the 'More Light More Power' campaign, which comprises of ten local planning and community groups, object to the 'Hong Kong style' towers.

The Goodsyard

"Following extensive consultation, the Joint Venture (Hammerson and Ballymore) have submitted plans for the development of Bishopsgate Goodsyard, the former rail depot that has mostly lain empty and derelict for the past 50 years.

"The ambition is to create a well-linked, mixed-use project of up to 1,500 new homes, with new offices, shops and public space, including a raised public garden. It will cater for growing Tech City media & technology demands, independent businesses, start-ups and local people."

Community Involvement

"... [We have] carried out extensive pre-application consultation, asking you to take part in debate and discussion around local needs and design, to ultimately help shape the nature of the regeneration scheme.

"Whereas at Brent Cross, we at Hammerson put our least-talented team in charge, there was effectively no consultation for a decade, everything was organised by the totally-out-of-their-depth London Communications PR Agency, and we have ended up with Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood planning consent."

 [They didn't say that last paragraph. Although they could have.]

* Actually, the 1964 fire would have been bigger.

Hammerson development unrelated to Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent (1): "Croydon's Westfield/Hammerson development 'likely to be finished in 2019'"

Link to Croydon Advertiser

"THE billion-pound revamp of Croydon's town centre by the Westfield/Hammerson retail partnership is likely to be completed by 2019.

"Peter Cole, from Hammerson, said that if all goes well following a public inquiry [sic] next February, construction on the scheme should start at some point in 2016 - lasting three years until completion."


This-is-Money: Boris's proposed Old Oak Common to Brent Cross London Overground service apparently now supported by high-speed railways called HS2 and HS3

Link to web site

"The Government’s high speed rail 'tsar' Sir David Higgins will spark fresh controversy on Monday when he sets out details of his recommended route and stations for the Northern half of the controversial £50billion HS2 line.
"The Y-shaped second phase of the route is to run from Birmingham to Leeds in the East and Manchester in the West.

"But Sir David is also set to outline plans for an additional West to East express train route - dubbed 'HS3' - linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull. The idea has the support of Chancellor George Osborne who wants to stimulate economic growth in the region.

"Using it as a 'centrepiece' of his Autumn statement, he is expected to announce investment of up to £15billion to turn the North of England into an economic 'powerhouse'.

"Significantly Sir David will unveil his report – called 'Rebalancing Britain - Towards a national transport strategy' – in Leeds on Monday."

Barnet Times: "Activist cut free after padlocking herself to a gate in West Hendon estate" (West Hendon is part of Brent Cross Supplementary Planning Guidance area)

Link to web site

"A woman padlocked herself to a gate in a protest over housebuilding. Demonstrators gathered on the West Hendon estate this morning, to protest about the regeneration scheme that will see many homes demolished.

"People living on the estate will be moved out of their homes next year, to make way for 2,000 new flats being built.

"Glynis Walker is campaigning on behalf of her 85-year-old mother, Adelaid Adams, who lives in Tyrell Way, one of the blocks facing bulldozing. She padlocked herself round the neck to the gate this morning to prevent lorries from entering the building site."

Early days at a multi-billion-pound north London regeneration site! (Not like Barnet and its corrupt Brent Cross planning consent)

The Dudding Hill Line, top left, heads to Brent Cross


Barnet Big Cheese says London councils 'should unite to attract more investment' (Pity about the corrupt Brent Cross planning consent then)

Link to Barnet Press

"Barnet’s chief operating officer Chris Naylor has argued that cash-strapped councils could be missing out on cross-borough development opportunities under the the capital’s existing two-tier system, which states that decisions can only be governed by the Greater London Authority or individual boroughs.

"In a new report by the Society of London Treasurers, Mr Naylor writes that local authorities in London should have 'the opportunity to establish combined authority-type arrangements of the kind available to other councils, including the ability, through these arrangements, to negotiate their own city-type deals'.

"He added that arrangements like this would have been necessary if, say, the £4-billion Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration project had been based across the borough boundaries of Barnet, Camden and Brent." [Whereas only the downsides are felt by Camden and Brent. Which historically is what was intended.]

Barnet Press: "Labour slams 'low-pay, low-skilled' council job shop at Brent Cross shopping centre"

Link to web site
"LABOUR has slammed a council initiative aimed at getting more residents into work and its use of public money to perpetuate a 'low-pay, low-skilled, zero-hour contract economy'.

"On Monday, Barnet Council announced that, since the launch of the Brent Cross retail job shop three months ago, 80 people have found work through the 'one-stop recruitment shop' aimed at developing and filling vacancies with retailers at the shopping centre.

"The council is working with Jobcentre Plus to find residents work with retailers including Fenwick, Mothercare, Banana Republic, Timberland, Toys R Us and Victoria’s Secret.

"However, Labour group leader Alison Moore raised concerns over the fact that a large number of the jobs are paid the minimum wage and are on zero-hour contracts. She believes public funds should not be spent on recruitment for such vacancies."

Islington Gazette: Mount Not-So-Pleasant

Daily Telegraph: "Supermarket trick: 'I save £1,000 a year - and don't even buy basic'"

Link to web site

"...Shoppers don’t have to wait for the chains to start cutting prices before they see their food bills start to fall. And abandoning their local Tesco or Sainsbury's in search of the nearest Lidl and Aldi – or switching to cheaper 'value' ranges – isn't necessary either.

Some resourceful households are making huge savings on their weekly shopping bills by using a range of new tricks to buy their favourite foods at big discounts.

Samantha Shelford is one of this new breed. Miss Shelford spends just £25 a week to feed her family of three despite being fussy about buying branded products such as Heinz and Cussons:
"I have a real stigma about buying basic products. I'll never buy low-end food, and all our shampoo and baby things are branded."
"But her shopping involves more than a quick trip to Tesco. She uses a mix of smartphone apps, coupons and price promotions from all the major supermarkets to get the best price possible on her weekly shopping."


Road.cc: "Author scores parliamentary first as cycling and motoring groups co-host history talk"

"Carlton Reid, writer of 'Roads Were Not Built For Cars', will speak about parliament's early attitudes towards the motor car"

Paddle across to web site

"Carlton Reid, who recently published his book Roads Were Not Built For Cars, will speak about some of his historical findings at the Houses of Parliament next month, with his talk making some history of its own; the event will be jointly hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group (APPMG) and the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) – the first time that has ever happened.

"Reid, executive editor of the trade website BikeBiz.com, will be speaking in the invitation-only event on 19 November about parliamentary attitudes towards motoring prior to 1905, a time when motoring had yet to become widespread.

"As his book recounts, there were very close links between cycling and many early motoring pioneers, including a number of firms that would later become household names for manufacturing cars starting out in the bicycle business.

"He also highlights how many early motorists having a background of riding bikes – far removed from the depiction of 'two tribes' of road users often reported nowadays."

At the other end of the Brent Cross Railway: Financial Times: "Cargiant and Queens Park Rangers battle to build thousands of London homes"

(The Dudding Hill freight line is not shown,
but runs from the western London Overground
station, almost due north - to Harlesden,
Neasden, Brent Cross [ha!] and
Hendon Thameslink and RAF Museum.)

"Two businesses have unveiled rival plans to build thousands of homes on the last big undeveloped site in London – even though neither has ever built a single house.

"Cargiant, the car dealership, and Premier League football club Queens Park Rangers may not be builders but they have lined up teams of planners, architects and property developers as they try to cash in on the capital's housing market.

"The prize is a semi-industrial site of more than 100 acres called Old Oak Common, in west London. At first glance, it does not look a promising site for real estate, flanked by the unremarkable districts of Acton and Harlesden, with Wormwood Scrubs prison to the south and the Grand Union Canal running through the middle.

"Yet this is London’s biggest regeneration opportunity since the Olympics. A Crossrail and HS2 superstation the size of Waterloo will help create what Boris Johnson, mayor of London, called 'an entirely new city quarter for London'. Sir Edward Lister, deputy mayor, has hailed it as 'one of the largest and most exciting schemes of its kind in London for decades' and 'a once-in-a-lifetime pportunity to transform a vast area, the size of a small London borough'.

"Whoever wins will hope to emulate developers that are building big housing projects on land that was long derelict, such as King’s Cross, Battersea Power Station, Earls Court and Royal Docks. As Cargiant is already the biggest landowner and the major employer on Old Oak Common, it would appear to have the upper hand in the contest.

"QPR and the club’s owners own not a square inch of the land but they bring clout, profile and deep pockets. AirAsia entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, QPR chairman, is part of a consortium that includes the scion of the billionaire Gnanalingam family, which is the major shareholder of Malaysian ports operator Westports Holdings.

"The QPR team believe their plan to move out of their 18,000-seat ground in Shepherd’s Bush for a new, multipurpose stadium seating 40,000 on the Old Oak Common site is in tune with the regeneration policies of the mayor and local politicians. Their scheme promises 24,000 homes and 55,000 jobs in a project they call 'New Queens Park' – what Mr Fernandes describes as 'much more than just a stadium'.

"The master plan will be produced by Farrells and Tony Spencer, the property consultant who found Arsenal the site for its Emirates stadium and helped the club to become a one-off property developer to help fund the project.

"But Cargiant’s trump card is that it is already on Old Oak Common, where it employs 700 people and sells 40,000 cars a year, and has been there for 35 years. With PLP in charge of its master plan and First Base and Lipton Rogers its developers, Cargiant’s scheme would see it relocate its dealership and build 9,500 homes.

"The Greater London Authority sees the potential of a stadium as part of any redevelopment and has talked to QPR. But it will not attempt to strong-arm Cargiant to give way. 'The mayor hopes that an agreement between all parties can be reached,' Sir Edward said.

"Property industry figures downplay QPR’s chances of snatching Cargiant’s land out from underneath them. The club has little chance of obtaining a compulsory purchase order to force Cargiant to sell, according to one experienced planning adviser who did not want to be named because of his involvement in previous plans for the site. 'If the Cargiant plan is consistent with the mayor’s vision and they are making progress, then there would be no grounds [for an order],' he said.

"Cargiant is owned by Geoffrey Michael Warren, who is not a football fan – though his company once sponsored QPR and the company’s managing director, Tony Mendes, is a season-ticket holder. 'They [QPR] don’t own a blade of grass on Old Oak Common,' said Mr Mendes, adding that a football stadium in the middle of the site would 'sterilise' the area.

"QPR has responded by saying the future of Old Oak requires all to work for the common good, not in 'unco-ordinated and piecemeal development of individual land holdings', pointing out that Arsenal did not own any of the land it eventually acquired for its north London stadium.

"However, despite property industry speculation that Mr Warren is merely trying to inflate the price Cargiant will eventually get for the land, Mr Mendes dismisses any thought of the company being bought out. There were talks at one stage but no more, he says. 'We won’t engage with them again – we are too far down the road'."

The Guardian: Housing: "Lyons and London"

"Has Labour’s housing review failed to recommend the very measures the capital most needs?"

Link to web site

"Four paragraphs of Sir Michael Lyons’s review of the nation’s housing problems and how to fix them are devoted exclusively to London, but pretty much all its 174 pages are very relevant to the capital. But is it missing some crucial bits? Alex Hilton of Generation Rent thinks the gaps numerous and vast:
"It's not that the report has a lack of ambition, the problem seems to be that the ambition was not to solve the housing crisis but to come up with a set of proposals that neither have a negative impact on house prices nor have any cost implications for the Treasury...

So this is Labour’s problem. They don't want to spend any money and they don’t want to interfere with a failed housing market. This has left the members of the Lyons group with an unenviable straightjacket and they broadly did the best they could given the constraints. Though even then, you can see a lack of inspiration in the recommendations."