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


The Corrupt Brent Cross Planning Consent: Argent and a Related American outfit win Barnet's contest to replace dead-in-the head Hammerson - but what happens to the already known good ideas of the three losing developers?

This posting has a long heading, doesn't it?
We know
another media outlet that does that, don't we?
Link to the 'Argent announcement' in the Daily Mail.

"Argent and its partner Related will be recommended to Barnet Council’s key regeneration committee as the Council’s long term development partner on the 78 hectare Brent Cross South scheme.

"Argent is best known in London for its work on the redevelopment of Kings Cross.
The scheme sits alongside Hammerson and Standard Life’s Investments redevelopment of the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. 

"Gateway Barnet, (Far East Consortium, Countryside Properties, Notting Hill Housing Trust and Southern Grove), has been identified as reserve bidder. 

"The Brent Cross South scheme will provide 7,500 homes and space for over 20,000 jobs supported by a new Thameslink station on the site. This is on top of 3,000 new jobs created by the redevelopment of the shopping centre.  The scheme already has outline planning permission as part of the wider Brent Cross Cricklewood development. 

"The recommendation, which follows assessments based on the development teams’ financial capacity, place-making skills and the quality of the team delivering the project, will go before the Council's Assets Regeneration and Growth Committee on March 3 before ultimate ratification from Barnet Council that evening.  All four shortlisted developers made presentations to council members, officers and key stakeholders ahead of the final decision. 

"The council has been searching for a development partner to work in a joint venture with the council on the Brent Cross South scheme. 

"Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said:
“I have always said that this council had no intention to ‘take the money and run’. We are looking for a long-term partner [given the loss of the last ones] to work with the council to create a thriving town centre, making the most of the transformed shopping centre and getting the best deal for local residents.
We want to create a real model for a 21 century suburb at Brent Cross - a neighbourhood not a dormitory. We will need a thriving modern high street that complements the shopping centre, a mix of housing and space for employment and education to produce a proper neighbourhood, busy and active throughout the day. 

 “We had four excellent proposals from a mix of UK and international teams.  What shone through in the proposal from Argent Related was that they had a long term vision for Brent Cross South, had clear views on how that vision would be supported over time and knew how to make the best of a transformed shopping centre. 

“They have already shown with their schemes at Kings Cross and Brindleyplace that they can produce great places that generate jobs and support high quality homes. The character of Brent Cross South will obviously be very different but Argent Related have shown how they will work with the Council to create something that will bring lasting benefits for generations of Barnet residents to come."
"Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor of London for Planning said:
"This is a crucial step as we look to transform Brent Cross Cricklewood into one of the premier places to live, work and visit in the capital. London is now home to more people than ever before and this scheme is absolutely crucial to the city’s sustainable growth as it has the capacity to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs through major improvements to transport infrastructure.

We have been working closely with Barnet Council to secure investment in a new Thameslink station at Brent Cross that will bring the area within 12 minutes of central London and are also looking to create a pleasant environment in which to walk or cycle. I look forward to seeing this vitally important part of London transformed over the coming years."
"The Council are being supported in the selection of a partner by Capita Real Estate, Re and lawyers Wragge Lawrence Graham."


Wandsworth Guardian: "Stunning images reveal 74 competing designs for the new Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge." (Barnet overspent by £11-million on its Aerodrome Road bridge, and lied in its corporate video that it was "on budget".)

"From the eccentric to the elegant, these stunning images reveal the 74 proposals for a new £40m bridge from Nine Elms to Pimlico."

"The names of the architects and engineers behind these competing designs are being kept secret to ensure a level playing field between the newcomers and the famous."

See the video.

[Reposted (and so is he!)] Chris Naylor, Barnet's Mr Micawber: "Brent Cross income twenty pounds, Brent Cross expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery."

"The Society of London Treasurers consists of the 33 Section 151 officers of the London boroughs and the City of London, together with representatives of the functional bodies of the GLA family. [Ah, nice.]

"The Society advocates on technical financial matters effecting [sic] London and its residents. The view represented by the Society reflects the professional views of its members and not the political views of any or all of their employing authorities.

"This report has been written by Chris Naylor, chief operating officer and director of finance at the London Borough of Barnet [now Chief Executive of LB of Barking and Dagenham - their loss is our gain], with support from member colleagues of SLT."

Saint Jude:
'Patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases'

"RE (Regional Enterprise) Ltd, or Re, is the new joint venture between London Borough of Barnet and Capita plc [cobbled together at the last minute, by the way]. Re provides a range of development and regulatory services to residents in Barnet and the south east of England. 

"The following services are provided by Re:
[We've added those last two items.]

"Brent Cross and a new Thames Link [sic] Station"

"The London Borough of Barnet is currently working with the GLA and HM treasury to conclude a TIF type arrangement [Gawd help us] to ensure that the area surrounding Brent Cross shopping centre in the south west corner of the borough benefits from the forthcoming redevelopment of the retail site.

Land to the south of the current shopping centre, in Barnet, but on the border with the London Borough of Camden, has capacity for at least 7,000 new homes. However, due to poor transport links it is currently economically unviable to develop. Less than a mile away is the Thames Link railway line. [Less than a mile away from what?]

"A new station on this line, on a site in Barnet, but this time on the border with the London Borough of Brent' would provide sufficient additional transport capacity to increase local land values, unlocking the development potential and enabling the rapid building of thousands of much needed new homes.

In this example, the London Borough of Barnet is proposing to carry the financial risk, by borrowing the money to fund the new station and agreeing with government the retention of all new additional business from Brent Cross to fund and repay the loan. In this way the borough has governance oversight of both the debt and the income. [We're doomed.]

Imagine for a moment if, by quirk of history, the borough boundaries of Barnet, Camden and Brent were moved north and east respectively, such that the economically sub-viable land was in Camden, the location of the new station was in Brent, and the shopping centre was in Barnet. In this scenario the borrowing, funding, benefits and risk proposition would become instantly more complex [although to be fair, there could actually be some community based consultation, and sustainable development planning, avoiding your authority's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent, currently being cherry-picked by Hammerson. Just saying, Chris. Still, this is supposed to be your paragraph, so carry on wittering ...] unless the three boroughs in question were able to somehow pool and share risk through some form of shared financial governance. As with Nine Elms, currently the only realistic option in such situations would be for the GLA to step in to both borrow the money and service the debt. [Can we stop imagining now? Is it all a bad dream?]


LeftFootForward: "The mayor’s planned estate regeneration schemes will cost London 8,296 social rented homes"

Link to web site

"Mayors and councils have been misleading Londoners for years about affordable housing. When they boast about building new homes, they don’t mention that for every ten homes that have built in the past decade, one has been knocked down and four have been sold through Right to Buy.

"I've long supported campaigns against the unnecessary demolition of council estates like the Heygate in Elephant & Castle, the Carpenters in Stratford, the Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates in Earl’s Court.

"These are knocked down in order to ‘regenerate’ the area, but have been vigorously opposed by tenants and leaseholders, and by a growing movement that came together to march on City Hall on 31 January.

"Last week the London Assembly's Housing Committee, which I chair, published a landmark report 'Knock It Down or Do It Up?' taking stock of all these estate regeneration schemes."

Furness Photography: "On The Road - A Visit to West Hendon"

"The tenants of West Hendon council estate, London, are facing relocation from the local area or potential homelessness as a result of a regeneration project to build new homes on the land of their estate. Some tenants have been living on the estate for over forty years. Many council estates in London are facing so called regeneration, and like many of these plans, the strategy for West Hendon involves building a large number of luxury homes on the site, with a pledge by the developers to include a number of council properties within the development. I went along with my friend Lisa, a photographer and blogger, to find out what their story is.

"I didn't know quite what to expect as we approached West Hendon Estate on a freezing Saturday on the 3rd February 2015. I’d read about the estate and how the tenants are taking on Barnet Council for allegedly giving away the land their estate sits on to Barratt Homes for the purpose of creating luxury flats. I’d heard allegations of gerrymandering in the borough to get rid of the last Labour voters in the ward and about the council tenants hanging banners outside their flats, attending marches and undertaking direct action in a last attempt to save themselves from leaving their homes and community behind.

Nothing could prepare us for the sheer confusion of the situation at West Hendon. The estate is in the borough of Barnet. This is a ward in the constituency of Hendon; the fight for political power is hotly contested; the Conservatives won the seat back from Labour in the last general election with a very slim margin indeed- just 0.2%, a majority of 106. It would be easy to make a link between these voting patterns and the plans to move the council tenants (traditionally more likely to vote labour) from the area."

(Click on an image.)

The Guardian: "London housing: the evicted children of Sweets Way"

Link to web site

"Sweets Way, poignantly named, is a housing estate in one of the leafiest suburban fringes of north London. It used to be owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) but has been sold to a private developer which intends to demolish the roughly 160 houses there. Until recently there were still some 60 tenants on the estate. During the past fortnight, the eviction of all but a handful of those remaining has taken place.

"Some of the now former Sweets Way residents had lived there for a long time, while others had been quite recently placed there temporarily by the council’s housing management company Barnet Homes and now find themselves on the move again. I don’t yet have the full story of Sweets Way. But what is absolutely plain is that the situation has subjected children who've been living there to great disruption, distress and uncertainty.

"... Council leader Richard Cornelius has defended the creation of 'new mixed areas' in the borough, and said that its temporary tenants are being found 'new places to live in the area'. Yet, as the film suggests, the process appears to have been far from smooth or painless."

"SWEETS WAY EVICTIONS 16-17/02/2015" (Recommended by 'Barnet Eye') Like at Brent Cross, it is the demolition of decent existing homes, for 'development'.

"Tucked away off Frien Barnet Lane, Sweets Way estate housed in the region of 160+ households. Most housed via the council with a smaller number renting privately. The land and estate, owned by the MOD and originally intended to house military personnel, is to be sold.

"Started on the 9th February and due to be completed by 23rd February, the lightning set of evictions and property clearances are leaving families in chaos and confusion whilst they are displaced. Families are being offered mostly temporary emergency housing, but not in Barnet. Relocations have reportedly included areas like Enfield, Waltham Forest, Westminster, Essex and Luton.

"A number of residents are Kurdish and Turkish refugees who have already suffered trauma. Many of the children from Sweets Way estate now have to consider whether to change schools, or spend hours on public transport to reach their schools, and friends in Barnet.

"Families have lost almost all their belongings because they have nowhere, and no money, to store them. From a 2 to 3 bedroom home to a single room in a hostel leaves little room for any furniture, or practical items like washing machine, fridge, cooker etc.

"Residents reported that Barnet council had allowed families to keep their furniture and valuables in the homes after their evictions, so they could find storage space, but the properties were then robbed and the items stored stolen.

"Families are expected to wait until their eviction before they approach the council for rehousing, to find out what type of accommodation will be available for them, leaving them in extremely precarious stressful circumstances with no assurances of adequate help.

"This is however a London-wide problem for residents - not solely a local problem in the Tory borough of Barnet - as property prices continue to rise and 'land grabs' continue, to build more expensive and profitable private housing. The concept of 'social housing' or 'affordable housing' rapidly becoming a quaint memory."

Barnet Housing Action Group supported tenants during the evictions.
Facebook: Barnet-Housing-Action-Group
Twitter: @barnethaction
Email: Barnet.HAG@gmail.com


Jenny Jones, London Assembly member: "The end of industry in London?" (Some rather grand people in Barnet don't like people in 'trade', by the way)

"The Mayor of London takes an approach called 'predict and provide' when making plans for [the future]. This dead-end approach assumes that the past is a good predictor of the future, and that politicians have little power to change anything. So he 'provides' things like land supply on that basis. When it comes to industry he predicts terminal decline, and so provides less and less land.

"In his Infrastructure Plan, he sets projections of employment that show manufacturing jobs falling to just 15,500 by 20501. On that trend, manufacturing will disappear completely from London by 20622. Other sectors that provide skilled manual jobs are also projected to decline – jobs providing energy and water, or transporting, processing, storing and distributing food are all assumed to be on the gradual slide to oblivion.

"But this is an absurd prediction. ... This predicted decline, if it came true, would be hugely damaging for the 'foundational economy' that sustains the infrastructure of everyday life."


The Economist: "Building on the boundaries: There is a pattern to London’s big developments" (No mention of Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood planning consent, bordering Brent and Camden, though)

The rail line top-left goes off across Brent,
to Brent Cross and Hendon RAF Museum

"LONDON often seems pinched: last year a dilapidated seven-by-eleven foot garage in Chelsea sold for £550,000 ($850,000). But it actually contains plenty of land for building. The largest swathe can be found across Old Oak Common and Park Royal: a 950-hectare lozenge to the north-west of the city encompassing several waste plants, some post-war warehouses and a clutch of crumbling railway cottages. Although the lozenge has wealthy neighbours, it has rotted for decades. Like many of London’s underdeveloped sites, the area lies on a boundary between boroughs. And that could explain a lot.

"London’s 33 boroughs are collectively much more powerful than the city’s mayor. To a large extent, they determine what is built within their borders. They are also short-sighted, frequently neglecting their edges in favour of their middles, where most people live. Look at the borough map in any London town hall, says Michael Hebbert, a professor at University College London, and it 'could be an island, surrounded by beaches'. The peripheries are for waste-tips and warehouses, the centre for libraries and office blocks.

"Consequently Nine Elms, a 195-hectare brownfield site that overlaps two boroughs, and the City Fringe, 489 hectares that overlap seven, were until recently left alone as land values climbed around them. (Another undeveloped area is next to Finsbury Park, in north London, which falls into three boroughs.) In the late 1970s Lambeth council resisted new offices at its northern edge, on the prime development land between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, before encouraging office development in Brixton, three miles south at the borough’s centre. Tension between the boroughs of Camden and Islington caused problems at several stages of a large development project north of King’s Cross, a railway station in north London.

"Now London’s government, which is starting to flex its planning muscles, is stepping in to break the deadlock. In 2012 it supervised the fast construction of the Olympic Village, which stands in four east London boroughs, creating a powerful development corporation that could overrule borough worries. London’s soaring residential property prices, along with a fast-growing population, are an encouragement to try this elsewhere.

"The city government is lucky: these neglected liminal areas are available for development at a time when London is prepared to build densely. Had the city made use of them earlier, while still in the habit of building the low-rise homes most of its population live in, it would be stuck for space. But it can now pack the borough fringes with tall apartment buildings. The new Nine Elms has been dubbed 'Dubai on Thames', or 'Mini-Manhattan'; Old Oak Common will be the “Canary Wharf of the North” (the GLA’s plans are pictured). Both will in fact be a thicket of unappealing glass blocks. But aesthetics are not London’s priority. The city’s population is predicted to reach 11m by 2050, and the Green Belt stops it from sprawling. It must fit everyone in somehow."

Bikeboom: "All Change to Bikes, 1975"

Link to web site

"Why hasn’t the UK got Dutch-style cycle networks in every town, city and village? Partly it's down to culture: the Netherlands has had 100+ years of bicycle-based national identification. This is so strong that the Dutch bike – the omafiets, or granny bike, a Dutch national icon – is deemed to be peculiar to the Netherlands when, in fact, it’s English. Because the bicycle was adopted as a symbol of Dutch national identity from about 1910 it was far easier for politicians and planners to pay for and design bicycle path networks when, in the 1970s, there was a groundswell of support to rein back the car, which was starting to clutter up Dutch cities.

"The current call from many British cycle campaigners to 'Go Dutch' echoes similar calls from cycle campaigners in the 1970s.

" The oil crisis of 1973 sent shockwaves around the world. Use of cars dropped; use of bicycles rose. There was a boom in bike sales in the early 1970s – from a low point of selling just 164,000 adult bicycles at the end of the 1960s the market jumped to 600,000 sales a year by the mid-1970s.

"In the Netherlands, recognition that reliance on Middle Eastern oil was not sustainable resulted in a metric ton of cycleways to make an already bike-mad nation into an even bikier one. In the UK there was the same desire for change, the same desire to seize the moment and rein back the car. As we all know, not a lot changed."


Daily Mirror: "Great gran forced out of her Barnet West Hendon home of 30 years by compulsory purchase order" (and Hammerson's Brent Cross is next)

"Ros Wynne-Jones meets the 85 year old great gran who is being forced out of the home where she has lived for the last 30 years as people in Boris Johnson's London start fightback against developers"

Link to web site

"Adelaide's two-bedroom home in West Hendon, Barnet, is being compulsorily purchased by the council along with around 680 others in the name of ‘regeneration’. Residents say 95% of tenants and leaseholders face eviction as the land is redeveloped in the £520million Hendon Waterside project next to the Welsh Harp reservoir.

" 'I thought I was going to see out my days here,' says Adelaide. Instead she has no choice but to sell to Barratt Homes which has offered her just £175,000 for the flat.

" 'It would cost me £407,000 to buy a two-bedroom flat on the new development,' says Adelaide, her voice struggling through asthma made worse by living on a building site.

" 'I'm a pensioner. Who is going to give me a mortgage? How would I pay all the new service charges? They just want us all out of London. They want new people here to enjoy the waterside'."


The Guardian: "Estate regeneration should put estate residents first"

"People are more likely to support the redevelopment of the council-owned housing estates they live on if they are listened to rather than pushed around"

Link to web site

"The regeneration of council-owned housing estates can stir fierce opposition and great concern. It would be very strange indeed if it did not. People living in homes they like, perhaps homes they have lived in for a long time, are unlikely to thrill to the prospect of being turfed out. Others may be less enamoured of their homes, which may be cramped, ugly, leaky, cold, crumbling before their eyes and the stigmatizing object of casual contempt.

"Yet their first instinct may be to resist the estate they live on being radically reconfigured or razed. Why? Because change might not be for the better. Because the promises of planners, developers and politicians aren't always kept. Because the process can stop, start and drag on for many years. Because 'regeneration' is too often a fancy word for pushing people around.

"A strength of a new report on this minefield issue by the London Assembly's housing committee is that it grasps the core importance of winning peoples' co-operation, trust and consent if you have decided it would be for the best if they moved out of their homes so you can knock them down."

BBC: "The man who hated the transformation of Britain: Nairn was worried that Southampton (top image) ...would soon look like Carlisle (bottom)"

Link to web site

"Six decades ago a critic launched a withering attack on the tendency toward a bland 'subtopia' in British towns.

"April 1955 witnessed a changing of the guard. That month Anthony Eden replaced the 80-year-old Sir Winston Churchill as prime minister.

"Two months later, the Architectural Review magazine printed 'Outrage', an essay by critic Ian Nairn. It sparked a debate over architecture, conservation and planning which still resonates today.

"In Outrage, the singular and passionate Nairn recounted a journey he had made in a Morris Minor from Southampton to Carlisle."


Hammerson Chief executive David Atkins said: “We are intending to take on board some of the comments people are raising." (But stuff you if you are made homeless by our Brent Cross shopping centre scheme.)

Link to Evening Standard

"A controversial, £800 million overhaul planned for Shoreditch may be changed to make more room for smaller tech firms after local opposition to the scheme, the head of developer Hammerson has said.

"Hammerson and partner Ballymore have submitted plans for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard — a vast, 10-acre site on the edge of the City — including the construction of almost 1500 homes in seven towers of up to 46 storeys, offices and shops.

"The scheme would also create a public park on the site — derelict since a 1964 fire — and restore the arches of the listed Braithwaite Viaduct, London’s second-oldest railway structure."

"... Chief executive David Atkins responded:
"We couldn't give a toss about the people made homeless by us at Brent Cross. Let the shopping centre expansion there rock!"

Oh, sorry, that was a mistake.
It should have said:

"We are intending to take on board some of the comments people are raising at Shoreditch."


Breaking cover in 'Architects Journal': "David Partridge, managing partner at Argent, on the importance of good design... [at Brent Cross]"

Who are you working with on live projects currently?
"At King’s Cross, we have schemes under way with Eric Parry, Demetri Porphyrios, Niall McLaughlin, David Morley and Stanton Williams. New buildings coming on stream in the next 12 months are being designed by Michel Mossessian, Duggan Morris, Piercy & Co, Thomas Heatherwick, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Fumihiko Maki and Michael Squire.
In Birmingham we are developing two new buildings with Glenn Howells and Eric Parry."
How will you recruit architects for the next schemes in your development pipeline?
"We are already working with the likes of Cartwright Pickard, AEW, FaulknerBrowns and 5Plus Architects in Manchester, and are looking to widen our net. We recently held a joint charrette with the AJ, which threw up some very interesting ideas.
Usually we will hold a short, limited competition for new projects as they come forward with the aim of finding the right design team, not necessarily the right scheme – that will emerge later as we refine the brief together."
What role will architects and architecture play in Argent’s bids to win future projects such as Brent Cross Cricklewood South [sic]?
"Again, good design, firmly rooted in the new place we are looking to create will be fundamental to all of Argent’s future projects.
For our Brent Cross South bid, we have sketched out some initial ideas with Allies and Morrison, Glenn Howells, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Townshend Landscape Architects, the firm which designed Pancras Square in London’s King’s Cross."
Why has architecture been important to the growth of Argent so far?
"Argent has always believed that good design is fundamental to good development. It starts with a common understanding of what it takes to create a ‘human city’, collaborating with urban designers and practices which approach building design from a contextual stance, working from the outside in, at the same time as from the inside out."
What advice would you give new practices seeking to work with Argent?
"We are always open to working with new talent. My suggestion is to keep on doing what you are good at – actions always speak louder than words, and we will find you eventually."

"Work is nearing completion on Ooze Architects’
long-awaited natural swimming pool at King’s Cross"


HM Government: #If There's Somethin' Strange in your Brent Cross Neighborhood, Who Ya Gonna Call?#

# If there's something weird
and it don't look good
Who ya gonna call? #
"I'll get my people to talk to your people"

"Regeneration Project: Brent Cross - Cricklewood (GDV £5000m)"

"Details about the opportunity for international investors to provide investment for a large regeneration project in the UK."

Opportunity for investors
"The overall aim of this project is to create a sustainable new town centre for Barnet [involving 29,000 extra cars per day, according to the supplementary planning guidance], to reflect the evolution of the design of the Scheme [developers strangely keep clearing off] and to provide a basis for the regeneration process to commence within the timescales envisaged in the 2010 Permission [ah, the corrupt Permission].

"In addition to new homes and jobs the town centre is to consist of new community facilities, transport infrastructure [consented eight-storey car parks] with a particular emphasis upon public transport [wealthy new shoppers will apparently come on the bus. Like hell they will], and open space [some of which Hammerson will enthusiastically concrete over].

"The town centre will break down barriers to movement within the site [called the 'living hell' bridge at the last planning committee farce], especially across the A406, and also ensure integration with existing surrounding areas [is that 'the town centre will also ensure integration...'? You may have better grammar than the Barnet job advert, but that is rubbish, isn't it?], thus allowing the benefits of the redevelopment to extend beyond the boundaries of the site.

The development will consist of over 1.4M m2 of mixed use development, including 7550 [where did the '50' come from? Would they be the Hammerson flats on the existing Brent Terrace green spaces? Oh, the mentality of someone at Barnet Council for that little correction of fact.] new residential units, of which up to 750 units may be special needs, student housing or sheltered accommodation.

"It is intended to develop 78,000m2 Retail and Related Uses North of A406, with a further 32,000 m2 to the south of the A406. [We had a rush of CAPITALS there, didn't we, but we seem to have overcome that now!]

"here will be [in your excitement, you forgot the 'H' on 'here'. Or a 'T' of 'There'. Which possibly means this sentence was originally longer. What got chopped, if so?] 395,000 m2 of new office space developed, as well as 61,000 m2 of general industrial/storage/distribution space.In addition [shall we add a space after 'space' for you?] to the above, there are intended to be new hotels, leisure facilities, as well as a new private hospital [that's nice] and social and community facilities." [The Treasury cut out the 'new station' bit, did it?]

"Brent Cross Cricklewood Planning and Transport Manager" (Snigger, snigger.)

"The most exciting planning job in London? [No.]

"Re is looking for an ambitious and experienced town planners [sic] who match our ambition for Brent Cross Cricklewood [that says it all, really, doesn't it?]. Supported by the expansion of the Brent Cross Shopping Centre – north London’s premier shopping destination – the regeneration will result in a new community in ['in'? Well sort of works, but maybe 'of'?] over 7,000 new homes, with up to 4 million square feet of commercial floorspace. Our ambitions extend to a new railway station [based on dubious and challengeable debt financing, that even the Treasury is iffy about] and the redesign [of? Just a suggestion] the local highway network [since Barnet's supplementary planning guidance estimates over 29,000 extra cars a day in the area].

"Outline planning permission has been granted for the Shopping Centre [you could have mentioned that the single yes-no planning application covered several square miles, resulting in a corrupt planning consent], and the London Borough of Barnet has recently announced a short list of four consortia who will bid to be the Council’s new development partner for the Cricklewood area. This will include the preparation of a new Cricklewood master plan and ensuring all planning consents are in place [new consents from scratch (which is fine) or based on the current corrupt one?].

"Working to Re's the [sic] Head of Major Developments and alongside the Brent Cross Cricklewood Project Director, you will drive the planning process and support the established planning team. You will be [an?] innovative, proactive and solution focussed town planner who works [change of tense, there] with developers to craft the best development [before or after the demolition of 205 homes by Hammerson?]. Working alongside the development partners [no harm in using an apostrophe there. No harm at all] teams will be essential, so you will be someone who understand the whole development process [sic], and has confidence in negotiations.

"You will lead the planning and transport team, responsible for oversight of the reserved matters process [secret], negotiations with developers [secret] and input into the Cricklewood master plan [yup, secret]. You will be able to demonstrate your experience on similar [secret] projects, handling a complex work load, and leading a forward thinking planning team [you may then want to jump ship as soon as possible, as so, so many others have done in the past]."

The Guardian: "Residents fight landlord's plan to sell off social housing estate"

"Keith Exford accused of social cleansing over his plan to evict low-income tenants from Sutton Estate to make way for private homes"

Link to web site

"One of Britain’s highest paid social housing bosses has been accused of social cleansing over plans to evict low-income tenants to make way for multimillion-pound private homes in one of London’s richest enclaves.

"Chelsea residents have launched a campaign to block plans by Keith Exford, chief executive of Affinity Sutton, to demolish most of the Sutton Estate, which was established in 1913 expressly to provide “houses for use and occupation by the poor”.

"Exford, who was paid £291,490 last year, wants to rebuild it with 144 fewer affordable homes and 106 new private apartments, many expected to be worth more than £4m each.

"The campaign against the plans has won the backing of the comedian Eddie Izzard and the Labour MP Tom Watson. The scheme could deliver Exford’s operation a profit of well over £200m. New 'affordable' tenancies could rise from £114 a week on a one-bedroom flat to about £520, residents fear."

Milton Keynes Citizen: "Ministers take automated car ride" (Any interest from "Roads, Roads, Roads and Roads" Barnet Council?)

All aboard the web site

"Two Government ministers have been taken for a ride - on an automated vehicle being used in driverless car trials that started today.

Well wrapped up against the biting cold at Greenwich in south London, Business Secretary Vince Cable and transport minister Claire Perry were transported around the outside of the O2 Arena on a Meridian shuttle.

Resembling a giant golf buggy, the shuttle will take part in driverless vehicle trials over three years.

The other test areas will be in Bristol, Coventry - in the West Midlands - and Milton Keynes, in Buckinghamshire.

Stepping off the shuttle after a short ride, Mr Cable declared:
"Driverless vehicles are potentially the transport of the future, in terms of road safety and congestion easing."


Cllr Adam Langleben: "The West Hendon estate. Sold for nothing."

Press nose for web site

"At the West Hendon Public Inquiry we learnt that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Mr Eric Pickles MP gave Conservative Barnet Council permission to transfer the land of the entire West Hendon estate to Barratt developments for nothing. Yes, £0.00.

"It was definitely valued at over £2million, as that is the threshold that authorities by law need to seek permission from the Secretary of State to dispose at below market value.

"This makes no sense to me as it is not even as if we are getting a good deal from the developer. Just 25% of the new properties are defined as 'affordable' by the unaffordable standards set by this government. Of the 2000 new homes being built in the same footprint of the existing 680 home estate, just 242 will be at social rent and 250 marketed as 'shared ownership'."

Barnet Times: "Neighbours claim people were 'dragged' from homes during eviction"

"Children's toys have been left abandoned"
Link to web site

"Neighbours claim people were 'dragged screaming' from their houses during an eviction.

"People living in Sweets Way, Whetstone, were served with notices to leave their homes last October – but many have been unable to find alternative housing.

"The former Army estate is owned by Annington, a private owner of many former Ministry of Defence homes, but is leased to the Notting Hill Housing Trust and has been earmarked for redevelopment."

Link to Barnet Times

"Barnet Borough Council consulting on raising council rents"
"Council tenants could see their rents raised to 80 per cent of the market rate.

"Barnet Borough Council is currently consulting on its draft housing strategy for the next ten years.

"The authority faces a number of challenges, including a huge growth in population, with Barnet set to become London’s most populated borough by the end of the year."


Looks like we won't be seeing anything like segregated cycle lanes in the useless Hammerson Brent Cross development (it still clings to parts of the Brent Cross planning consent, having abandoned the rest)

 "Can you read this, children?
It's a bit small, isn't it!
What can we do about that?
Yes, we can MAGNIFY it. Well done!

George - don't do that.
Because it isn't nice.

Now, children, I want you all to say 'Good morning' to Mrs Hingle.
Good morning, Mrs Hingle.
No, Sidney, not good-bye. Mrs Hingle has only just come.
You don't want her to go away yet.
No, she hasn't got a funny hat on, that's her hair.

Susan! We never bite our friends.
Say you are sorry to Sidney.
You needn't kiss him.
No, you needn't hug him.

Let's just click on the £$%&@# image above, shall we?"

(Ladybird Books: 'The Story of the Bicycle' book from 1975)


Boris considers the corrupt Brent Cross planning consent morass, and says "No thanks!" But Pinkham Way could be roofed over instead, and Barnet can sell its unwanted dustcart site.

(This is the North Circular Road, just north of Alexandra Palace station)

(Note also: No junction of North Circular Road with Bounds Green Road)

"The Mayor of London today [8th February] revealed further details of plans to deliver his bold vision for the future of London’s road network, aimed at reducing congestion, creating new public spaces and encouraging more people to walk and cycle.

"The Mayor, who is in Boston as part of a trade mission to build economic and cultural ties with key cities in the United States, unveiled proposals to redesign a number of key road networks in the capital in order to unlock growth and make the capital a more attractive place to live and work.

The news comes as the Mayor visited the Central Artery-Tunnel Project, also known as the Big Dig, which is recognised as the largest and most complex highway project undertaken in the US. It replaced Boston's deteriorating six-lane elevated Central Artery with an eight lane state-of-the-art underground highway. This resulted in significantly reduced traffic congestion and led to substantial regeneration on the surface and surrounding areas.

The Mayor and TfL have considered more than 70 locations across the capital where the introduction of tunnels, fly-unders and decking could deliver benefits that are in line with the Mayor’s 2050 Infrastructure Plan and the recommendations of the Roads Task Force.

Today the Mayor unveiled five locations which have subsequently been identified as being suitable for further feasibility work by TfL:
  • A mini tunnel at the A13 in Barking Riverside – By creating a new tunnel for the A13, a huge amount of land could potentially be opened up for future development whilst reconnecting the Borough of Barking with the new Barking Riverside development, which is the location for just under 11,000 new homes
  • Decking of the A3 in Tolworth - By decking over the A3, severance would be reduced and the area adjacent to the proposed Crossrail 2 station would be connected with the rest of the Borough, providing additional land for new homes
  • A fly-under at the A316 at Chalkers Corner - A small flyunder would reduce severance and radically improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and remove a major pinch point for traffic along the A316
  • A fly-under at the A4 in Hammersmith - By replacing the existing viaduct with a new tunnel, the town centre would be reconnected with the River Thames, creating new opportunities for development and open space
  • Decking or a mini-tunnel at the A406 in New Southgate - By building over this junction on the North Circular, land would be unlocked for new homes and connect the area around the proposed Crossrail 2 station.
"London’s current Inner Ring Road is facing increasing pressure for change. As he previously set out in the 2050 Infrastructure Plan, the Mayor believes that a replacement ring road, in the form of an inner orbital tunnel or two cross city tunnels, could enable more efficient and reliable vehicle movement. It would also reduce congestion in central London by up to 20 per cent and free up space on the surface which could support the creation of 170,000 additional jobs.

"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
"Rebuilding some of our complex and aging road network underneath our city would not only provide additional capacity for traffic, but it would also unlock surface space and reduce the impact of noise and pollution. I am inspired by what the ambitious people of Boston have achieved here at the Big Dig, both in terms of reducing congestion and how they have dramatically improved the quality of life on the surface. In London we face similar challenges on our roads, but this could also be a fantastic opportunity to better shape our city and support economic growth."
"London is a rapidly growing city with a population expected to reach 10 million by the early 2030s and nearly 11.5 million by 2050. With 24 million journeys already being made by people and freight on the capital’s roads every day, radical steps are going to be needed to tackle growing congestion in the future.

"Funding for such schemes would require new and innovative approaches that enable the positive benefits of each scheme to be captured, including the value generated from new development sites in these areas.

"TfL will now work with local boroughs to progress these proposals further, including working up more detailed costs and possible funding options and an indicative programme of delivery if funding can be secured. This further analysis will be presented to the Mayor in May.

"Today [8th February] the Mayor met with Frank DePaola, Highway Administrator and Chief Operating Officer at Massachusetts Department of Transportation and was given a tour of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a mile-and-a-half of contemporary parks in the heart of Boston which was made possible after the elevated highway was relocated underground. This enabled some of Boston’s oldest neighbourhoods to be reconnected by parkland."

"The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is leading a trade mission [free jolly] to America's East Coast aimed at strengthening economic and cultural ties between London and the United States. [Seen my ghost-written book on Churchill?] During the six-day visit, the Mayor will meet with senior public officials and top business leaders in Boston, New York City and Washington, in a bid to ensure that London remains a key destination for US investment and American tourists and students. [Is Cameron still around? Lightweight.] The Mayor wants to build on the warm relations that already exist with the States and to consolidate healthy collaborations between London and these three major cities." [Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Aarff.]