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


Barnet Times: "Cricklewood Festival highlights 'threat' to green space"

Link to web site

"MUSIC and dancing entertained the crowds at the annual Cricklewood Festival.

"Thousands of people turned out to enjoy all that the town has to offer last Sunday (September 20), which included a wide range of food stalls and musical performances from nearby schools.

"Campaigners also spent the day collecting signatures opposing development on the Cricklewood green space.

"Barnet council recently shelved plans to sell off the space for housing, after a furious backlash from residents and councillors."

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Developers unveil plans for multi-million pound business district in Wembley Park" (relying much more on public transport than Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent)

Link to web site

"Developers leading the multi-million pound transformation of land around Wembley stadium have unveiled plans for a series of high-rise office blocks aimed at drawing City workers and tech start-ups to the area.

"At a glitzy reception at the Hilton Sky Bar in Lakeside Way, developer Quintain revealed it is releasing 750,000 square feet of land to make way for four eight to nine storey blocks of dedicated office space.

"... Sarah O’Connell, Director of National Offices at Colliers International said:
"Wembley really does have everything in place to be the next King's Cross.

With everything already here, employees would have access to three stations, 76 shops and 20 restaurants, as well as a 9-screen cinema and the world famous sports stadium."


The Guardian: "London residents to bid for Mount Pleasant site to stop £1-billion development" (but then, they didn't suffer the corrupt Brent Cross planning consent, did they?)

Link to web site

"Local residents who were branded 'bourgeois nimbys' by London mayor Boris Johnson for opposing a £1-billion luxury apartment complex are set to try to seize control of the development and build their own community-approved housing.

A group of people living near the Royal Mail's Mount Pleasant sorting office have secured the backing of one of Britain’s biggest investors, Legal and General, and a major housing association to launch a joint bid for the land.

"The group is angry at the lack of affordable housing and 'fortress-like' design of the current proposal and is poised to battle against some of the world’s biggest property developers for control of the prime site, which is expected to fetch around £300m.

"... 'Too many schemes in recent years have focused on purely short-term profit,' said Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, a social enterprise that has helped broker the bid. 'This is meant to redress that imbalance and better embed what people like and want in the built environment'."


BBC: "Why is the UK's housing benefit bill so high?"

Link to web site

"The UK currently spends billions of pounds a year on housing benefit. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, explains the history of the payments and how government funding for house-building has gradually moved into subsidies for rents, especially to private landlords.
What is housing benefit?
"It's a means-tested benefit paid to people on low incomes. For tenants in council or housing association properties it will usually cover their whole rent if they have no other income. For many of those in the private sector it will not pay the whole rent even if they have no other income. Housing benefit is withdrawn as income rises, but an increasing number of people in work claim at least some housing benefit.
Why do we have it?
"We don't have benefits explicitly to pay for any other item of spending - a clothes benefit, or a food benefit for example. But the level of rents is so variable around the country and between households that a special benefit to help pay rents has been in place since at least the 1930s. A form of housing benefit was part of Beveridge's prescription in his famous report. He referred to 'the problem of rent'."


Barnet Times: "Parking charges to be introduced at Brent Cross Shopping Centre under redevelopment plans" (which were passed last night, but not without three contributors accusing Barnet of corruption)

Link to web site
[The shopping centre planning application
itself will not be submitted until 2016]

"SHOPPERS could start having to shell out money to pay to park at a shopping centre for the first time in nearly 40 years.

"Brent Cross Shopping Centre, in Prince Charles Drive, Hendon, has always proudly advertised the fact that it offers free parking for all customers.

"But under new plans, it will cost people £1 for up to two hours, £2 for three to four hours, £2.50 for four hours and £3.50 for five hours."


The Guardian: "Metroland, 100 years on: what's become of England’s original vision of suburbia?"

"In 1915, the Metropolitan Railway coined the term Metroland to describe a band of countryside just north-west of London, marketed as a land of idyllic cottages and wild flowers. But amid claims of overcrowding and a sea of ubiquitous semis, how does Metroland’s 21st-century reality compare with the original dream?"

Link to web site

"Planners, architects and builders are not the only ones who create cities. The suburban landscape of north-west London owes its existence, largely, to the imagination of the Metropolitan Railway's marketing department.

"One hundred years ago, in the summer of 1915, the railway’s publicity people devised the term 'Metroland' to describe the catchment area of villages stretching from Neasden into the Chiltern Hills. The railway had bought up huge tracts of farmland along this corridor in the decades before the first world war, and it was ripe for development. All they needed was a sales pitch.

"The first Metroland booklets were filled with illustrations of idyllic cottages and dainty verses about 'a land where the wild flowers grow'. A semi-rural arcadia was offered to Londoners sick of crowded conditions in the city. The campaign proved a roaring success. After the war, the white-collar workers who sought space and greenery flocked to the north-west of the city."


[Reposted from March 2010 - it's happened again in March 2014!] Coalition Pleased that Government Stalls Plans

Press release:

The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan are celebrating their biggest victory since they formed in September 2009.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government issued a ‘stop notice’ under Article 14 of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995, saying:
The SoS hereby directs Barnet Council not to grant planning permission on this application without specific authorisation.

Boris Johnson had passed the plans on Friday, and the stop notice means that John Denham now has more time to decide whether to call in the development for a public inquiry. The Coalition believes the development fulfils every criterion for a call-in.

Coalition Co-ordinator Lia Colacicco was excited:
Hopefully the Secretary of State’s next move is to call a public inquiry immediately so that these disastrous plans can undergo full public scrutiny.

We were hoping that John Denham would stop this dinosaur of a development. He has much broader powers than the Mayor: it could be called in on several criteria, but in particular because its effects go far beyond the immediate area, local people don’t want it in this form, and because it is completely unsustainable in terms of traffic, housing, and the environment.

We are not surprised that John Denham has issued a ‘stop notice’. How would it look if this out-of-town development is allowed to go through with its incinerator and sub-standard housing, when by 2016 all other new housing will have to be carbon zero? We want an exciting and innovative place, built around people and public transport – including a local railway like the Docklands Light Railway. We need to use the latest green technology.
Darren Johnson, London Assembly member said:
There are better ways to spend £4.8bn if we want to revitalise this area. Londoners want less traffic, good local shops and more affordable homes, but the Mayor has rubberstamped a development that will bring the exact opposite to the area: another 29,000 cars, a threat to other neighbourhood shopping areas and one of the lowest affordable homes targets in London.
David Howard, Federation of Residents Associations in Barnet added:
The timing is interesting. The scheme may now struggle. Its greatest advocate in Barnet, Mike ‘easy council’ Freer is hoping to move away from the Council into Parliament. Westfield's White City shopping centre is under-performing. Brent Cross developer Hammerson is getting cold feet about doubling the size of the shopping area, and is moving its attention to France. The housing market has collapsed and the Brent Cross model is out of date. No wonder the developers have only committed to phase one. We await with interest what happens next.

Notes to Editors

1. The “Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan” comprises twelve residents’ associations plus the Federation of Residents’ Associations in Barnet (representing the 12 largest residents’ associations in Barnet), Brent Cyclists, the North West London Light Railway (NWLLR) group, Brent Friends of the Earth (FoE), Barnet & Enfield FoE, Camden FoE, Sarah Teather (MP for Brent East), Dawn Butler (MP for Brent South), Labour and LibDem Councillors from Brent and Camden, Navin Shah (London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow), Darren Johnson (London Assembly Member), Jean Lambert (London MEP), Brent Green Party, Barnet Green Party, Cllr Alexis Rowell (Chair of Camden Sustainability Taskforce), Barnet Trades Council (TUC) and Bestway Group.

2. The petition to call the development in for a public inquiry is available at: http://www.petition.co.uk/campaign_for_a_sustainable_brent_cross_cricklewood_development

3. The Coalition blog is at http://www.brentcrosscoalition.blogspot.com/

4. Facts about Brent Cross and the Coalition are at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Cross and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_for_a_Sustainable_Brent_Cross_Cricklewood

[Reposted from Mar 2014] Barnet Press (Brent Cross Cricklewood green spaces), and Barnet Times (Green Party Brent Cross letter)

Instead of attempting Consultation, Workshops and Debate, the LB of Barnet at Brent Cross went for Arrogance, Incompetence and Corruption



Fastcoexist: "A city known for some of the world's worst traffic jams is getting a radical pedestrian makeover"

Link to web site

"Dublin ranks just under Los Angeles for having some of the worst traffic jams in the world. The problem is predicted to get worse as the city quickly grows—somehow, it will have to squeeze in 20% more commuters over the next decade. That's why the city is now deciding to make a radical shift: It wants to ban cars from several major downtown streets.

"Right now, pedestrians don’t have it easy. 'Dublin has a compact city center, but we don't give enough priority to pedestrians or cyclists,' says Ciarán Cuffe, chair of the city council's transport committee. 'All too often those who walk are left waiting at crossings while cars whizz past for minutes on end.'

"In the proposed plan, the city wants to route cars around the city center, and turn major streets into car-free plazas and passages for buses, bikes, pedestrians, and a new tram line. Along the banks of the River Liffey, polluted roads will become promenades. On Grafton Street, a former car lane will turn into a tree-shaded terrace with cafe tables, while the other lane has tram tracks. New bike lanes and wider sidewalks will be added as well."

Change.org: "Save Cricklewood's only green space from five-storey development"

Link to web site   (pic: Anne Clarke)

"We are opposed to plans to build on the green space on Cricklewood Lane (outside B&Q) as part of the Brent Cross development BXC.

"We call for this ‘green island’ to be secured in perpetuity for residents of Cricklewood/NW2 area.

"It is outrageous that building on this green space has been quietly wrapped into a planning application for Brent Cross shopping centre more than a mile away, in order to get planning permission by stealth."