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


Evening Standard: "Revealed: London has the WORST traffic of any city in Europe" (and useless Barnet, Hammerson and Standard Life want to add to it!)

Link to web site

"London now has worse traffic congestion than anywhere else in Europe, a new study reveals today.

The capital has more congestion 'hotspots' - a total of 12,776 - than anywhere else in Europe, and they are having more of an impact on drivers’ ability to get about than hotspots in 123 other cities studied by traffic experts INRIX, in 19 different countries.

"The impact of traffic hotspots in London is 28 times worse than in the average city included in the study - and they are having more impact on drivers than hotspots in Rome, Paris Hamburg and Madrid combined.

"INRIX says it means London pays the highest price in Europe on time wasted in congestion, potentially costing drivers in the capital £42 billion over the next decade."


BBC: "Design Museum: A glossy new era and home"

Link to web site

"For years, London's Design Museum got by in a former banana warehouse near Tower Bridge. Now it has moved to a cool, minimalist home in Kensington. The new building is much bigger. It will offer, says the director, far more to intrigue all visitors - and not just the hardcore design fans.

"In 1962 the Queen opened the Commonwealth Institute on the leafy fringes of Holland Park in London. Its exhibition spaces were meant to help redefine Britain's relationship with its former colonies and the building inherited some of the feel of the Festival of Britain a decade earlier.

"But the institute gained a slightly unfair reputation for dull displays on the life-cycle of the coffee-bean. The public never entirely took the place to heart, finances grew tricky and in 2004 the Commonwealth Institute closed.

"About the same time, across London at Shad Thames, it was becoming clear that the Design Museum (which Sir Terence Conran had founded in 1989) needed a bigger location. The process of moving has been a long one: expanding onto the new site has cost £83m."


Down Memory Lane: Estates Gazette Brent Cross Cricklewood video (at Barnet's Planning Committee, Nov. 2009)

Gems from the Developers: 
  • "Tiny increase" in car usage, and 
  • "Waste turned into renewable fuel - an overstated issue".

Our comments: 
  • '29,000 extra cars every day' is Barnet's figure (including West Hendon) in an analysis paid for by Hammerson and other developers.
  • And that's 'renewable' as in plastics, then. 
  • And nano-particles, dioxins, heavy metals, reduced imperative to recycle,..
And in general, about the wisdom of us publicising the developers' remarks:  
"Give a man enough rope, and he'll hang himself."


CORRECTION: Mon 21 Nov: Wembley Matters: "Brent Council to debate the West London Alliance on MONDAY"

Link to web site

"Brent Council is to debate the West London Alliance at its meeting on November 21st. The WLA brings the above boroughs together, in various combination, to deliver services. The combined population is nearly twice the size of Birmingham.

"Introducing the debate Cllr Butt, Leader of Brent Council states:
"The West London Alliance plays a central role in improving the collaborative approach of seven London councils, facilitating a communal approach to the challenges facing the residents and businesses of West London.

In housing, children’s services, in health and wellbeing, in employment and skills – the WLA has been at the forefront of offering innovative, forward-thinking approaches to the issues that matter to us all.

With ongoing central government cuts to local council funding and further reductions expected in the coming years, it is more important than ever that we work in partnership with our neighbouring boroughs. To share best practice and improve our ways of working, to find solutions the challenges that face us all.

Brent Council pledges to continue to work closely with the WLA and our neighbouring boroughs to deliver the best outcomes for the residents and businesses of West London. Even with the arrogant, incompetent and at times corrupt London Borough of Barnet." [He didn't say that.]


Evening Standard: "A ray of hope for those of us who despair of London’s glass towers"

Link to web site

"Populism, aka Trumpism, is on the march everywhere. In an unpublicised decision, the High Court in London last week upheld a recent referendum in St Ives in which 83 per cent voted in favour of a ban on non-residents buying new-build properties in the Cornish town.

"This could signal an earthquake. Keep away outsiders, cries St Ives. Goodbye second homers. Get lost Chinese investors. Build that wall!

This week a world cities congress is being held in London by the International Network for Traditional Building Architecture and Urbanism. It will  debate such topics as the urban environment and sustainable communities. I am delighted to see it is giving a prize to London's Mount Pleasant promoters, as an alternative to the new 'slab-rise' Clerkenwell backed by Boris Johnson.

"It is a test of Sadiq Khan if he has the guts to back it. But where does the congress stand on St Ives, and on its desire to exit the global property market? This is the question of today — hard Stexit or soft Stexit?"

The Speculation Game: "A five-point manifesto for next week's Autumn Statement"

Link to web site

"Next week is an important one for the immediate future of housing. A government white paper on housing will be published alongside Phillip [sic] Hammond’s Autumn Statement within the backdrop of a looming Brexit-induced rise in living costs and a growing budget deficit on the horizon. Cheap credit however is likely to herald a new phase of infrastructure spending along with greater national investment in housebuilding.

"Truth be told, if any of the following are put into practice it would be a fairly drastic departure from present housing policy but here are five recommendations nonetheless: ..."

ABC News - Heygate estate redevelopment

"Australian national broadcaster ABC News feature on the redevelopment of the Heygate estate at Elephant & Castle.

Council leader Peter John is forced to acknowledge that just a 'handful' of former residents have been able to return and is lost for words when asked how much profit the Council will make from the sale of the land to developer Lendlease."


Hammerson's Brent Cross, road congestion and light-rail: Barnet Times

Mrs Angry's Broken Barnet: "A Mid-Course Correction, or: Communicating the Journey We Are On - the Barnet Crapita contract, and a three-year 'review'"

Link to web site

"Arriving in the committee room on Tuesday night, before the Performance & Contract Monitoring meeting, Mrs Angry noted that senior officers from Crapita had already staked out their territory in what is supposed to be the public gallery, seating themselves in carefully chosen places, manspreading on a corporate scale - and watching one of the Labour councillors filling up a bottle of water from the now-you-see-it, now-you-don't, water cooler. 

"Now-you-see-it, now-you-don't, because - yes, you guessed it, Crapita removed the water from the public gallery, not so long ago. Why? Because it was free, and there must be no such things as a free glass of water, in Capitaville. Mrs Angry protested, and it was returned, eventually. But she warned the councillor she was being watched by the men from Crapita, and should probably expect an invoice, any day now. For the water, the cost of sending an invoice, and a gainshare payment for issuing an invoice. Kerrching.

"The Chair of the committee came in and asked Mrs Angry where fellow blogger Mr Reasonable was, clearly hoping he wouldn't turn up, follow up his awkward questions, or speak to the committee. Here was Mrs Angry's own opportunity for profit: Please tell me, she begged, how you have come to the conclusion, as expressed in the local paper, and by your acceptance of these reports, that the Crapita contracts are ... 'a success'?"


The Independent: "Lack of housing supply not to blame for soaring house prices, finds Labour-commissioned report"

"Redfern review says first time buyers' low wages and lack of mortgage availability have contributed to plummeting home ownership rates"

Link to web site

"Soaring house prices and plummeting home ownership rates in the UK have not been driven by a lack of new housing construction, a Labour party-commissioned review has found, contradicting conventional wisdom on the nature of the housing crisis.

"The Redfern Review, published today, states, instead, that the biggest drivers of the large increase in house prices over the past two decades have been rising incomes, falling interest rates and, more recently, a lack of mortgage finance availability for first-time buyers and the weakness of this group's income growth.

"It also warns that even substantially increasing the supply of new homes will not directly improve the home ownership rate in the near term.

"“New household formation and supply have been broadly in balance over the last 20 years and therefore the significant increases in house prices over that period have not been driven primarily by supply constraints,” it concludes."


The Guardian:
"Redfern review into housing: worth building on?"

"Taylor Wimpey chief’s Labour-backed study offers little fresh insight, but contains ideas Theresa May could consider pinching."


Municipal Dreams: "The Pendleton Estate:: 'A Salford of the Space Age' or 'Concrete Wasteland'?"

Link to web site

"This was the era – a brief one, in fact – in which high-rise took off. A few years earlier, back in 1956, only 6 per cent of homes nationally had been provided in flats of over five storeys. Ten years later, as the new Pendleton took shape, that proportion had risen to (and peaked at) 26 per cent. Avoiding the obloquy that hindsight has visited on such high-rise construction, there seemed, at the time, many compelling reasons for this shift.

"The mass slum clearances of the period and the apparent requirement to build replacement housing at density in inner-city areas, compounded by new restrictions on greenfield construction and dislike of sprawling suburban estates, provided one causal bundle. Salford, like many other inner-city authorities, also resented losing population and rateable income to beyond-border overspill.

"There were less tangible but equally potent ideological currents too – a new concern for urbanism and a sense that high-rise represented the future, modernity in a new Britain sloughing off the obsolescence which seemingly characterised so much of its housing and townscapes. The Report on the Plan claimed that the scheme represented ‘an unparalleled opportunity for Salford to think today what other cities would think tomorrow’.

"In the end, the judgments of tomorrow would be far less positive, but that's to jump ahead. The Ellor Street redevelopment almost uniquely captures many of the hopes and ambitions of the period."


Brent & Kilburn Times: "Anger over plans to replace historic building in Dollis Hill with a 27-storey tower"

The password today is "sailor"

"... The proposals for the empty building in Edgware Road will see the site converted into a mixed-used development with 150 flats, a banqueting hall and a fitness centre with a swimming pool.

"According to a pre-application report which outlines the plans, 30 of the new flats will be affordable housing, which falls below the borough’s recommendation of 50 per cent.

"... Alison Hopkins, a campaigner and former Lib Dem councillor for Dollis Hill, told the Times:
"... The idea of a 27-storey high tower block in a residential area with two storey 1920s houses is totally unacceptable. We need real social housing for families, not yet more high rise luxury flats for overseas investors to leave empty."
"During the 1930 and 40s the building, which was known as the Admiralty Chart House, was used to house government and armed service workers away from Whitehall in the event of an attack in central London during World War II."

[Reposted] Tavistock Communications and Hammerson's Brent Cross Shopping Centre: The Roads are Multiplying



Link to web site
"New rail line needed to tackle traffic at Brent Cross"
"The huge planned Brent Cross development should include a light rail line in order to reduce traffic growth, according to a new report published by the London group of the Campaign for Better Transport.

"Without the new line, the large residential and retail development would have a massive traffic impact: an extra 133,000 people and 29,000 extra vehicles are expected to travel into the area each weekday. There are 8,000 car parking spaces in the existing shopping centre, 7,500 additional spaces planned in the new residential element and an untold number in the commercial elements of the new scheme. The highway network and road junctions in the area would have to be enlarged to cope with the extra traffic."

Reuters: "Trump and the demise of the American global order"

Link to web site

"History does not move in neat increments. Sometimes, though, dates are hard to ignore. So it seems fitting that Donald Trump's election as U.S. president was confirmed on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. That day in 1989 marked the symbolic triumph of the liberal, democratic and mostly American-led world order that had ruled a chunk of the globe for the previous half-century. Trump's victory 27 years later marks its demise.

"It is too early to say how the reality-TV star's dark and divisive campaign will translate into policy. At home, he will be constrained by a constitution specifically designed to limit a would-be tyrant's power. For the rest of the world, it remains to be seen whether Trump's actions live up to his more protectionist and belligerent rhetoric.

"Nevertheless, the era of American dominance – a period that started at the end of World War Two and reached its peak following the collapse of the Soviet Union – is coming to an end. This has profound consequences for the international order and the global economy."


Jewish Chronicle: "Orthodox housing group is moving into Barnet"

Link to web site

"The Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA) has 'big ideas' for developments in Barnet, according to chief executive Ita Symons.

"Planning permission has been received to redevelop the Yamor House complex, near the junction of Golders Green Road and the North Circular.

"... A separate synagogue for 250 worshippers will [also] be built on the complex. Talks are said to be ongoing with the nearby Beis Hamedrash Ohr Chodosh over the possibility of the shul moving to the site. The congregation is led by Dayan Menachem Gelley, head of the London Beth Din. AIHA is also 'actively involved with Barnet Council and Argent, who are the chosen developer [to be fair, not chosen by God] for Brent Cross regeneration', Mrs Symons said."


Hammerson's new Hyperloop from Cricklewood Station to Brent Cross Shopping Centre: The facts

Hyperloop One has unveiled its plans for the world's first Hyperloop system

"When you go home, tell them of us and say

For their tomorrow, we gave our today."

BBC: "The town that aimed for Utopia" (not a phrase anyone would use about arrogant and incompetent Hammerson's Brent Cross efforts)

Link to web site

"The minister for town and country planning in the post-war Labour government saw new towns as the solution to the UK's housing crisis.

"An East End boy by birth, Lewis Silkin had a passion and vision for new towns which would see the neighbourly "spirit of the slums" combine with easy access to the countryside, sports and leisure facilities in a self-contained community.

"The resulting 1946 New Towns Act aimed to free people from the smog and cramped living conditions of the big cities and move them into leafy, close-knit, towns in the shires.

"Building on the earlier Garden City movement, Silkin presented a Utopian vision. Stevenage, and other new towns, would be where rich mixed with poor and 'a new type of citizen, a healthy, self-respecting, dignified person with a sense of beauty, culture and civic pride' would be created.

"However, the path to creating such a place was not smooth."


Friends of Childs Hill Park: November 2016 Newsletter

Dates for your diary

This Sunday, 13 November 10-12: Clear and weed in the Marsh Garden
Sunday 27 November: 2-3.30 pm: Mitzvah Day planting in the Marsh Garden
Monday 5 December: Friends of Childs Hill Park Annual General Meeting in the Park Café at 6.30 p.m.

The Diggers

The last newsletter introduced The Diggers, who volunteer to keep our park looking good by clearing, weeding and planting on a regular basis. The Wednesday afternoon sessions have gone well, and I hope you have noticed that the beds in the Marsh Garden are getting clear of weeds. Still more to do, and we have one of our monthly sessions this Sunday morning 13 November between 10-12. Families are particularly welcome at these sessions, and the children really enjoy the chance to do some digging – and proudly display the weeds they have pulled out.

Mitzvah Day

By the end of the month the Marsh Garden should be well dug over. Mitzvah Day (literally meaning good deed day) is a world wide movement encouraging people to help their community by doing voluntary work for a day. We have had successful planting sessions attracting large numbers of volunteers every Mitzvah Day since the Friends of Childs Hill Park started 3 years ago. This year we shall be planting masses of bulbs and perennial plants to supplement the existing planting in the Marsh Garden. Do come along on Sunday 27 November from 2-3.30 pm; bring a fork and trowel if you have one, and wear your wellington boots!

Golders Green Estate Residents Association

The Golders Green Estate lies just across the Hendon Way, centred around Pennine Drive. We were invited to send a Friends representative to talk at their A.G.M this week, and one of our Trustees went along. He said there was a lot of interest in what we have been doing in Childs Hill Park, and residents were pleased to see how volunteer groups can make a big difference in their neighbourhood. Several residents joined up, and we should like to welcome them and look forward to seeing them in Childs Hill Park.


On Monday 5 December we shall be holding our Annual General Meeting in the Park Café from 6.30 to 7.30p.m. We are very grateful that Cllr Peter Zinkin has agreed to come along and talk about the future of the Bowling Green Pavillion. This is an important topic as it is one of the few facilities available to the local community. Come along and have your say.

It is also the time when we confirm existing committee members or vote for new ones. If you are interested in standing, please let us know before the meeting.

Friends of Childs Hill Park
(map) (friendschp@gmail.com)


Andrew Dismore AM (Barnet & Camden): 'Planning, Housing and Regeneration update, November 2016'

"The Mayor has published a new vision for London: ‘A City for All Londoners’. This document outlines the capital’s challenges and opportunities across priority policy areas, as well as the changes that City Hall wants to deliver over the next four years. The Mayor is inviting Londoners to take part in his consultation on this until 11 December by emailing yourviews@london.gov.uk.

I continue to raise the impact of the misuse of Airbnb on residential areas.

I have also continued to pursue issues relating to the Olympic Stadium, and the very poor deal negotiated by the former Mayor with West Ham. It now appears that the deal will cost the taxpayer £51 million more than originally admitted. The new Mayor has set up an inquiry into what went wrong and the lessons to be learned.

"The principal item of business at the Assembly Regeneration Committee was a discussion on the Mayor’s Civic Crowdfunding Programme. The transcript is here. I particularly raised the lack of publicity about the scheme and an apparent bias against outer London in its awards.

I met with Hammersons, the owners of Brent Cross to discuss their ambitious plans for an expansion of the shopping centre. Their website has details:
brentcrosslondon.co.uk. They are consulting on these plans [ha!] and you can comment  through their consultation questionnaire there.

I also visited Saracens, to see their plans for a replacement west stand at Allianz Park, Copthall. Their public consultation is underway.

I met with the Director of the Hendon RAF museum to see their ambitious plans for the 100th Anniversary of the RAF in 2018. You can see their Centenary Brochure here.

"I also met the developers of the Pentavia site in Mill Hill. I regard their scheme as unacceptable and I am preparing formal objections to it.

"I have submitted objections to Ark Academy scheme to build on the Underhill former Barnet FC ground, as inappropriate for the Green Belt and having severe traffic implications."

[Enough, enough!]

For completeness:

"Hi, I’m Councillor Navin Shah, and I am the elected Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow. I am launching my website so residents of Brent and Harrow can find out about the work I do on their behalf. It has information about my role as an Assembly Member in the Greater London Authority, as well as offering informative guides to what's going on in North-West London.

"If you have an issue you would like to tell me about, then you can submit it through my website [link via the image].Also get in touch with me if you'd like to let me know about a local event, or raise a question with the Mayor of London."


Evening Standard: The Railway that Hammerson Forgot (or rather, Deliberately Ignored)

"I tried to do my shopping with Amazon Dash buttons, to avoid having to visit Brent Cross Shopping Centre"

"Doing your shopping by pressing buttons in your home sounds like a great labour-saving life-hack … and then you get 45 toilet rolls arrive in one go"

Press the Dettol button
for 'The Guardian' web site
to be delivered

"The internet of shopping is finally here: magic-like buttons that when pressed have goods delivered to your door, without any need to log on to a website or get out your credit card. The branded Dash buttons are Amazon's latest offering to make it easier to shop, so I bought a load of them to find out whether it's the retail revolution we didn't even know we were looking for.

"There is no Dash button for ordering Dash buttons, so I looked though the 40 or so available and found eight for things I would normally buy. They're £5 each, so I spent £40 for this convenience, but with the promise £5 would be taken off the first purchase made with each button making them free in the long run.

"A box of boxes turned up the next day. Each Dash button comes in a small cardboard box. Unpacking them and setting them up was straightforward if a little tedious. For each one you have to do a little song and dance with the Amazon app."


Create Streets: Planning Reform and Neighbourhood Plans

"Create Streets is a non-partisan social enterprise and independent research institute focusing on the built environment.

"We encourage the creation of more and better urban homes with terraced streets of houses and apartments rather than complex multi-storey buildings.

"We support reform of the planning system to make it more effectively responsive to what people like in the built environment. We campaign for community-led building and locally-supported estate regeneration to deliver homes that are popular and stand the test of time."