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


Sunday Times: Peel Holding Hammerson by its ...

"A secretive property billionaire has amassed a significant stake in Hammerson, the FTSE 100 owner of shopping centres such as Brent Cross in London and Grand Central in Birmingham.

"John Whittaker, who developed the Trafford Centre near Manchester, has built a 4.6% stake in Hammerson through his private empire Peel Holdings. The holding is worth £213m at the current share price. A source close to Whittaker said he saw the listed property sector as 'cheap' given the drop in share prices since last year's EU vote, but his move is likely to fuel speculation over long-awaited consolidation in the industry.

"Whittaker owns 27% of Hammerson's nearest rival, Intu Properties, and serves as its deputy chairman."

The Observer: "Decent homes for all… Has the social housing dream died?"

"In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it is clear that Britain’s social housing is in crisis. As a new film looks at the legacy of Thatcher’s right-to-buy, Rowan Moore asks whether the postwar housing ideal can be revived. Below: David Harewood, Kerry Hudson and others on their experiences of council estate living"

Link to web site

"Before catastrophe hit Grenfell Tower, it had been planned to publish this feature last weekend. Then, in the immediate aftermath, it was clear that this would be the wrong thing to do, to talk about related but not-identical issues of public housing. It would have been at once too close to the news about Grenfell and not close enough. Now, although the horror is still raw and much about it is still unknown, it has also become clear that Grenfell exposes in the harshest possible way questions of the current state of social housing, about the accessibility, affordability and quality of homes, and their impact on people's lives.

"As is reported today, research by Shelter shows that a million households are at risk of homelessness unless a freeze on housing benefit is lifted.

"Absurdly, local authorities are now having to pay high rents to house people in homes the councils once owned.

"These questions, which are the subject of the new documentary Dispossession: The Great Housing Swindle, were already urgent. The election, with its upending of Conservative complacencies and old assumptions, increases the chances that the issues will be addressed with at least some of the radicalism they require. Given the newfound power of the youth vote, the group worst affected by the housing crisis, a large electoral prize awaits the party who can get this subject right. Dispossession offers few solutions, but it adds to the buildup of anger on the subject, without which nothing will change."


The Guardian: "London mayor considers pay-per-mile road pricing and ban on new parking" (during Brent Cross planning, Barnet has had an OFFICIAL policy of "roads, roads, roads and roads")

"Sadiq Khan wants to cut 3m car journeys a day and encourage cycling and walking in effort to reduce congestion and air pollution"

Link to web site

"London is to consider pay-per-mile road pricing and banning car parking in new developments under plans to cut 3m car journeys a day in the capital.

"A transport strategy to be published on Wednesday by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, will set targets to ensure 80% of journeys are made by public transport, walking or cycling.
"As London's population is set to increase beyond 10 million, our future health and prosperity is more and more dependent on us reducing our reliance on cars.

"We have to be ambitious in changing how our city works. While there will be 5m additional journeys being made across our transport network by 2041, at the same time we're setting ourselves a bold target of reducing car journeys by 3m every day."


People Parking Bay

Link to web site

"When Brenda Puech - who does not have a car - tried to pay online for an annual parking permit in Hackney she found there were no options for planting a bench, plants or cycle stands in a parking bay. So she emailed parking services to ask if she could make her payment in person. The answer was a definite No. She could not have a permit for parking anything other than a car. With an engine.

"So, she decided to go ahead anyway, to show how the space could be used something other than for parking a car.

"On Friday 26 May, she [transformed] a car parking bay in Hackney into a 'people parking bay'. Instead of a car she [has] placed items where people can park themselves (a bench), their shopping and bags (a table), their cycles (bike stands) and their eyes on plants and flowers."


[Reposted] Sat 24 June: Independent Community Planning at Old Oak and Park Royal (not having to fight Barnet's arrogant, incompetent and corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood behaviour)

Municipal Dreams: "Grenfell Tower"

Link to web site

"For almost four decades, we have been taught to see public spending as a bad thing; ruthless economising as a virtue.  We have come to know the price of everything and the value of nothing…and have ended with the funeral pyre of Grenfell Tower.

"Three days after the night of Wednesday 14 June, I still haven’t written anything about Grenfell Tower.  I’ve been trying to process the tragedy emotionally and intellectually. Even the pronoun jars.  This is – or should be – all about the pain and anger felt by the victims of the tower block fire. Those feelings are shared by many but have been appropriated by a few to fit their existing worldviews, to serve pre-existing agenda. In the meantime, it seems every journalist has become an expert, every pundit has their opinion.

"I do know a bit about social housing but I'm certainly not an expert on all the issues raised by Grenfell Tower.  This is an attempt to look at some of the questions raised and to query some of the responses already emerging."


Transport Network "Estates without footways, homes without transport"

Link to web site

"The discussion [at a meeting of Foundation for Integrated Transport] turned to the question of why transport and new homes are not meshed together in terms of funding and planning.

"Ms Raggett argued that the most important part of the spatial planning system that creates such places was the strategic housing market assessment, which bases decisions on expected population trends, 'whereas geography doesn’t really come into it. At each stage of the planning system, transport isn't really there. The trouble is transport is added on after the location is decided and then funding is a complete nightmare.'

"She acknowledged that the issue was a disconnect between planning and transport funding. Planners now their jobs but cannot get the funding, she said. As for how the situation can be improved: 'Plan new homes and transport together with co-ordinated funding.'

"Paul Crick, vice chair of the ADEPT transport board, agreed that transport is too often added in afterwards – which is too late to change people's travel patterns. Infrastructure needs to be put in upfront – at the very start, he argued."


The Guardian: "'An embarrassment to the city': what went wrong with the £725m gateway to Brent Cross. Er, sorry, Cambridge?"

Link to web site

" 'A remarkable opportunity,' is how architect Richard Rogers described his £725m vision to design an entirely new gateway to Cambridge. Twelve years on, the result has been called 'rubbish', 'unfit' and 'soulless' by local residents, not to mention being accused of 'designing in crime', after a rise in antisocial behaviour and a wave of 'pop-up brothels'.

"... It is hard to believe how this handsome city's flagship scheme – masterminded by one of the country's most feted architects and just a stone’s throw from the Stirling prize-winning Accordia housing development, could have gone quite so wrong. The answers can be found in its chequered history. The project began life in 2004, when local housebuilder Ashwell Property Group appointed the Richard Rogers Partnership to develop an outline plan for a new 'business and cultural centre' on a 10-hectare site around the station.

"A year later, the plans were unveiled to breathless coverage in the local paper, with a double-page spread featuring the promised bounty of a 'proper transport interchange', affordable housing, healthcare facilities and a new heritage centre, which was planned to be housed in a majestic old grain silo next to the station. 'This is just the sort of infrastructure development we need so desperately,' said its editorial. 'Having an architect of the calibre of Lord Rogers on board is a real plus'."


The Observer: "Are cheap car loans the vehicle taking us to the next financial crash?"

Vroom to web site

"A decade ago it was sub-prime mortgages. Could it be sub-prime car loans this time? Cheap finance, the economic spectre of the age, has underpinned much of Britain’s growth over the past three years and there has been no bigger beneficiary of this debt-fuelled largesse than the car industry. But this four-wheeled binge, which reached a record £31.6bn in car loans last year, could have consequences if it veers off the road.

"... The car financing industry is confident that this new breed of ultra-low-cost loans, which account for 82% of all new car registrations and are known as personal contract plans (PCPs), are a safe and secure way of financing new cars. It says sub-prime lenders, who offer loans to people with erratic incomes and damaged credit ratings, account for only 3% of the market and the industry can cope with any destabilising events coming down the track.

"Some experts are not so sure."



"We continue our exploration of disused railways by heading west from Mill Hill East along greenways to Edgware. Meet 11-45am outside Mill Hill East tube station.

"Everything is looking very green and lovely at the moment and this is another pretty walk in a completely different direction to the last two. In the 1930s it was planned to extend the Northern Line out through Edgware, Brockley Hill and Elstree to Bushey Heath. Although most of the work was completed the line never opened. We will pick up the track at Mill Hill East and follow it through Copthall to Mill Hill Park where we will stop for a packed lunch. We will then go on to the cafe for a quick tea stop. This will also be the only public toilet we pass on our route.

"After lunch/tea stop we head to Woodcroft Park, and nearby Lyndhurst Park where we follow the line to the Old Railway Nature Reserve which leads to Edgware where we hit a dead end - the line is blocked here by a large underground depot and sidings. So, we will pick up the nearby Silk Stream and follow it through greenways, footpaths and Watling Park to Burnt Oak for the finsish. Total distance is 4.3 miles. We will catch the 114 bus back to Mill Hill Broadway and the 221 back to Mill Hill East. The 221 goes on to Woodside Park, North Finchley, Friern Barnet and New Southgate.

"There are drop out points at almost every point of this walk, and it is virtually flat all the way, so it should be suitable for nearly everyone. Don't forget to bring: packed lunch, water and buss pass/oyster card on the day."


Barnet Times: Finchley and Golders Green's Green candidate is against the Brent Cross 'mega shopping centre'

Link to web site

"The Green Party's Adele Ward believes air pollution around schools and 'wrong developments in the wrong places' are crucially important issues facing Finchley and Golders Green residents.

"... Ms Ward spoke out against the 'mega shopping centre' coming to Brent Cross, the P B Donoghue site in Claremont Road and the covered bus shelter in the Golders Green station regeneration as detrimental to health.

"... On Brent Cross, Ms Ward believes a better way to serve the community is to build a smaller centre to reduce pollution and save the Whitefields estate."


Barnet Times: " 'I do deliver [Brent Cross]': Conservative candidate for Finchley and Golders Green speaks out ahead of polling day"

Link to web site

"Mike Freer, a former Barnet Council leader and councillor, said sometimes local issues can be 'drowned out' by national messaging, though fewer people are talking about Brexit than he expected.

"... Mr Freer has also worked towards 'securing the future of Brent Cross' in the Brent Cross development.

"... He said: 'People know when I get my teeth stuck into something I don't give up, and do deliver'."

[We'll see, we'll see.]


Retail Gazette: "Outlet Stores: How the sector went from feared to fashionable"

"London Designer Outlet (LDO) is a prime example of the new wave of outlet centres, situated next to Wembley Stadium inside Greater London, with stores representing some of the country’s biggest brands.

"... Although LDO clearly has advantages over outlet centres positioned outside of high density areas for attracting tourists, there is an intrinsic quality of the outlet store model which puts traditional retailers on the back foot.

"... 'Increasingly people want a kind of shopping, dining, leisure, experience when they come out in a quality environment. So, our marketing team work hard to put together events throughout the year that give people a fairly compelling reason to want to come here, as oppose to going to Westfield or Brent Cross up the road,."

BBC: "The day cyclists rule the roads"

"How do you make space for recreation in dense cities where it appears there is no space to be had?

"One city in South America may have the answer."