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"... Debt still attracts easy moralising and apocalyptic warnings, but it always has to be considered alongside one's income and assets. It may be prudent for a young family to borrow, if they reckon their wages will go up over the next few years. As author Frank Trentmann shows, the golden age of credit in America and Britain was in the postwar decades, when both economies were growing fast and workers were seeing their pay rise year on year.
"However – and this is beyond the purview of the historian - that is not the case in either country today. Instead, the debt being taken out is being taken out on promises of growth that modern capitalism cannot deliver.
"Encouraged by their governments, households in the UK and the US are now using their homes as cash machines. Using official statistics, the Centre for Research into Socio-Cultural Change has found that the value of home equity withdrawal under both Thatcher and Blair exceeded the value of GDP growth during their time in power. The two losing incumbents of the past 20 years, Major and Brown, both saw housing equity withdrawal slump on their watch.
"That simple observation holds the key to explaining the post-79 era in British politics. How do you win an election? Inflate the property market. How do you mimic economic growth? Encourage housing equity withdrawal."
[Reposted from Feb 2015] Tue 3 Mar: Progressing the Corrupt Brent Cross Planning Consent: Now it's Compulsory Purchase Orders
|Link to access all documents|
"Major developments are planned in Barnet over the next 10 to 15 years which will see significant population growth in new and improved neighbourhoods, and significant investment in supporting facilities and infrastructure.
"The range of projects include the regeneration of our four largest estates and the development of the three strategic growth areas identified in the London Mayor's Plan - the Cricklewood, Brent Cross and West Hendon regeneration area, Colindale and Mill Hill East.
"We have established the Regeneration Service to ensure that it plays a leading role in shaping these developments and maximising their benefit to the borough. The Regeneration Service is responsible for co-ordinating the work of key council departments to this end, and works closely with Education, Housing, Property Services and the Planning Service."
29 January 2016
"The London Assembly Planning Committee has today warned that the next Mayor must start planning for London’s future from the day they collect the keys to City Hall.
" 'Up or Out: A false choice. Options for London’s growth' outlines a menu of options for accommodating London's growth. It considers approaches such as increasing the density of some parts of suburbs, regenerating estates, and building new and expanded towns outside London's boundaries.
It also explores different - but complementary - approaches for meeting this growth:
Up – are more skyscrapers and modern towers set to define our skyline?
Out – can we build to a higher density in outer London while preserving our green spaces?
RELATED (joint developer with Argent of Brent Cross from phase two) takes half share in POCKET (attempted developer of Cricklewood Green Space). WORRYING.
"One of the largest real estate firms in the US has taken a 50% share in a London-based affordable homes company to help drive a massive expansion of its development," reports Inside Housing.
"Related Companies has bought a share in Pocket Living for an undisclosed sum and plans to throw its substantial weight into scaling up the construction of discounted flats for sale and rent in London.
"Related, which began life as an affordable housing provider in 1973, has $20bn of real estate assets worldwide has been plotting expansion into the London affordable housing market for several years.
"It agreed a joint venture with Argent, one of the UK’s leading mixed-use regeneration firms last year and is engaged on key sites in Kings Cross and Brent through that company.
"This is likely to provide Pocket with access to major regeneration schemes to provide its flagship homeownership products, compact flats which are sold at a 20% discount to buyers earning less than £71,000.
"Pocket has developed 200 homes in its 10 year life, typically agreeing deals with local authorities for use of land and reductions in planning obligations
"It intends to double this in the next 18 months and step up its provision of rental homes in central London with Related’s assistance.
"Kenneth Wong, chief operating officer at Related, will join Pocket’s board under the deal. Mr Wong was previously president of Westfield America, and has also served as president of the Disney development Company.
"Mr Wong said:
"We have ambitious plans in London, and Pocket is a perfect strategic fit with our ongoing initiatives.""He said the capacity and ambition of Related to boost Pocket’s development was 'unlimited'.
"Related has major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Florida, Abu Dhabi, Sao Paulo and Shanghai. Its regeneration of the Hudson Yards in New York will see 16 skyscrapers and 1.2m square feet of office residential and retail space built in one of the largest construction projects in the world.
"Its founder and president Stephen Ross is one of America’s most well known billionaires, and owns American football franchise the Miami Dolphins. Pocket has previously been funded through a Greater London Authority loan of £26.4m, crowdfunding bonds and bank finance. The financial capacity provided by Related will therefore hugely increase Pocket’s capacity to take on larger and more ambitious schemes
"It hopes to build 4,000 homes by 2023, and it aiming to increase its development to 700 homes per year which would put it among the largest developers of discounted rented housing. Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket, said:
"This transaction is a huge vote of confidence in Pocket."
"Real economists don't ask questions about happiness. The economy pumps out goods and services, all of which create jobs and incomes. There is no value judgment in such a statement, no view of what constitutes the good life."
|Link to web site|
"There is a quest for meaning, aided and abetted by the knowledge and information revolutions, that is not answered by traditionally scale-produced goods and services. Economist Tomas Sedlacek, who has won an international following for his book Economics of Good and Evil, insists that contemporary societies have become slaves to a defunct economistic view of the world.
"When western societies were poorer, it was reasonable for economics to focus on how to produce more stuff – that was what societies wanted. Now, the question is Aristotelian: how to live a happy life – or 'humanomics', as Sedlacek calls it. Aristotle was clear: happiness results from deploying our human intelligence to act creatively on nature. To inquire and successfully to quest for understanding is the root of happiness.
"Yet most people today, says Sedlacek, work in jobs they do not much like, to buy goods they do not much value – the opposite of any idea of the good life, Aristotelian or otherwise. What we want is purpose and a sense of continual self-betterment, which is not served by buying another iPhone, wardrobe or a kitchen."
Broken Barnet: "The Last Betrayal, or - the breaking of West Hendon, and the making of a latter day myth: 'sink estates' ... "
(West Hendon shares its 2005 LB of Barnet 'Supplementary Planning Guidance' with Brent Cross Cricklewood.)
|Link to Mrs Angry|
"I've lost count, now, of the number of posts I've written about West Hendon, and the eviction of a community from the place they call home, down there, by the waterfront, on the edge of the Welsh Harp.
"The residents of West Hendon call it home: or they did, but the local Tory councillors see the place where they live as not a community, but a business opportunity, and under the pretext of 'regeneration', and despite a promise to residents of a better housing on the same site, handed the publicly-owned land to Barratt London for a private, luxury high-rise property development.
"The land was worth £12 million, but was given to developers for £3, so as to allow them to maximise profits on their investment, conservatively estimated last year at a mere £92 million."
[Reposted and expanded] Barnet gives planning permission for 5-storey building for this site, on the same planning application as a new John Lewis at Brent Cross, a MILE away! (The Banality of Corruption)
|Link to 'Wembley Matters' web site|
Agreement dated 30th January 1987 between Mayor of Barnet, Mayor of Brent, Charterhall Properties (Cricklewood) Ltd, and Erith Plc states:
The description of development refers to provision of 'new public conveniences, public footpaths, and area of public open space'.
Public Open Space is defined as 'the creation of a public open space on that part of the site show coloured yellow on the Plan, such open space to make substantial provision for tree and shrub planting within it and to be attractively landscaped and laid out to the satisfaction of the Council'.
Paragraph 4 b(iv) refers to the Council adopting the public open space after a defects period of 12 months, 'and thereupon the Public Open Space shall become a public open space maintainable at the public expense'.
Paragraphs 4 (d) and (e) refer to not building on the land with the sewer and accepting the strips of land with public footpaths respectively."
|(2014 update: Next to the road has since been improved -|
the rest of the land is still under threat)
Pic: Theo Simpson
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Wed 27 Jan: Argent's (yes, ARGENT'S) Brent Cross Planning Application 15/06518/RMA - Roads around the Living Hell Bridge
"Arup has been commissioned by Argent (Property Development)Services LLP to provide transport and highways advice in support of an application for highways infrastructure for Brent Cross South Phase 1A (South).
"The proposals for Phase 1A (South) comprise two sections of highway designated as the eastern end of Claremont Park Road from the junction with Claremont Avenue (Claremont Park Road (Part 1)), and the western end of School Lane from the junction with Claremont Avenue to Claremont Road. Both of these roads tie into highways infrastructure addressed under BXC Phase 1A (North), and as such the proposals here are intended to complement those of Phase 1A (North). No plot development is to be brought forward under Phase 1A (South), and as such no assessment of trips has been undertaken.
"... Overall, the proposals for BXS Phase 1A (South) are in line with the wider constraints and design guidance under the BXC scheme and the more local constraints arising from the proposals of Phase 1A (North). As no plot development is proposed under Phase 1A (South), it is considered that, with the exception of the Pedestrian and Cycle Strategy submitted alongside this RMTR, there is no additional requirement for strategy documents relating to travel planning and construction management."
"... The Living Bridge is also proposed to replace the existing footbridge across the A406, providing a shared pedestrian and cycle linkage to the north of the BXC site. Proposals under Phase 1A (South) connect to the southern end of the Living Bridge as well as into facilities on Claremont Avenue under Phase 1A (North)."
"Argent has announced a shake-up of its senior management team, after three of its senior partners, including construction supremo Tony Giddings, left the business.
"Former partners Jim Prower and Tony Giddings have retired, and Roger Madelin has taken a new job at British Land, leading to the appointment of two new partners and four directors from within the company.
"Phil Sullivan will take charge of construction following Giddings’ departure as construction director,
"Michael Lightbound, already a partner at the firm, becomes finance partner and two senior project directors, Anna Strongman and Will Colthorpe, become partners.
"Strongman will oversee all estate management, property management and regeneration initiatives at King’s Cross, and contribute to the strategies for Argent’s Brent Cross South and Tottenham Hale sites.
"Colthorpe will be responsible for the office and hotel developments at King’s Cross, leading teams delivering design, procurement and leasing activities.
"In addition Rob Groves becomes regional director, Phil Tait becomes programme director and Steve Alderson becomes marketing director."
Providing no transport need whatsoever: The site of Hammerson's and the London Borough of Barnet's "Living Hell Bridge"
"Address: North Circular Road, Brent Cross, London NW9"
"This street location is on the Transport for London network. Any filming on the road, bridges or footways that run alongside, over, or under it, is under TfL's jurisdiction."
Reel Film Locations Ltd. [gettit?]
The Hors d'oeuvre
"The modified proposals for Brent Cross Staples Corner look like something someone drew on the back of a fag packet -appalling quality, and in no way acceptable. Cyclists would be expected to proceed on the A5 from north to south via five or six Toucans and using shared paths. It would take 15 minutes to cover a distance that should take 15 seconds.
"We’ll be making a formal response shortly. The fundamental problem is they're not willing to alter their basic design for the junction, which was created on the basis of ignoring pedestrians and cyclists.
"Another aspect of the modified proposals (here) is the reduction of Tempelhof Avenue from a proposed two general lanes and two bus lanes, plus cycle track, to just two general lanes plus cycle track. So a big rolling back of bus provision.
"Meanwhile, we are hearing from senior sources in Transport for London that NONE of this will go ahead. We am inclined to believe this, though we don't have direct confirmation. How this might affect the rest of the regeneration scheme, we don’t know."
The Main Course
Brent Cross Cricklewood Update to the Phase Transport Report for Phase 1
"The following is the Brent Cyclists response submitted on 19 January 2016 to this Barnet Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application. Some extracts from the plans relevant to the response are attached.
"This a response on behalf of Brent Cyclists, the local group in Brent of the London Cycling Campaign. We represent around 200 members in Brent, and aim to represent the interests of all who cycle or would like to cycle in NW London. We have discussed these plans at our meeting."
"The document Phase 1 Addendum 4OF4 [above] shows a design for surface-level shared (Toucan) crossing for pedestrians and cyclists at Staples Corner West junction.While it is progress that there is now recognition that it will be necessary to accommodate the movements of pedestrians and cyclists at surface level at the junction, the proposed concept is totally unsatisfactory.
"From what one can tell from this unclear plan, it seems to require users to negotiate five or six separate crossings just to travel from north to south on the line of the A5. On a bicycle, this would turn what should be a 15 second trip segment into one lasting possibly 15 minutes.
"It is absurd to suppose this would be used as intended by the designers. Furthermore, the concept of a shared cycle and pedestrian path is unsatisfactory. Separation is necessary between the different modes.
"The plans for the shared foot and cycleways shown in Addendum 3OF4 [above] remain unsatisfactory for the same reasons, and because the journey from north to south on the line of the A5 diverted on these paths would also be absurdly indirect and time-consuming for cyclists.
"Fundamentally we see here are road junction designs compiled with one sole criterion: motor vehicle throughput, and we see pedestrians and cyclists being grudgingly fitted-in round the margins in all these plans.
"We require a fundamental rethink of junction layouts at Staples Corner and elsewhere in the development area that treats cycling properly and applies the current TfL London Cycle Design Standards.
"These plans will remain unsatisfactory to us, other stakeholders, and, we believe, to all the surrounding borough councils, as well as Transport for London, until this is done."
"FINCHLEY and Golders Green MP Mike Freer told sixth formers that their school would be rebuilt under £4 billion plans to develop Brent Cross and Cricklewood - but said a more difficult construction challenge was that the Houses of Parliament were 'sinking'.
"Mr Freer met with pupils at Whitefield School, Claremont Road, which is set to be demolished and rebuilt as part of plans on its doorstep which include the building of more than 7,500 new homes, a new Thameslink rail station and the doubling the size of Brent Cross shopping centre.
"... Also meeting with deputy head boy Matei Sacerdoteanu, Mr Freer said the Brent Cross/Cricklewood development would create 'a small town of around 15,000 people' along with a commercial district and a fast rail link to the city and possibly Luton airport."
Evening Standard: "Architect Sir Terry Farrell's master plan for the regeneration of Brent Cross and Cricklewood includes a new shopping district." (The roof is built of nano-particles, and is unaffected by falling icicles or the weight of snow.)
"A £4.5 billion redevelopment of railway lands at Brent Cross and Cricklewood is bringing 7,500 homes, three new schools, four parks and a new Thameslink station, offering a 12-minute commute to central London.
The 20-year project is soon to start. It will create a new town centre for the area, including a high street leading to a revamped shopping district at Brent Cross. The high street will pass through new public squares and over a 'living bridge' — a new cycle and pedestrian crossing over North Circular Road.
The railway looms large in Cricklewood's history and topography. The area came of age in the 1880s when Midland Railway moved its locomotive works from Kentish Town to the new Brent Sidings and built an estate of railway cottages, now coveted private homes, for its workers.
Today it attracts people who have outgrown their Kilburn or West Hampstead flat and want more space for their money, as they seek to settle down in a good-value family house with a credible-sounding postcode less than four miles from Marble Arch. Cricklewood numbers former London mayor Ken Livingstone among its residents.
As a general rule, prices sag in the centre of Cricklewood, and rise expectantly towards its borders with Barnet, Brent and Hendon.
Check out the quieter streets and conservation areas either side of the bustling Broadway, including Mapesbury Estate and 'the Groves' — Yew Grove, Elm Grove and Ash Grove — plus roads surrounding 86-acre Gladstone Park, close to Dollis Hill."
Barnet Times: "Cyclists 'disappointed' at new superhighway could be scrapped." And a Richard 'Ebenezer' Cornelius Brent Cross letter.
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"CYCLISTS campaigning for safer routes are 'disappointed' after learning a superhighway linking Barnet, Brent and central London could be scrapped.
"... David Arditti, Brent Cyclists’ coordinator, who has lobbied Brent council to provide safer cycle routes, believes that central London is being prioritised over the outer towns.
"... Mr Arditti, who has coordinated Brent Cyclists for the last eight years, said he wants the next Mayor of London to commit to Brent Cross cycle routes, but neither Sadiq Khan or Zac Goldsmith have put forward any clear ideas.
"Clive Gomes, Brent Cyclists' campaigns coordinator, said: 'Provisions for Brent Cross cyclists are almost non-existent.'"
"David Cameron has announced plans to tackle social problems through bulldozing a number of Britain's housing estates, saying they are 'entrenching poverty', and that the 'brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways' are a 'gift to criminals and drug dealers'. So does the design of estates cause crime?"
|Link to web site|
"... Rather than focusing on individual features, there's a more fundamental approach that makes for a happy estate.
" 'A lot of these post-war estates were built without community engagement in the development of the plans, and what's important in terms of getting it right next time is that we actually work with the people who live there to design estates to be places where people want to live,' says Fisher.
"Carron agrees that giving residents a say is absolutely fundamental:
"Consultation needs to happen with the people who live on these estates. You need to ask them what's wrong with where they're living. Don't go in and think you can just bulldoze it down."
Why no progress on Boris's Dudding Hill Line London Overground service from Old Oak Common to Thameslink? (After all, any new Cricklewood North station is within the London Borough of Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent)
What we will actually get:
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