Click above for Planning Application submission (we submit, we submit!) plus Transport page.

2014-07-31

"London orbital railway on mayor's £1.3tn wishlist." (The Brent Cross Railway is the other way at Cricklewood, and a better route for outer north London. )


Link to The Guardian

"Blueprints for a new orbital metro-style railway around London are being drawn up by the city's transport authorities as part of a massive proposed infrastructure investment to keep the capital moving as the population soars in coming decades.

"The concept for an additional fast orbital rail service linking boroughs in the inner suburbs – dubbed the R25 in City Hall – follows the rapid growth of London Overground, which has seen a boom in passenger numbers since being enhanced and integrated into the capital's transport system, helping regenerate areas and stations and decongest tube lines.

"The mayor said Crossrail 2, a new north-south line linking Wimbledon to Hackney across central London and probably extending into the suburbs, should be approved as a matter of urgency, and other Crossrail lines could follow. The transport commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, said the arrival of HS2, the high-speed link to the Midlands and the north, into Euston station meant immediate action was needed, with a likely 15-year minimum timescale for planning and construction work."

Link to Transport page.

2014-07-30

Consultation until 31 Oct 2014: "London Infrastructure Plan 2050." (Thanks to the corrupt Brent Cross planning application, the Brent Cross Railway is mentioned - for "2040+"!)


"The Mayor launches London’s first long-term infrastructure plan. This is a consultation about London’s growth and how we can make the city better for everyone"

Link to consultation web site
(one of the documents is shown below:
about a replacement Cricklewood station,
and the Brent Cross Railway)

"Infrastructure is fundamental to every Londoner, every day, from turning on the taps in the morning, to travelling to work, to switching off the lights at night.

"This [set of documents] sets out what infrastructure London requires. It is the first ever strategic attempt to set out London’s infrastructure needs, how much it might cost and how we pay for our needs. The aim is to better prepare for growth by overcoming today’s problems and bringing fresh thinking into delivering the infrastructure the city needs in order to also reap its benefits.

"By its very nature, infrastructure underpins everything you do. You make London and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think by completing the consultation questions by 31 October 2014."



By the way, LOOK AT THE LAST PAGE!

"Mayor of London issues stark wake-up call on capital’s infrastructure requirements"


http://www.london.gov.uk/media/mayor-press-releases/2014/07/mayor-of-london-issues-stark-wake-up-call-on-capital-s
Link to LONDON.GOV.UK

"London is set to exceed its record level of population within months and risks losing its position among the world’s elite cities unless a major programme of infrastructure investment is put in place to allow the capital to continue to operate efficiently and successfully. That is the verdict of the Mayor who launched a consultation on a 2050 London Infrastructure Plan today (30 July).

"The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 is the first attempt to set out the full range of infrastructure requirements for the capital over the next half century, during which time the population of London is forecast to increase by thirty seven per cent to more than 11 million people. The Mayor wants to consult with Londoners, national Government, the wider southeast and beyond on the plan, which he describes as a wakeup call to the stark level of investment and thought that needs to be put into ensuring the capital does not falter.

"The plan builds on the Mayor’s campaign for greater fiscal devolution to cities, which has brought together London’s government and the Core Cities Group – representing Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield - to jointly make the case for devolving locally-raised taxes to cities, allowing for investment in much-needed local infrastructure and boosting the whole of the UK’s economy. The Mayor believes that model for investment set out in the plan could also be suitable for all of these cities, and others, providing a blueprint for how they might invest in locally-decided priority infrastructure needs.

"Although London currently leads the world in the finance, commercial, cultural, scientific and media sectors the capital is in danger of being overtaken by competitors who are already strengthening their infrastructure. The Mayor argues that a clear economic rationale underpins the need for a long term infrastructure plan, as rising prosperity for all depends on increased productivity, which itself relies on good infrastructure. However, infrastructure can only be delivered, improved and maintained through planned, sustained and targeted investment."

"The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
"... Demand for public transport is forecast to increase by 50 per cent with increased demand for Underground and rail services likely to increase by 60 and 80 per cent respectively.

... Plans to improve transportation by maximising and extending Tube services. Crossrail 2 must be approved and further Crossrail projects may be required. Working with Network Rail, there is also huge opportunity to double capacity on the capital’s rail network. A series of new river crossings are needed and an inner orbital road tunnel should be built. A new four runway hub airport should be located in the Thames estuary, to the east of the capital."

2014-07-29

CNBC: "UK retailers seeing deflation: Hammerson CEO " (Brent Cross dystopia not mentioned)


(May display with unavoidable scroll bars)

"David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, says the U.K. retail space is competitive, and is seeing prices fall."






Firm-but-Fair Consumer Debt Collection:




"Grow, peak or plateau - the outlook for car travel"


http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/23277/
Link to University of West of England

"In the 1970s, official forecasts of road traffic included allowance for an eventual saturation level of car ownership, car use and total car traffic (the expected point when this would occur being the first decade of the 21st century). While indicators of a turning point in the long run trend of car traffic growth can now be seen to date from the early 1990s, the phenomenon itself both in terms of its appearance in various countries’ national statistics and its subsequent examination by commentators has been much more recent. It has quickly acquired the label ‘peak car’ which can present a problem of communication – to policymakers and other stakeholders. ‘Peak car’ suggests an interpretation that car travel has indeed peaked.

"This should not be taken as axiomatic - rather, the discussion took the label as a shorthand for confronting uncertainty over whether or not car travel has peaked and contemplating the available evidence base and plausibility of three future alternatives:
  • growing car travel
  • saturated car travel, or
  • declining car travel.

"Another matter that can be lost in translation is the distinction between car travel per capita and total car travel [particularly to up-market Brent Cross shopping centre].

It is the former that has been principally responsible for interest in the topic, because of its implication that if car travel per capita is going down then something is changing in terms of the underlying drivers of demand relating to behaviour. However, it is possible that per capita car use could decline while total car use (and hence traffic volume) might still continue to increase as a result of population growth.

"From a policymaking perspective the latter can have as much if not more importance for certain areas of policy and investment. Therefore car travel per capita and total car travel should be explicitly distinguished. A key element of discussion is whether the resulting totals should be taken as proportional to population or some other conversion factor, depending on locations where population grows and the policy context in those places."

"Outraged by 'poor doors'? See how you like the alternatives"


"We may recoil from the idea of housing developments with separate entrances for the rich and the rest, but they are just a symptom of a much bigger problem in London"

Link to The Guardian

"Like business class air travel or first class train carriages, apartment blocks with backstreet entrances - so-called 'poor doors' - and worse facilities for residents of their cheaper flats hit a raw nerve. In London, they set in stone - or, more likely, steel and glass - the very standard class status of some Londoners compared with others, many of whom don't actually live in London at all and are just passing through.

"But while their symbolism repels, the sobering fact is that 'poor doors' at least open onto homes you don't need to be a millionaire to inhabit. They are the least endearing aspect of trade-offs between private developers and London boroughs and mayors, which have long been vital for augmenting the inadequate supply of homes that Londoners on low and even middle incomes can afford.

"Housing campaigners mock much of this 'affordable' housing as not very affordable at all, given that in some cases only households with incomes upwards of 70 grand need apply for it. The heritage lobby deride these products of 'planning gain' as bribes developers pay to be allowed to erect skyline-wrecking towers.

"Both have a point. But where else have sub-market London homes come from lately?"



Link to The Guardian

" 'Poor doors' show why we can’t rely on developers for affordable housing"

"Reformism in local government has a Faustian history, often involving shady deals, compromised principles and unexpected outcomes as much as successful attempts to establish social justice in cities. Play your cards right and you can, like Herbert Morrison’s London county council, succeed as a paragon of moderate municipal socialist virtue.

"But if your ambitions outweigh the odds stacked against you, you’re more likely to be remembered like T Dan Smith or Derek Hatton, where the failed nature of the pact is remembered better than the houses, flats and roads that were the other results. It is always a question of degree – whether you can drag what you want out of greedy developers, cost-cutting builders, recalcitrant central government and other forces usually hostile to local democracy.

The only Faustian project worthy of the name in the UK in the last couple of decades has been Ken Livingstone’s London, one of whose unexpected legacies is now being fully realised. This is the incarnation of social segregation in one building, where instead of council housing, we have mostly private towers and estates, whose mandatory percentage of 'affordable housing' is reached by separate backdoor entrances, now being dubbed 'poor doors'.

"Ironically enough, this spatial segregation is the direct consequence of the small, piecemeal attempt made in the 2000s to make London more egalitarian."

2014-07-28

CNN videos: "City of Tomorrow" (meanwhile, the car-based Brent Cross scheme rolls down the slipway..."



"The city of tomorrow might already be here.

"Right now, 21st century challenges like greenhouse gases, crime and high energy costs — are being met worldwide with real innovation.

"In the coming years communities will grow at an amazing pace. The United Nations predicts by 2030, 60% of the world will live in cities. Demand for clean air, water, energy — and convenience — will skyrocket.

"Along with emerging innovations, increased connectivity via the Internet and smart devices promises to help solve many of these threats.

"Imagine turning the ocean into drinking water, ending traffic jams, making policing smarter and creating buildings with zero carbon footprints.

The conversation is happening now at #CityofTomorrow on @CNN and https://www.facebook.com/cnn.

The Independent: "Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?"



"Some developers say separate doors allowed housing associations to keep costs down by avoiding the service charges paid by the wealthier occupants"

Link to web site

"So-called 'poor doors' are allegedly spreading across London, forcing poor tenants to use different entrances to the wealthier occupants of new apartment blocks.

"Many of the new multi-million pound developments only got planning permission on condition that they contained some social housing units. So to avoid potential wealthy occupants put off by having to rub shoulders with the poor, developers have supposedly taken to providing segregated entrances.

Tracey Kellett, a buying agent for wealthy clients, was quoted by the Guardian as saying a number of developments now have separate entrances 'so the two social strata don't have to meet'. In one: 'The affordable [housing] has vile coloured plastic panels on the outside rather than blingy glass.'



Link to web site

The Guardian
"Poor doors: the segregation of London's inner-city flat dwellers"

"Multimillion pound housing developments in London are segregating less well-off tenants from wealthy homebuyers by forcing them to use separate entrances.

"A Guardian investigation has discovered a growing trend in the capital's upmarket apartment blocks – which are required to include affordable homes in order to win planning permission – for the poorer residents to be forced to use alternative access, a phenomenon being dubbed "poor doors". Even bicycle storage spaces, rubbish disposal facilities and postal deliveries are being separated.

"The Green party accused developers of showing 'contempt for ordinary people' by enforcing such two-tier policies."

2014-07-27

Barnet Bugle: "Barnet Council's 'Three Strands' video, March 2008"




"Published by Barnet Bugle on 20 Jul 2014:



"Hidden at the back of the glossy brochure was a DVD that contained a glitzy movie of how the Council planned to import a 'missing generation' of people to the growth areas."




2014-07-22

"How polluted is my road?" (Not to mention Brent Cross and the North Circular Road.)


Link to web site

"You can use this map to see the levels of pollutants emitted by vehicles on different stretches of road in London. Pan around the map, or put in your postcode, to find where you live, work or study. Click on any section of road to see the exact quantities of pollution emitted each year, and the numbers of vehicles that travel on that stretch of road every day."

Are there more than 10,000 vehicles a day?

"Scientific research suggests that living near roads travelled by more than 10,000 vehicles per day could be responsible for some 15-30% of all new cases of asthma in children, and a similar proportion of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and CHD (coronary heart disease) cases in adults 65 years of age and older.

"If you click on a section of road you'll see lots of detailed information on the pollutants, plus the number of vehicle movements per day."


"In the example above, you can see that these people in Brent are living right alongside a section of the North Circular with over 62,000 vehicle movements a day!"

Daily Telegraph: "30-second briefing: How affordable are homes for first-time buyers?"


Link to web site

"A study by the National Association of Estate Agents showed a slump in the number of under-30s buying homes, down to 3pc from 12pc a year ago.

"These statistics and charts, capture the problem for young buyers. The mortgage repayments are relatively affordable but it became slightly harder to get a loan, because of tighter regulations - called MMR- introduced in May.

"Regardless of affordability, prices now tower above wages in a way not seen since the property market peak in 2007 which, combined with threat of interest rate rises, may be making a greater number of twenty-somethings think twice before stretching themselves to get on to the property market."

[Reposted] BORISOPOLIS: EVEN BIGGER THAN BRENTCROSSOPOLIS: The Mayor's Old Oak Common & Park Royal Development Corporation





From Brent Council:
"The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has recently outlined proposals to transform Old Oak and Park Royal into a thriving new district with up to 24,000 new homes and more than 55,000 jobs.

"As part of this long term plan, the Mayor intends to create a new Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) to unlock the enormous regeneration potential of this 950 hectares of industrial land at Old Oak Common and Park Royal in West London.

"Please click here to find out more and to take part in the online consultation on Old Oak - Mayor's Development Corporation.

"The consultation will run until Wednesday, 24 September 2014."
Bola Olatunde, Consultation Officer
Assistant Chief Executive’s Service
020 8937 1073
07867 186 845
www.brent.gov.uk

2014-07-21

Shopping at Brent Cross using debt: "Trouble in store: the grave future of British public and private debt"


"A future of rising interest rates and deepening debts beckon, with the UK unable, or unwilling, to countenance a solution"

Link to The Guardian

"When interest rates begin to rise, we're told they will top out at 3%. Don't worry, homeowners, say the rate-setters, crippling monthly payments are a thing of the past.

"Charlie Bean, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England and one of the rate-setters until last month, made it clear that the scale of household debts made it impossible to return to something like normal within the next 10 years.

"... There are several critics of this view, including Boris Johnson's economic adviser Gerard Lyons, who said last week that rates should canter towards 6%. Lyons, a former City analyst, is among a minority in the Square Mile who subscribe to a more optimistic outlook for the nation's economic health and the consumer's ability to shop and pay their debts at the same time.

"Yet this possibly London-centric view underestimates the sheer scale of debts already accumulated and, after a brief period of repayment, the need to feed consumption with debt. There is also the government balance sheet to consider. With increasing burdens on its spending, the ability of governments to support consumer spending – as they have done in recent years with a constant diet of tax credits and tax cuts – will become limited."

The Observer: "The studio flat for rent where you climb a ladder on the fridge to get to bed"


Link to web site
"A studio flat up for rent in north London is the tiniest apartment the agents letting it have seen. Measuring just 87 sq ft (eight square metres), it is so small that the only way to get into the wall-mounted bed is to stand on top of the fridge and climb up a ladder."

"... Of course, while this particular studio is exceptionally tiny, it is certainly not the only rental accommodation in London that could be classed as small.

"But with rents in the capital rising by nearly 10% in the past year alone, there's a new twist on the familiar story of tenants struggling and landlords cashing in. The size of rental properties in the capital, it seems, is starting to shrink."

Planning Ministers



2014-07-20

LAST CHANCE! Stewart Murray, Barnet's ex-Planning Chief, now at the GLA: "Work for Me! We're currently 'consulting' on an Old Oak Common Mayoral Development Corporation, but between you and me, ..."


Senior Strategic Planner (Mayoral Development Corporation – Old Oak Common/Park Royal [which doesn't exist and may never exist - or is this merely a charade?]) - Fixed Term/ Secondment (initially 12 months)

Salary: £40,322 per annum
Contract type: Full-time, fixed term
Reference: STAF507
Interview Date: TBC
Date posted: 4 July 2014
Closing date: 21 July 2014

http://brentcrosscoalition.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/i-say-isnt-that-old-stewie-hes-in.html
"Transform West London as part
of a brand new specialist team!"

# "Come with me and you'll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look and you'll see
Into your imagination" #

Old Oak Common is the site of the largest regeneration initiative in West London. The arrival of High Speed 2 and Crossrail will bring a new superstation interchange. This exciting once-in-a-generation happening will unlock over 200 hectares of development opportunity, where we’ll forge a vibrant new city quarter. This will create 24,000 new homes and 55,000 new jobs - key to the Mayor of London’s growth targets. You’ll join the Greater London Authority’s new Mayoral Development Corporation (Transitional) Unit, which will drive strategic planning and preparation.

# "We'll begin with a spin
Trav'ling in the world of my creation
What we'll see will defy
Explanation" #

To join us, you will need a degree in town planning and RTPI professional membership, or equivalent. Proven post-qualification experience in a planning team or similar department is vital.   You will need to demonstrate good communication, negotiation and report writing skills. Crucially, your collaborative approach equips you to work with a number of London boroughs, transport and infrastructure agencies and developers/landowners.

# "If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world, there's nothing to it" #

Your knowledge spans strategic spatial planning issues, legal processes and policy trends. We expect you to have a successful track record in either plan making, the development management of large complex planning applications, or strategic scale infrastructure planning and delivery. Knowledge of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) would also be an advantage.

# "There is no life I know
To compare with pure imagination
Living there, you'll be free
If you truly wish to be" #

If you would like to discuss this key role further, please contact the GLA's Stewart Murray, Assistant Director - Planning on 020 7983 4271. Alternatively, you can email glajobs@london.gov.uk quoting reference STAF507.

Closing date for receipt of completed applications: midnight on Monday 21 July 2014
Interviews will take place at City Hall on date TBC


Meet Stewie. And Brian!





2014-07-19

Southwark Notes: "Staying Put: An Anti-Gentrification Handbook for Council Estates in London"



"This handbook [below] explains why the regeneration of council estates often results in established communities being broken up and moved away, and housing becoming more expensive.

"It is designed to help local communities learn about gentrification and the alternatives they can fight for. Through the experiences of council tenants, leaseholders and the wider community in London, it contains ideas, stories, tools and resources.

"Staying Put is free to use by any individuals, community or amenity groups and campaigns, TRAs, students, researchers and all. It is a collaboration between four groups and individuals:
London Tenants Federation
Federation of organisations of tenants of social housing providers at borough level and at London level. LTF provides information and research on London’s housing issues through accessible policy briefings and newsletters. It facilitates networking and information exchange at local and regional events, linking tenants and other community and voluntary groups. www.londontenants.org

Loretta Lees
Professor Loretta Lees is a London-based urban geographer. She is an international expert on gentrification and the policies and practices associated with it. She is working to persuade policy makers and communities that there are alternatives.

Just Space
Just Space is a London wide network of voluntary and community groups operating at the regional, borough and neighbourhood levels. It came together to influence the strategic plan for Greater London – the London Plan – and counter the domination of the planning process by developers and public bodies, the latter often heavily influenced by development interests. www.justspace.org.uk

Southwark Notes Archive Group
Local people opposing and writing about the regeneration &
gentrification of the North Southwark area that has happened over the last 20 years. www.southwarknotes.wordpress.com"



Published June 2014

"We are currently working out how we will distribute printed copies around London. Do get in touch if you are from a council estate or community campaign and would like some copies. We printed 1000 but this will not go round everyone so we ask people to be strategic."

Who will be spending at the new Brent Cross?: "Capital in the Twenty-first Century by Thomas Piketty – review"


"There has been an intense debate about this surprise bestseller. What is the upshot?"

Link to The Guardian

"This is a VIB – very important book. Nearly everyone agrees about that. But the reasons for its importance have changed in the months since it was published. At first it was important because it was a big book on a big subject: a book of grand ambition about inequality, written not by the latest "thinker" but a respected academic economist with real numbers to go with his theory. We hadn't had anything like that in ages.

"This was the 'Piketty as rockstar' phase, when the book was an 'improbable hit' and people wrote breathless articles about the modern successor to Marx who could crunch the numbers but also quote Balzac, The Simpsons and The West Wing.

"Writing a bestselling economics book is usually a good way to make other economists hate you. But at first even they heaped praise on Thomas Piketty for casting fresh light on inequality – an area where the official statistics are notoriously weak. Say what you like about the theory, the argument went, you had to thank him for the numbers.

...

"... Piketty deserves huge credit for kickstarting a debate about inequality and illuminating the distribution of income and wealth. But when it comes to the forces driving growth and wealth accumulation in our modern economy, what he has probably done most to bring out into the open is our collective ignorance and confusion."

2014-07-18

Evening Standard: "'Half want house prices to fall': exclusive poll reveals major shift in London housing market"


http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/half-want-house-prices-to-fall-poll-reveals-major-shift-in-london-housing-market-9564811.html
Link to web site

"Half of Londoners want house prices to fall, an exclusive poll for the Standard reveals today.

"The startling find marks a historic about-turn in views on the soaring property market, say experts.

"With the cost of buying a home rocketing out of the reach of ever more Londoners, almost a third of adults in the capital want property prices to go down 'a lot”. A further 18 per cent favour them decreasing 'a little', the YouGov poll found, while just one in six people hopes prices carry on rising.

"The findings came as the Bank of England unveiled new measures to prevent an explosion of potentially dangerous mortgage debt that could stoke prices even higher."

The Guardian: "London: less fun if you're young: Compared with their older counterparts, many young Londoners are finding life in the capital a struggle"


Link to web site

"Earlier this year we learned that large numbers of Londoners think London is a good place to be young. We now discover that many younger Londoners aren't so sure.

"A detailed survey of 1000 inhabitants of the capital by researchers Britain Thinks found that younger Londoners are more likely to be stressed, angry and lonely than older counterparts and more pessimistic about the capital's future and its quality of life.

"Younger Londoners are gloomy about a range of important things. Most of those below the age of 44 consider that they have to make large sacrifices to live in London, especially the ones aged between 25 and 34, for whom the figure is 62%. By contrast, only 28% of the 55-64 age group feel the same way and a mere 14% of over-65s. Young people are more inclined to think that living in London entails accepting a lower quality of life than could be had elsewhere."

Barnet Press and Barnet Times





2014-07-16

Thurs 17 and Sun 27 July: "Garden City". (Unlike poorer Brent Cross Whitefields residents, these are not being forced out of London by Hammerson. By the way. As an aside.)








Property Week: Dalian Wanda wants to take up the corrupt Brent Cross planning permission? (We don't want to be WANDA TWO (UK), thank you. Try the north of England.)



"Why can't all cities have bike bridges like Copenhagen's new Cycle Snake?"


Link to BBC web site

"After years of waiting (eight to be exact), Copenhagen finally got its missing link. Cykelslangen, or Cycle Snake, is an elevated orange bike lane, wriggling its way over the harbour, seamlessly connecting the highway and the harbour bridge. Up until now our only options consisted of pushing our bikes up and down steep stairs, or taking ridiculous detours, in a narrow space haphazardly shared with pedestrians.

"Looking at it now, the solution seems so obvious: an elevated two-way bike lane at the first-floor level, leaving pedestrians on the ground, with the added benefit of a less stressful atmosphere. Even on our best behaviour, bad or insufficient city planning creates tension. But good design can relieve it, as is the case with Cykelslangen."


New Civil Engineer:(link)
"Plans unveiled for London’s first segregated cycle superhighway"

"Cyclists will be fully segregated from vehicles on London’s first cycle superhighway, under new plans unveiled by Transport for London (TfL).

"The two-way cycle lanes are to be built from Kennington Oval to Pimlico, running through the Vauxhall gyratory system. Currently, cyclists make up almost a quarter of rush-hour traffic through Vauxhall.

"There will also be more space for pedestrians, with around one square kilometre of new footway.

"Subject to a public consultation, work to build the route could begin in winter 2014.

"Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“In my cycling vision, I promised that the worst and most dangerous junctions would be safe for cyclists.

Vauxhall is the first. In the same week London hosted the Tour de France, I am perhaps even more excited by this plan, which will help cyclists every day for many years.”
"The new segregated track will be part of cycle superhighway 5 from Belgrave Square to New Cross. It will link to back-street ‘Quietway’ cycle routes at both ends.

"TfL is also working with Network Rail to widen the existing Vauxhall subway under the railway on the north side of Kennington Lane to provide a wider off-carriageway route for westbound cyclists.

"The public consultation opens today on the plans and will be open for comments until 14 September."


Link to:
"Have your say on a new Barclays Cycle Superhighway between Oval and Belgravia"

BBC: " 'Heathrow City' designs unveiled by architects"


Link to web site

"About 190,000 new homes, parkland or even a factory could replace Heathrow Airport in west London if it closes, designs unveiled by architects show.

" 'Heathrow City' designs have been commissioned by Transport for London and backed by Mayor Boris Johnson who wants a Thames Estuary hub airport.


"Mr Johnson said Heathrow redevelopment was needed given the demand for homes.

"The government-appointed Airports Commission will decide in 2015 on whether an estuary airport is feasible.


"The Heathrow City plan envisions the future if the commission rejects plans for a third runway and selects the Thames Estuary option."

2014-07-15

Crazy new design for John Lewis Brent Cross!


Link to The Guardian

"Their buildings dot the globe, but you probably couldn't name one, nor would you ever guess they had come from the same practice. They have built a gargantuan conference centre in China that looks like a teetering stack of mirror-clad Jenga blocks, an enormous concert hall in Singapore in the shape of a crumpled beetle, and over 9.3m sq metres (100m sq ft) of shops, offices and hotels in variously sculpted towers across Asia and the Middle East.

"Now Aedas, one of the largest architecture practices in the world, plans to bring its flashy brand of mixed-use huge projects to London. And there is very little to stand in their way.

“Keith Griffiths, the Welsh-born chairman of Aedas, who presides over the 1,400-strong practice from its Hong Kong headquarters, said:
"Our Chinese clients have their sights set on London, and they know what they want. They are used to high rise, high density, truly mixed-use developments – having everything on one site, so you can live, work and play without ever leaving the building.

We think that's the way London needs to densify."

GOOD NEWS ON HOUSE PRICES: Daily Telegraph: "London house prices rise at a record 20pc rate, official figures show"


Link to web site

"House prices in London rose by a record annual rate of 20.1pc in May as overall growth in the UK climbed to 10.5pc, official figures showed today, prompting experts to say the market in the capital has moved "from hot to hyper".

"The average home in the capital now costs £492,000, compared to £262,000 across the country, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

"... A cooling of demand for mortgage credit in the past two months has been put down to new rules, under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), that require lenders to make more rigorous checks before issuing loans. But this trend has not been reflected in the ONS figures."

2014-07-14

CoStar: "Giant Brent Cross partner search to begin" (Did we mention the corrupt LB of Barnet Brent Cross planning application? [Yes. Ed.])



"RE, the joint venture between Barnet council and Capita, will formally go to market next month seeking a 50:50 joint venture development partner for one of London’s largest development opportunities – the 15m sq ft Brent Cross South.

"Capita has been working with Re and Barnet council since January 2014 on the best route for finding a development partner for the southern section of the wider Cricklewood masterplan after the council’s long-term [ha, ha!] development partners Hammerson and Standard Life Investments agreed they would take forward only the first phase of the project – the redevelopment of Brent Cross shopping centre on the north of the site (pictured).

"The parties have agreed that a new partner would need to come forward for the rest of the opportunity which may wish to revisit the detail, content and phasing of the current 2010 consent for an Allies & Morrison designed masterplan. [Despite, or because of, the corrupt 2009 planning application?]

The southern section of the consented masterplan (Brent Cross South) is equivalent in gross floor area to Mayfair at around 15m sqft.

"Last week (16 June) Barnet council’s Assets, Regeneration and Growth committee was set to convene to approve a recommendation to commence the formal OJEU negotiated procurement to select a preferred partner for the opportunity.

"However, the meeting was adjourned with a new date of 9 July set. [It happened.]

"The committee is being asked to set a deadline for choosing a preferred partner in early February 2015 allowing for the partner to be unveiled at the MIPIM property conference in March 2015. [What fun! A jolly!]

"The Brent Cross Cricklewood South opportunity emerged last year as part of a new delivery approach to the long-running plans for the regeneration of Brent Cross Cricklewood, a site taking in the Brent Cross shopping centre in north London and much of neighbouring Cricklewood. [All on one corrupt LB of Barnet planning application!]

"Long-term development partners Hammerson UK and Standard Life have agreed to focus solely on the delivery of a rejuvenated and expanded shopping centre at Brent Cross as well as agreeing to invest in the infrastructure required to support the wider regeneration proposals. [That is, like Brookfield Multiplex before them, the rats are leaving the sinking ship. (Fewer cliches, please. Ed.)]

"Advisors have subsquently identified a first phase market proposition that would bring forward around 2,400 homes and 180,000 sq ft of retail on a new high street linking into the Living Bridge [a torrid tale in itself] and Brent Cross Shopping Centre and creating a new town centre over an eight to 10 year period. [Based on the use of the private car, for the necessary up-market new shoppers.]

"Work has also continued on ensuring the remaining 5,000 homes and close to 5m sq ft of commercial including as much as 4m sq ft of offices are made viable through the early delivery of a proposed new Thameslink station into the site. [Due to another risk-defying scam.]

"It is understood that the council is working up proposals to employ Tax Increment Financing to finance the station development. [Yup.]

"On 16 January 2014, Cabinet Resources Committee approved the market testing of the opportunity through the issue of a Prior Information Notice (PIN).

"In planning committee papers ahead of the upcoming committee meeting RE reveals that there has been significant market interest in the opportunity.

"Three to five parties will be shortlisted by the end of September 2014.

"Hammerson and Standard Life’s first phase plans for the Brent Cross Cricklewood project includes the redevelopment of the shopping centre, creation of major new infrastructure, improved links to the existing tube station, and delivery of around 2,461 new homes over the next 8-10 years.

"As set out in the Cabinet Resources Committee in January 2014, the the partners will provide funding up to £1.4m to meet the council’s costs in procuring the preferred partner for the Brent Cross South development and further technical due diligence work in accordance with the Co-operation Agreement. [Based on the corrupt 2009 planning application, after Hammerson has cherry-picked the bones. (Mixed metaphor. Ed.)]

"The plans envisage homes being ready for occupation by 2020."

Problems ahead for the corrupt Brent Cross planning application? Daily Telegraph: "BIS chief fears fresh Lehman from worldwide debt surge"


Link to web site

"The world economy is just as vulnerable to a financial crisis as it was in 2007, with the added danger that debt ratios are now far higher and emerging markets have been drawn into the fire as well, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.

Jaime Caruana, head of the Swiss-based financial watchdog, said investors were ignoring the risk of monetary tightening in their voracious hunt for yield.

He told The Telegraph:
"Markets seem to be considering only a very narrow spectrum of potential outcomes. They have become convinced that monetary conditions will remain easy for a very long time, and may be taking more assurance than central banks wish to give."
Mr Caruana said the international system is in many ways more fragile than it was in the build-up to the Lehman crisis. Debt ratios in the developed economies have risen by 20 percentage points to 275pc of GDP since then."

Spend at Brent Cross! Spend at Brent Cross! BBC video: "The Men Who Made Us Spend"



"Jacques Peretti investigates consumerism. This episode, Jacques looks at how consumerism is perpetually driven by product lifespans and 'upgrades'."

2014-07-13

The Observer: "Relative equality is good for growth? Right you are, governor"


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/13/relative-equality-good-growth-governor-mark-carney
Link to web site

"Bank of England governor Mark Carney is forthright.
"Who does finance serve? Itself? The real economy? Society? And to whom is the financier responsible? Herself? His business? Their system?

"The answers start from recognising that financial capitalism is not an end in itself, but a means to promote investment, innovation, growth and prosperity. Banking is fundamentally about intermediation – connecting borrowers and savers in the real economy."
"The governor went on:
"In the runup to the crisis, banking became about banks, not businesses." Again: "The combination of unbridled faith in financial markets prior to the crisis and the recent demonstrations of corruption in some of these markets has eroded social capital

… Rebuilding social capital is paramount. ... My core point is that, just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself."
"Carney notes that all the research suggests that 'relative equality is good for growth.' He yearns for that concept derided by the extreme right: an inclusive social contract. Moreover, to those of us who think that facing up to climate change actually offers great scope for technological progress and economic growth, he laments:
"Environmental degradation remains unaddressed, a tragic embarrassment now seldom mentioned in either polite society or at the G20."