.

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

2015-03-05

DeZeen: "The places people are staking their lives on now aren't architectural icons"


"Opinion: the fight for London's Aylesbury estate – a negative symbol of the Modernist-inspired drive to standardise housing design – is about saving the ideas not the architecture, explains Owen Hatherley."

Link to web site

"At the Commonwealth Games last year in Glasgow, a spectacle was promised of the celebratory demolition of the city's Red Road flats. This would symbolise a 'new Glasgow' (one of several there's been over the last few decades) emerging out of the apparently dogged public perception of the former Second City of the British Empire as a place of gigantic tower blocks and razor gangs.

"Aside from the fact this stereotype is now so hoary and silly that it can't be held by anyone outside of a few enclaves in Surrey and Edinburgh, it missed the fact that in Glasgow – historically, always a left-wing city – the demolition of public housing is not considered a cause for celebration, even housing as awesomely forbidding as this.

"Still, there wasn't a preservation campaign for this super-high-density cluster of wide slabs and skyscraping towers, there were no protests from conservationists of modern architecture – just a feeling that what happened here shouldn't be insulted. The demolition was postponed, removed from the opening ceremony of the games, but the destruction of Glasgow's extensive collection of imposing system-built towers still continues."

CityMetric: "Four London estate eviction protests you should probably know about" (two in Barnet!)


Link to web site

"Remember London's E15 mums? Or the New Era Estate? Last year, protests against forced evictions in Newham and Hackney respectively made headlines, helped along by the attention of celebrities such as the increasingly problematic Russell Brand.

"In the end, both scored victories of a kind: the E15 mums won the right to leave the estate they were occupying on their own terms, and the borough agreed that the empty houses would be turned into homes for the homeless. The New Era Estate, meanwhile, was sold to an affordable housing provider. And everyone else turned back to looking at cute animals riding other cute animals on the internet.

"But these stories didn't generate traction just because of their association with a longhaired libertine: they resonated because tales of Londoners forced out of their homes, or forced to leave the city altogether, have become so commonplace.

"Hundreds of tenants and ex-tenants of estates around London are currently campaigning against evictions they believe to be unfounded, badly executed, or just plain unfair. Most want the right to be rehomed in the new development, or at least to be awarded new, permanent accommodation nearby. Here are just a few of them."

FT: The Rise and Rise of Barnet



"London's bursting. Or at least that is how it seems. In the first week of February the population of the UK capital breached 8.6m, the peak set in 1939. The milestone was passed amid reports of unscrupulous landlords exploiting a shortage of affordable homes by renting out 'beds in sheds' and underground trains taking the strain of 1.26bn journeys a year — almost 20 per cent more than four years ago.

"And yet a new study by Savills reveals that this population growth is spread far from uniformly across the city. The analysis of census data from 1801 to 2011 reveals that some inner-London boroughs remain well below their population peaks, while outer-London communities have generally recovered and exceeded their numbers or experienced no significant decline at all.

"... For Ian Gordon, a professor at the London School of Economics, land-use economics help explain the vicissitudes of the capital's population. 'It is to do with people becoming more affluent,' he says. 'People who’ve got more income want more space and not more accessibility [to central areas]. They get more concerned about the price of space because, if they are prepared to live further out, they can get a lot more space for their money'."


2015-03-04

[Reposted - well, Brian's so popular] Daily Telegraph: "£100,000 pay-offs for council chiefs"


Link to Daily Telegraph

"Ministers [have] told local authorities to end the culture of 'eye-watering' compensation packages of up to £420,000 to former bosses.

"Brandon Lewis, the local government minister, accused the councils of showing a 'lack of respect' to taxpayers after figures compiled by this newspaper showed that scores of executives received six-figure sums on top of their salaries and pension contributions when they left their posts.

"... Barnet borough council, in north London, has paid almost £1 million to six executives over the past two years.

"Brian Reynolds, the former director of environment and development, received a £280,485 pay-off, on top of his £107,000 salary and pension payments. He has since formed Brian Reynolds Associates, a consultancy, and runs the Local Government Association’s 'productivity programme' to help make councils more efficient.

"A spokesman for Barnet said that it had saved £1.5 million by reducing its management team, but that it had to 'honour contracts'."



# You're A Pink Toothbrush, #
# I'm A Blue Toothbrush, ... #
(Sing along with Brian)
"Brian Reynolds Associates"

"Brian Reynolds has 10 years’ experience at the top level in local government. He was the Deputy Chief Executive of the London Borough of Barnet from 2000 to 2010, where he was responsible for regeneration, housing, planning, environment and adult social care. Brian was also part of the team that led the Council to the top Comprehensive Performance Assessment score in 2007/8.

"... At L B Barnet, Brian set up and led their housing estate regeneration programme in 2000. ... Despite the recession, that programme has been remarkably successful at Academy Court (formerly Stonegrove/Spur Road), at New Hendon Village (formerly Grahame Park) in Colindale, and most recently at Hendon Waterside (formerly West Hendon estate).

"... In 2008 Brian led the Council team that negotiated the commercial terms with Hammerson and Standard Life for the £4.2bn regeneration of Brent Cross & Cricklewood. This is a huge mixed use retail, housing and other commercial development scheme covering 150 acres and involving half a million sq ft of additional retail space, 7,500 new homes, and 20,000 new jobs.

"Brian also led on the development of the 'Barnet Bond' – a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) style proposal that eventually found its way into the Local Government Finance Bill 2011 as the Business Rate Retention Scheme."
 

From a reader:
"Dear Brent Cross Coalition,

"I have been very impressed by the fine development at 'Academy (Stonegrove) Court', particularly this delightful view from the flats/apartments:


"My admiration also applies to the equally-fine development at '(West) Hendon Waterside', including this oddly-familiar view from the flats/apartments:


"I understand that Brian Reynolds Associates have acted as consultants on the two schemes. We should congratulate them (him?) on the remarkable consistency they (he?) have achieved. These matters can so easily slip into tiresome individuality, unless rigid standardisation is enforced by talented and experienced executives."
Yours, P. Rachman Esq., Paddington



Link to RUDInet web site

RUDInet: "New London town centre with CHP plant and new rail station: plans submitted to Barnet Council"

"Plans for one of the biggest regeneration schemes ever undertaken in London have been submitted to Barnet Council. The £4.5 billion regeneration is designed to provide a new gateway to the capital and a vibrant new urban quarter in Barnet.

"The plans for a whole new town centre based around Cricklewood and Brent Cross would create 27,000 jobs, 7,500 homes, 3 schools, new health facilities, high quality parks and open spaces, and investment of more than £400 million in improving transport.

"The proposals from development partners, Brookfield Europe, formerly Multiplex [not any longer; they've cleared off], Hammerson and Standard Life Investments [still hanging in, just], also include a commitment to pioneering standards of environmental sustainability." [Yeh, right.]

"... The Leader of Barnet Council, Cllr Mike Freer, welcomed the proposals. He said:
"This is a major development, that will deliver a new residential area of the highest quality, and which will also achieve the highest possible eco-standards. It will enable us to deliver our policy to 'Protect, Enhance and Grow', by providing a huge boost to employment, while at the same time safeguarding the environment."
"The Development Director for the Brent Cross Cricklewood Development Partners, Jonathan Joseph, said:
"This application represents a unique opportunity to deliver the long recognised potential for regeneration in Brent Cross Cricklewood, and create a thriving new town centre that will put this part of North West London firmly on the map.

Our plans will bring new homes, jobs, shops, schools, parks and leisure facilities, and the largest investment in transport and community infrastructure in the area's history. It is rare for London to get a new mainline station – and we will deliver one here. ['We'? Perhaps only in the world of Thomas the Tank Engine.]

Climate change is a vitally-important global issue, and we will use the latest technologies to increase recycling, maximise the use of renewable fuel, and reduce the scheme's carbon footprint.

'We firmly believe this is a scheme that will hugely benefit Barnet and London."
[Even if stuck with just the 'Brent Cross Living Bridge' [sic] now?]



'Estates Gazette' video



2015-02-25

The Corrupt Brent Cross Planning Consent: Argent and a Related American outfit win Barnet's contest to replace dead-in-the head Hammerson - but what happens to the already known good ideas of the three losing developers?



This posting has a long heading, doesn't it?
We know
another media outlet that does that, don't we?
Link to the 'Argent announcement' in the Daily Mail.


"Argent and its partner Related will be recommended to Barnet Council’s key regeneration committee as the Council’s long term development partner on the 78 hectare Brent Cross South scheme.

"Argent is best known in London for its work on the redevelopment of Kings Cross.
The scheme sits alongside Hammerson and Standard Life’s Investments redevelopment of the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. 

"Gateway Barnet, (Far East Consortium, Countryside Properties, Notting Hill Housing Trust and Southern Grove), has been identified as reserve bidder. 

"The Brent Cross South scheme will provide 7,500 homes and space for over 20,000 jobs supported by a new Thameslink station on the site. This is on top of 3,000 new jobs created by the redevelopment of the shopping centre.  The scheme already has outline planning permission as part of the wider Brent Cross Cricklewood development. 

"The recommendation, which follows assessments based on the development teams’ financial capacity, place-making skills and the quality of the team delivering the project, will go before the Council's Assets Regeneration and Growth Committee on March 3 before ultimate ratification from Barnet Council that evening.  All four shortlisted developers made presentations to council members, officers and key stakeholders ahead of the final decision. 

"The council has been searching for a development partner to work in a joint venture with the council on the Brent Cross South scheme. 

"Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said:
“I have always said that this council had no intention to ‘take the money and run’. We are looking for a long term partner to work with the council to create a thriving town centre, making the most of the transformed shopping centre and getting the best deal for local residents.
 
We want to create a real model for a 21 century suburb at Brent Cross - a neighbourhood not a dormitory. We will need a thriving modern high street that complements the shopping centre, a mix of housing and space for employment and education to produce a proper neighbourhood, busy and active throughout the day. 

 “We had four excellent proposals from a mix of UK and international teams.  What shone through in the proposal from Argent Related was that they had a long term vision for Brent Cross South, had clear views on how that vision would be supported over time and knew how to make the best of a transformed shopping centre. 

“They have already shown with their schemes at Kings Cross and Brindleyplace that they can produce great places that generate jobs and support high quality homes. The character of Brent Cross South will obviously be very different but Argent Related have shown how they will work with the Council to create something that will bring lasting benefits for generations of Barnet residents to come."
"Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor of London for Planning said:
"This is a crucial step as we look to transform Brent Cross Cricklewood into one of the premier places to live, work and visit in the capital. London is now home to more people than ever before and this scheme is absolutely crucial to the city’s sustainable growth as it has the capacity to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs through major improvements to transport infrastructure.

We have been working closely with Barnet Council to secure investment in a new Thameslink station at Brent Cross that will bring the area within 12 minutes of central London and are also looking to create a pleasant environment in which to walk or cycle. I look forward to seeing this vitally important part of London transformed over the coming years."
"The Council are being supported in the selection of a partner by Capita Real Estate, Re and lawyers Wragge Lawrence Graham."






Appendix 1 - Brent Cross South Procurement and Delivery Strategy[1]




Appendix 2 - PQQ[1]




Appendix 3 - ITN[1]




2015-02-24

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."













BBC: "Coverage of Jenny Jones's report on the loss of industrial land across London"




Link to:
"Jenny Jones, London Assembly member:
'The end of industry in London?'"


2015-02-23

Wandsworth Guardian: "Stunning images reveal 74 competing designs for the new Nine Elms to Pimlico bridge." (Barnet overspent by £11-million on its Aerodrome Road bridge, and lied in its corporate video that it was "on budget".)



"From the eccentric to the elegant, these stunning images reveal the 74 proposals for a new £40m bridge from Nine Elms to Pimlico."


"The names of the architects and engineers behind these competing designs are being kept secret to ensure a level playing field between the newcomers and the famous."




See the video.

[Reposted (and so is he!)] Chris Naylor, Barnet's Mr Micawber: "Brent Cross income twenty pounds, Brent Cross expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery."



"The Society of London Treasurers consists of the 33 Section 151 officers of the London boroughs and the City of London, together with representatives of the functional bodies of the GLA family. [Ah, nice.]

"The Society advocates on technical financial matters effecting [sic] London and its residents. The view represented by the Society reflects the professional views of its members and not the political views of any or all of their employing authorities.

"This report has been written by Chris Naylor, chief operating officer and director of finance at the London Borough of Barnet [now Chief Executive of LB of Barking and Dagenham - their loss is our gain], with support from member colleagues of SLT."


Saint Jude:
'Patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases'

"RE (Regional Enterprise) Ltd, or Re, is the new joint venture between London Borough of Barnet and Capita plc [cobbled together at the last minute, by the way]. Re provides a range of development and regulatory services to residents in Barnet and the south east of England. 

"The following services are provided by Re:
[We've added those last two items.]




"Brent Cross and a new Thames Link [sic] Station"

"The London Borough of Barnet is currently working with the GLA and HM treasury to conclude a TIF type arrangement [Gawd help us] to ensure that the area surrounding Brent Cross shopping centre in the south west corner of the borough benefits from the forthcoming redevelopment of the retail site.

Land to the south of the current shopping centre, in Barnet, but on the border with the London Borough of Camden, has capacity for at least 7,000 new homes. However, due to poor transport links it is currently economically unviable to develop. Less than a mile away is the Thames Link railway line. [Less than a mile away from what?]

"A new station on this line, on a site in Barnet, but this time on the border with the London Borough of Brent' would provide sufficient additional transport capacity to increase local land values, unlocking the development potential and enabling the rapid building of thousands of much needed new homes.

In this example, the London Borough of Barnet is proposing to carry the financial risk, by borrowing the money to fund the new station and agreeing with government the retention of all new additional business from Brent Cross to fund and repay the loan. In this way the borough has governance oversight of both the debt and the income. [We're doomed.]

Imagine for a moment if, by quirk of history, the borough boundaries of Barnet, Camden and Brent were moved north and east respectively, such that the economically sub-viable land was in Camden, the location of the new station was in Brent, and the shopping centre was in Barnet. In this scenario the borrowing, funding, benefits and risk proposition would become instantly more complex [although to be fair, there could actually be some community based consultation, and sustainable development planning, avoiding your authority's corrupt Brent Cross planning consent, currently being cherry-picked by Hammerson. Just saying, Chris. Still, this is supposed to be your paragraph, so carry on wittering ...] unless the three boroughs in question were able to somehow pool and share risk through some form of shared financial governance. As with Nine Elms, currently the only realistic option in such situations would be for the GLA to step in to both borrow the money and service the debt. [Can we stop imagining now? Is it all a bad dream?]



2015-02-22

LeftFootForward: "The mayor’s planned estate regeneration schemes will cost London 8,296 social rented homes"


Link to web site

"Mayors and councils have been misleading Londoners for years about affordable housing. When they boast about building new homes, they don’t mention that for every ten homes that have built in the past decade, one has been knocked down and four have been sold through Right to Buy.

"I've long supported campaigns against the unnecessary demolition of council estates like the Heygate in Elephant & Castle, the Carpenters in Stratford, the Gibbs Green and West Kensington estates in Earl’s Court.

"These are knocked down in order to ‘regenerate’ the area, but have been vigorously opposed by tenants and leaseholders, and by a growing movement that came together to march on City Hall on 31 January.

"Last week the London Assembly's Housing Committee, which I chair, published a landmark report 'Knock It Down or Do It Up?' taking stock of all these estate regeneration schemes."

Furness Photography: "On The Road - A Visit to West Hendon"



"The tenants of West Hendon council estate, London, are facing relocation from the local area or potential homelessness as a result of a regeneration project to build new homes on the land of their estate. Some tenants have been living on the estate for over forty years. Many council estates in London are facing so called regeneration, and like many of these plans, the strategy for West Hendon involves building a large number of luxury homes on the site, with a pledge by the developers to include a number of council properties within the development. I went along with my friend Lisa, a photographer and blogger, to find out what their story is.

"I didn't know quite what to expect as we approached West Hendon Estate on a freezing Saturday on the 3rd February 2015. I’d read about the estate and how the tenants are taking on Barnet Council for allegedly giving away the land their estate sits on to Barratt Homes for the purpose of creating luxury flats. I’d heard allegations of gerrymandering in the borough to get rid of the last Labour voters in the ward and about the council tenants hanging banners outside their flats, attending marches and undertaking direct action in a last attempt to save themselves from leaving their homes and community behind.

Nothing could prepare us for the sheer confusion of the situation at West Hendon. The estate is in the borough of Barnet. This is a ward in the constituency of Hendon; the fight for political power is hotly contested; the Conservatives won the seat back from Labour in the last general election with a very slim margin indeed- just 0.2%, a majority of 106. It would be easy to make a link between these voting patterns and the plans to move the council tenants (traditionally more likely to vote labour) from the area."


(Click on an image.)

The Guardian: "London housing: the evicted children of Sweets Way"


Link to web site

"Sweets Way, poignantly named, is a housing estate in one of the leafiest suburban fringes of north London. It used to be owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) but has been sold to a private developer which intends to demolish the roughly 160 houses there. Until recently there were still some 60 tenants on the estate. During the past fortnight, the eviction of all but a handful of those remaining has taken place.

"Some of the now former Sweets Way residents had lived there for a long time, while others had been quite recently placed there temporarily by the council’s housing management company Barnet Homes and now find themselves on the move again. I don’t yet have the full story of Sweets Way. But what is absolutely plain is that the situation has subjected children who've been living there to great disruption, distress and uncertainty.

"... Council leader Richard Cornelius has defended the creation of 'new mixed areas' in the borough, and said that its temporary tenants are being found 'new places to live in the area'. Yet, as the film suggests, the process appears to have been far from smooth or painless."

"SWEETS WAY EVICTIONS 16-17/02/2015" (Recommended by 'Barnet Eye') Like at Brent Cross, it is the demolition of decent existing homes, for 'development'.





"Tucked away off Frien Barnet Lane, Sweets Way estate housed in the region of 160+ households. Most housed via the council with a smaller number renting privately. The land and estate, owned by the MOD and originally intended to house military personnel, is to be sold.

"Started on the 9th February and due to be completed by 23rd February, the lightning set of evictions and property clearances are leaving families in chaos and confusion whilst they are displaced. Families are being offered mostly temporary emergency housing, but not in Barnet. Relocations have reportedly included areas like Enfield, Waltham Forest, Westminster, Essex and Luton.

"A number of residents are Kurdish and Turkish refugees who have already suffered trauma. Many of the children from Sweets Way estate now have to consider whether to change schools, or spend hours on public transport to reach their schools, and friends in Barnet.

"Families have lost almost all their belongings because they have nowhere, and no money, to store them. From a 2 to 3 bedroom home to a single room in a hostel leaves little room for any furniture, or practical items like washing machine, fridge, cooker etc.

"Residents reported that Barnet council had allowed families to keep their furniture and valuables in the homes after their evictions, so they could find storage space, but the properties were then robbed and the items stored stolen.

"Families are expected to wait until their eviction before they approach the council for rehousing, to find out what type of accommodation will be available for them, leaving them in extremely precarious stressful circumstances with no assurances of adequate help.

"This is however a London-wide problem for residents - not solely a local problem in the Tory borough of Barnet - as property prices continue to rise and 'land grabs' continue, to build more expensive and profitable private housing. The concept of 'social housing' or 'affordable housing' rapidly becoming a quaint memory."

Barnet Housing Action Group supported tenants during the evictions.
Facebook: Barnet-Housing-Action-Group
Twitter: @barnethaction
Email: Barnet.HAG@gmail.com






2015-02-21

Jenny Jones, London Assembly member: "The end of industry in London?" (Some rather grand people in Barnet don't like people in 'trade', by the way)



"The Mayor of London takes an approach called 'predict and provide' when making plans for [the future]. This dead-end approach assumes that the past is a good predictor of the future, and that politicians have little power to change anything. So he 'provides' things like land supply on that basis. When it comes to industry he predicts terminal decline, and so provides less and less land.

"In his Infrastructure Plan, he sets projections of employment that show manufacturing jobs falling to just 15,500 by 20501. On that trend, manufacturing will disappear completely from London by 20622. Other sectors that provide skilled manual jobs are also projected to decline – jobs providing energy and water, or transporting, processing, storing and distributing food are all assumed to be on the gradual slide to oblivion.

"But this is an absurd prediction. ... This predicted decline, if it came true, would be hugely damaging for the 'foundational economy' that sustains the infrastructure of everyday life."




2015-02-20

The Economist: "Building on the boundaries: There is a pattern to London’s big developments" (No mention of Barnet's corrupt Brent Cross Cricklewood planning consent, bordering Brent and Camden, though)


The rail line top-left goes off across Brent,
to Brent Cross and Hendon RAF Museum

"LONDON often seems pinched: last year a dilapidated seven-by-eleven foot garage in Chelsea sold for £550,000 ($850,000). But it actually contains plenty of land for building. The largest swathe can be found across Old Oak Common and Park Royal: a 950-hectare lozenge to the north-west of the city encompassing several waste plants, some post-war warehouses and a clutch of crumbling railway cottages. Although the lozenge has wealthy neighbours, it has rotted for decades. Like many of London’s underdeveloped sites, the area lies on a boundary between boroughs. And that could explain a lot.

"London’s 33 boroughs are collectively much more powerful than the city’s mayor. To a large extent, they determine what is built within their borders. They are also short-sighted, frequently neglecting their edges in favour of their middles, where most people live. Look at the borough map in any London town hall, says Michael Hebbert, a professor at University College London, and it 'could be an island, surrounded by beaches'. The peripheries are for waste-tips and warehouses, the centre for libraries and office blocks.

"Consequently Nine Elms, a 195-hectare brownfield site that overlaps two boroughs, and the City Fringe, 489 hectares that overlap seven, were until recently left alone as land values climbed around them. (Another undeveloped area is next to Finsbury Park, in north London, which falls into three boroughs.) In the late 1970s Lambeth council resisted new offices at its northern edge, on the prime development land between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, before encouraging office development in Brixton, three miles south at the borough’s centre. Tension between the boroughs of Camden and Islington caused problems at several stages of a large development project north of King’s Cross, a railway station in north London.

"Now London’s government, which is starting to flex its planning muscles, is stepping in to break the deadlock. In 2012 it supervised the fast construction of the Olympic Village, which stands in four east London boroughs, creating a powerful development corporation that could overrule borough worries. London’s soaring residential property prices, along with a fast-growing population, are an encouragement to try this elsewhere.

"The city government is lucky: these neglected liminal areas are available for development at a time when London is prepared to build densely. Had the city made use of them earlier, while still in the habit of building the low-rise homes most of its population live in, it would be stuck for space. But it can now pack the borough fringes with tall apartment buildings. The new Nine Elms has been dubbed 'Dubai on Thames', or 'Mini-Manhattan'; Old Oak Common will be the “Canary Wharf of the North” (the GLA’s plans are pictured). Both will in fact be a thicket of unappealing glass blocks. But aesthetics are not London’s priority. The city’s population is predicted to reach 11m by 2050, and the Green Belt stops it from sprawling. It must fit everyone in somehow."

Bikeboom: "All Change to Bikes, 1975"


1
Link to web site

"Why hasn’t the UK got Dutch-style cycle networks in every town, city and village? Partly it's down to culture: the Netherlands has had 100+ years of bicycle-based national identification. This is so strong that the Dutch bike – the omafiets, or granny bike, a Dutch national icon – is deemed to be peculiar to the Netherlands when, in fact, it’s English. Because the bicycle was adopted as a symbol of Dutch national identity from about 1910 it was far easier for politicians and planners to pay for and design bicycle path networks when, in the 1970s, there was a groundswell of support to rein back the car, which was starting to clutter up Dutch cities.

"The current call from many British cycle campaigners to 'Go Dutch' echoes similar calls from cycle campaigners in the 1970s.

" The oil crisis of 1973 sent shockwaves around the world. Use of cars dropped; use of bicycles rose. There was a boom in bike sales in the early 1970s – from a low point of selling just 164,000 adult bicycles at the end of the 1960s the market jumped to 600,000 sales a year by the mid-1970s.

"In the Netherlands, recognition that reliance on Middle Eastern oil was not sustainable resulted in a metric ton of cycleways to make an already bike-mad nation into an even bikier one. In the UK there was the same desire for change, the same desire to seize the moment and rein back the car. As we all know, not a lot changed."


2015-02-18

Daily Mirror: "Great gran forced out of her Barnet West Hendon home of 30 years by compulsory purchase order" (and Hammerson's Brent Cross is next)


"Ros Wynne-Jones meets the 85 year old great gran who is being forced out of the home where she has lived for the last 30 years as people in Boris Johnson's London start fightback against developers"

Link to web site

"Adelaide's two-bedroom home in West Hendon, Barnet, is being compulsorily purchased by the council along with around 680 others in the name of ‘regeneration’. Residents say 95% of tenants and leaseholders face eviction as the land is redeveloped in the £520million Hendon Waterside project next to the Welsh Harp reservoir.

" 'I thought I was going to see out my days here,' says Adelaide. Instead she has no choice but to sell to Barratt Homes which has offered her just £175,000 for the flat.

" 'It would cost me £407,000 to buy a two-bedroom flat on the new development,' says Adelaide, her voice struggling through asthma made worse by living on a building site.

" 'I'm a pensioner. Who is going to give me a mortgage? How would I pay all the new service charges? They just want us all out of London. They want new people here to enjoy the waterside'."

2015-02-17

The Guardian: "Estate regeneration should put estate residents first"


"People are more likely to support the redevelopment of the council-owned housing estates they live on if they are listened to rather than pushed around"

Link to web site

"The regeneration of council-owned housing estates can stir fierce opposition and great concern. It would be very strange indeed if it did not. People living in homes they like, perhaps homes they have lived in for a long time, are unlikely to thrill to the prospect of being turfed out. Others may be less enamoured of their homes, which may be cramped, ugly, leaky, cold, crumbling before their eyes and the stigmatizing object of casual contempt.

"Yet their first instinct may be to resist the estate they live on being radically reconfigured or razed. Why? Because change might not be for the better. Because the promises of planners, developers and politicians aren't always kept. Because the process can stop, start and drag on for many years. Because 'regeneration' is too often a fancy word for pushing people around.

"A strength of a new report on this minefield issue by the London Assembly's housing committee is that it grasps the core importance of winning peoples' co-operation, trust and consent if you have decided it would be for the best if they moved out of their homes so you can knock them down."

BBC: "The man who hated the transformation of Britain: Nairn was worried that Southampton (top image) ...would soon look like Carlisle (bottom)"


Link to web site

"Six decades ago a critic launched a withering attack on the tendency toward a bland 'subtopia' in British towns.

"April 1955 witnessed a changing of the guard. That month Anthony Eden replaced the 80-year-old Sir Winston Churchill as prime minister.

"Two months later, the Architectural Review magazine printed 'Outrage', an essay by critic Ian Nairn. It sparked a debate over architecture, conservation and planning which still resonates today.

"In Outrage, the singular and passionate Nairn recounted a journey he had made in a Morris Minor from Southampton to Carlisle."


2015-02-16

Hammerson Chief executive David Atkins said: “We are intending to take on board some of the comments people are raising." (But stuff you if you are made homeless by our Brent Cross shopping centre scheme.)


Link to Evening Standard

"A controversial, £800 million overhaul planned for Shoreditch may be changed to make more room for smaller tech firms after local opposition to the scheme, the head of developer Hammerson has said.

"Hammerson and partner Ballymore have submitted plans for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard — a vast, 10-acre site on the edge of the City — including the construction of almost 1500 homes in seven towers of up to 46 storeys, offices and shops.

"The scheme would also create a public park on the site — derelict since a 1964 fire — and restore the arches of the listed Braithwaite Viaduct, London’s second-oldest railway structure."


"... Chief executive David Atkins responded:
"We couldn't give a toss about the people made homeless by us at Brent Cross. Let the shopping centre expansion there rock!"

Oh, sorry, that was a mistake.
It should have said:

"We are intending to take on board some of the comments people are raising at Shoreditch."

Building: "Brent Cross Cricklewood first phase plans submitted" (as Hammerson regrets ever being involved in the quagmire)



"Developers behind £4.5bn plans to redevelop north-west London’s Brent Cross Shopping Centre and regenerate the wider Cricklewood area have submitted a detailed planning application for a first phase of work.

Hammerson and Standard Life Investments’s plans for the first phase include shopping-centre related infrastructure, new sports pitches, tennis courts, a cafe, pavilion and changing rooms for Clitterhouse Playing Fields, and 47 replacement homes [built on green spaces] for residents being moved from the [210-home demolished] Whitfield Estate as part of the regeneration scheme.

The developers have agreed a commercial deal with Barnet Council for the shopping centre’s transformation, but are in the process of exiting its ownership of the wider regeneration scheme. [There are other, less polite ways of putting that.]

The authority expects to announce a development partner for this 350-acre brownfield portion of the scheme later this year.

The whole project is earmarked for 7,500 new homes, three new schools, a new cinema, a leisure centre, a health centre, a new train station on the Thameslink line, and a new bus station, and the transformation of the shopping centre itself.

The first phase also covers the transformation of Claremont Open Space into a new community park, and the creation of a new Brent Riverside Park south of Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Development director Mike McGuinness said the project’s early works would see 'significant investment' into green spaces, while investment in transport infrastructure would 'hugely improve' local roads and junctions. He said:
"After so many years in the planning, we are looking forward to making good our promises about community benefit and if consent is granted [what do you mean, "if"?], we intend to start work in the summer of 2016."
The [1996] Brent Cross Cricklewood project originally received planning permission in 2010 and an updated planning permission was approved in July 2014.

Hammerson said it expected Barnet Council to make an enabling compulsory purchase order in the coming weeks to secure the land, interests and rights required for the first phase of regeneration.

It said the full process was likely to take 15-18 months and that a start on site was anticipated in 2017 for completion in 2020/21."

2015-02-13

Breaking cover in 'Architects Journal': "David Partridge, managing partner at Argent, on the importance of good design... [at Brent Cross]"



Who are you working with on live projects currently?
"At King’s Cross, we have schemes under way with Eric Parry, Demetri Porphyrios, Niall McLaughlin, David Morley and Stanton Williams. New buildings coming on stream in the next 12 months are being designed by Michel Mossessian, Duggan Morris, Piercy & Co, Thomas Heatherwick, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Fumihiko Maki and Michael Squire.
In Birmingham we are developing two new buildings with Glenn Howells and Eric Parry."
How will you recruit architects for the next schemes in your development pipeline?
"We are already working with the likes of Cartwright Pickard, AEW, FaulknerBrowns and 5Plus Architects in Manchester, and are looking to widen our net. We recently held a joint charrette with the AJ, which threw up some very interesting ideas.
Usually we will hold a short, limited competition for new projects as they come forward with the aim of finding the right design team, not necessarily the right scheme – that will emerge later as we refine the brief together."
What role will architects and architecture play in Argent’s bids to win future projects such as Brent Cross Cricklewood South [sic]?
"Again, good design, firmly rooted in the new place we are looking to create will be fundamental to all of Argent’s future projects.
For our Brent Cross South bid, we have sketched out some initial ideas with Allies and Morrison, Glenn Howells, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Townshend Landscape Architects, the firm which designed Pancras Square in London’s King’s Cross."
Why has architecture been important to the growth of Argent so far?
"Argent has always believed that good design is fundamental to good development. It starts with a common understanding of what it takes to create a ‘human city’, collaborating with urban designers and practices which approach building design from a contextual stance, working from the outside in, at the same time as from the inside out."
What advice would you give new practices seeking to work with Argent?
"We are always open to working with new talent. My suggestion is to keep on doing what you are good at – actions always speak louder than words, and we will find you eventually."



"Work is nearing completion on Ooze Architects’
long-awaited natural swimming pool at King’s Cross"