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


ThisIsMoney: "Shopping malls fend off £5bn French bid: But Hammerson may yet face an even bigger offer"

Link to web site

"Shares in Hammerson soared after a French rival launched an audacious £4.9bn bid for the company – throwing its planned tie-up with Intu into doubt.

"Paris-based Klepierre, which runs more than 100 shopping centres across Europe, tabled an offer of 615p a share for the British owner of the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham (pictured) and Brent Cross in north London.

"Hammerson rejected the bid but shares jumped 24 per cent, or 105.3p, to 542.4p amid signs the French will continue to pursue a deal. A source close to Klepierre said: 'We are not going away. We think this is a good deal for our shareholders and Hammerson shareholders'."

Barnet Times: "Deselected Joan Scannell hits out at Barnet Tories"

Link to web site

"A row has broken out in the Barnet Tory party after a Conservative association was accused of anti-Christian, anti-family and misogynistic attitudes by a deselected councillor.

"Speaking at a meeting of the council's General Functions Committee yesterday (March 19), Cllr Joan Scannell said the attitudes were 'rife' at Hendon Conservative Association (HCA), whose chairman, Cllr Dan Thomas, has allegedly been plotting a pro-Brexit power grab.

"Last week, the Conservatives lost overall control of the council following the resignation of Cllr Sury Khatri, who was also deselected by the HCA along with Cllr Scannell and Cllr Maureen Braun at a meeting on Sunday, March 11."


Proactiveinvestors: "Capital & Regional focused on needs-based retail as times change" [unlike Hammerson and Brent Cross]

Link to web site

"It's tough in retail at present. Three major chains have gone under this year already, others are scaling back or curbing expansion plans and the online shadow grows longer.

"[Ex-Hammerson's] Lawrence Hutchings, Capital & Regional PLC’s (LON:CAL) chief executive is undeterred and indeed believes that the current upheaval just underlines the resilience of its portfolio of 'community' shopping centres.

“The headlines are not great, but we need to get the message across that all retail is not bad.” [so Hammerson has over-played its hand at being at the posh end?]

The beginning of the end for Hammerson?: The Guardian: "Shopping mall owner Hammerson rejects French firm's £4.9bn offer"

Link to web site

"French mall operator Klépierre has approached Hammerson with a £4.9bn bid proposal in an attempt to break up the UK property firm's agreed acquisition of Intu.

"... A source close to Klépierre said it would prefer a constructive dialogue, but was not ruling anything out."

"... Nick Bubb, a retail analyst, said:
"... With many of its fashion and department store tenants in some trouble, Hammerson is going to have work hard now to convince its shareholders of the merits of the Intu deal.”


Barnet Times: "Barnet Tories plot pro-Brexit coup, says Labour"

Link to web site

"A power-grab by a group of right-wing Tories in favour of Brexit and austerity lies behind the recent de-selections of three councillors, Labour has claimed.

"The de-selections of councillors Maureen Braun, Sury Khatri and Joan Scannell last weekend – followed by the resignation of Cllr Khatri yesterday – has led to claims from Labour that allies of deputy leader Daniel Thomas are plotting a coup.

"But Cllr Thomas has dismissed the allegations and said Labour were trying to divert attention away from their own internal problems."


Barnet Times: "Tories lose overall control of Barnet Council" (after 16 years)

Link to web site

"The Tories have lost control of Barnet Council after Councillor Sury Khatri resigned from the party.

"The long-standing councillor, who represented the Mill Hill ward, made the decision after being de-selected from the Conservative group following elections at the Hendon Conservative Association last weekend.

"Cllrs Maureen Braun and Joan Scannell also failed the secure the backing of members, meaning they are unable to stand for re-election when voters go the polls on May 3."

Barnet Times: West London Orbital Railway: Richard Cornelius builds it up, Capita holds it back


Barnet Times: "Mayor Sadiq Khan backs West London Orbital Rail in draft transport strategy" (Acually, it is no longer a "draft")

Link to web site

"The Mayor of London has thrown his support behind a new railway line connecting parts of Barnet with southwest London.

"In the Mayor's [ not draft] transport strategy, he announced his commitment to the West London Orbital rail line, which will connect Hounslow to Cricklewood and Hendon via Old Oak Common, Neasden and Brent Cross.

"This will also connect at Old Oak Common with HS2 and Crossrail service, providing travel into various other places in the city."

[Reposted] The "West London Orbital Railway" timetime - screwed up by Capita-Barnet not allowing space for Brent Cross platforms


ITV: "London rail line not used for over 100 years could be revived" [not if Capita has anything to do with it]

"A rail line not used by passengers for more than a century could be revived to create a new 'orbital' metro in west London"

Link to web site

"City Hall claims London Overground services linking Hounslow with Hendon and West Hampstead could kickstart the building of 20,000 homes.

"Mayor Sadiq Khan today adopted the proposed West London Orbital Rail scheme as part of his transport strategy for the next 25 years.

"The scheme would see a high frequency metro-style service on a little used freight line between Acton and Hendon."


Evening Standard: Have we reached peak-Hammerson?

Link to web site

"The boss of retail giant Hammerson on Monday insisted its shareholders were still behind its £6.6 billion takeover of rival intu despite a share slump likely to send the firm spinning out of the FTSE 100 this week.

"... Jefferies' Mike Prew said the firm's shares had underperformed rivals this year and added:
"It just looks like a business that has peaked."
"Colm Lauder of Goodbody said the big 39% discount to net asset value at which Hammerson is trading 'expresses the discomfort with which the capital markets hold for retail property in the UK'."


Capita tries to recruit the donkey to lead the lions

Title: Programme Director - Brent Cross TL

Location: London

About the role:

Re (Regional Enterprise) Ltd is the joint venture between the London Borough of Barnet and Capita. Our innovative commercial model was set up in 2013 and brings together the best of public and private sector delivery.

Our services include; Planning and development management, building control, land charges, environmental health, trading standards and licensing, cemetery and crematorium, highways, regeneration and strategic planning.

Through Re, our aim is to create places where people want to invest, live, work and play. We have grown our business to provide a range of property, development and regulatory services to other local authorities and commercial organisations.

The candidate:

Re are looking for a Programme Director to join our team based in London, working on one of the most exciting regeneration schemes in Europe. The Brent Cross Cricklewood Regeneration will deliver a new quarter for London and provide a range of new life to the Barnet region, including the key new Thameslink train station and enhanced bus station to connect this development to the rest of London.

Working with the Re Brent Cross Business Director and in close collaboration with the Brent Cross Senior Leadership Team [ho, ho!], the BX TL Programme Director is responsible for developing the strategic management delivery plan, associated commercial plans, business cases and programme governance for the successful delivery of the Thameslink Station in association with the Brent Cross Regeneration scheme.

This senior leadership role will entail managing a large multi-disciplined team of professionals whilst setting and monitoring key performance objectives and maintaining excellent communications and strong engagement with the entire team, including all third parties and other key stakeholders.

Your experience will include:
  • Excellent knowledge and understanding of Project and engineering Management Processes
  • Understand and fully familiar with NR 2009 standard for engineering management of projects with demonstrable experience of managing major projects in the last 10 years with NR and/or TfL
  • Have managed multi-disciplinary Rail projects within UK or internationally
  • Plan and control work, chair and minute meetings and manage the flow of information on a day to day basis
  • Develop a project programme and monitor it (including the various techniques including Earned Value Management)
  • Positively influence the management of Health and Safety and principals of sustainability
  • Manage a design team on a day to day basis
  • Manage a construction contract and demonstrate good working knowledge of the different forms of contract and how these are administered
  • Understand the cost plan and cost report
  • Understand the procurement process and the influence of client requirements
  • Understand the importance of scope management and ability to manage a change control process on a day to day basis
  • Understand and apply the principles of risk and value management and use risk and value based thinking to make project level decisions
  • Experience of large-scale central government change programmes within a fast-paced, high profile environment
  • Experience working in or with the Railway Industry
  • Experience of working in local government, or knowledge of CPO / Town Planning processes
  • Degree qualification (or equivalent) desirable, engineering or other relevant subject strongly preferred
  • Chartered Engineer status preferred with ICE or IStructE
  • Project Management Qualification (either academic, professional or both) desirable; * Experience in project planning using Primavera, MS Project or similar essential.
  • [That's enough experience. Ed.]

The Capita Senior Talent team [ha!] will be supporting the process. To find out further information and apply contact Alison Page,

Capita Resourcing welcome applications from all suitably qualified people regardless of gender, race, disability, age or sexual orientation.

If you are successful with your application, you will need complete Capita's vetting and screening checks. This will include, but not be limited to, Reference Checks, a Criminality Check, Financial Probity Check, Sanctions Check and Media Check.

[Reposted from Sep 2017] Capita tries, but the fish ain't biting? Work on the miserable Brent Cross scheme!

From 1 days ago [sic]


Senior Planner Brent Cross

About the role

Regional Enterprise is looking for a Senior Planner to join our Brent Cross planning team based in Barnet, London. This role will see you working with the Brent Cross Planning and Transport Manager and with other Principal Planners within the team, and you will support and process a range of planning applications associated with the comprehensive regeneration of Brent Cross Cricklewood area. You will be an enthusiastic, flexible, forward thinking planner with practical experience of development management and/or planning consultancy. This is an excellent opportunity to move into a public sector focused planning role, working with a range of stakeholders and on one of the most exciting regeneration developments in the city of London!

About Capita Re

Re, Regional Enterprise Limited, is a joint venture between the London Borough of Barnet and Capita. Re runs the Council’s development and regulatory services including strategic planning, development management and regeneration services and will deliver growth in the Borough and develop a new and exciting consultancy business, which will supplement the core activities. Re aim to build better services, provide value for money, support the local economy and make Barnet an even better place to live and work

About Brent Cross

Delivering a new town for London is a huge undertaking; do you want to be part of team that is leading on key elements of one of the largest regeneration programmes in Europe?

Brent Cross is a £4billion mixed-used regeneration scheme covering over 150 acres in North West London.

We are working with London Borough of Barnet and the private sector to facilitate the construction of a new shopping centre and the creation of a new town centre. In addition the scheme will provide 7,500 new homes, space for over 20,000 jobs, supported by a new Thameslink station and the biggest ever TfL road project. This new urban quarter will make Barnet one of the most vibrant areas of London, a place where people will want to live, work and invest.

What you will do:

  • Working with the Brent Cross North development partners to bring forward and assess Reserved Matter Applications and pre-commencement approvals associated with the Brent Cross Shopping Centre expansion in accordance with the outline planning permission;
  • Working with the Council’s new development partner for Brent Cross South to bring forward new housing, retail and office development in accordance with the outline planning permission and wider planning policy framework;
  • Working closely with the Council’s Regeneration Service to advice on the planning strategy for the new Thameslink Station, Waste Handling Facility and Rail Freight Facility, provide pre-application input and advice and determine the associated reserved matters and drop-in planning applications;
  • Discharging a range of pre-RMA and pre-commencement conditions. These conditions are wide ranging and will include the co-ordination of specialist transport, environmental and legal input.
  • The post holder will process and assess a caseload of planning applications and provide support to principal planners and managers on planning matters to assist service delivery in relation the project;
  • Working with principal planners to provide pre-application advice to developers and process and assess planning applications, reserved matters applications, section 73 applications, section 96a applications, discharge of conditions and other relevant applications associated with the development;
  • To operate as a planning professional, utilizing knowledge of development management and strategic planning;
  • To carry out a broad range of administrative work to assist service delivery including coordinating the registration of new applications, review and appraise technical reports, plans and planning documents associated with planning submissions for the project;
  • To prepare accurate and timely officer delegated reports and committee reports for planning and other Council committees, and briefing papers to Councillors and members of the public;
  • Attending and advising meetings of Council Committees, Cabinet and other formal and informal groups;
  • Develop and maintain good communication and relationships with the Regeneration Service and other departments within Re, the Council and the developer partners and to provide excellent customer service through the production of high quality work and by acting in a professional manner;
  • Acts as a direct point of contact to the project on information and documentation control matters.
  • Ensure that the document controls activities comply with project governance.
Your experience will include:
  • Minimum 3 years previous experience in a Planning or related technical department in dealing with a range of planning applications and the processes involved as well as dealing with developers and engaging with a range of stakeholders;
  • Some expertise at in at least one of the following areas of planning work and a broad appreciation of the other specialist areas:
    • Policy, development plans, local development documents and spatial planning;
    • Urban Design, architecture, heritage and conservation, Masterplanning;
    • Projects, strategic development, and regeneration, development frameworks, corporate initiatives;
    • Development Management
  • Degree in planning or discipline related to post and/or experience in a related field;
  • Knowledge and understanding of planning legislation and procedures and issues relevant to the post and ability to make quality planning decisions;
  • Proven ability to read plans and maps to a good standard and interpret information spatially;
  • Ability to successfully work under pressure and meet deadlines, performance targets and produce regular consistent output of work to high standards;
  • Good verbal and written communication and presentation skills and ability to prepare clear and concise reports, briefings and correspondence;
  • Good negotiation skills and ability to achieve effective outcomes;
  • Able to integrate and work successfully as part of a team and positively contribute to its development and performance;
  • Ability to act on own initiative, to plan and prioritise and manage own work to meet deadlines and deliver outcomes within set timescales;
  • Good IT skills including successful experience in the application of planning related and geographical information systems (GIS), Microsoft Windows, Word, spreadsheets and databases;
  • Well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills and experience and demonstration of investigating, analysing, recommending and presenting solutions to planning problems;
What’s in it for you?

At Capita, training and development aren’t optional extras: they’re how we do our job. We will motivate you to perform at your peak, recognising your achievements and rewarding them appropriately. As well as a generous basic salary we also give you23 day’s holiday, company pension scheme and access to voluntary benefit options including; child care vouchers, share save scheme, life assurance, holiday buy and many more designed to suit your own personal lifestyle. All of this, in a professional but fun environment.

What we hope you will do next

Help us find out more about you by completing our short application process – click apply now.

Capita operates as an equal opportunities employer and we welcome all applications regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality, religion or beliefs, disability, age, political opinions or trade union membership.

From July 2017...

Principal Transport Planner - Brent Cross

Job overview
Vacancy ID: 45790
Work location UK - England - London
Office location: Barnet
Position category: Construction and Engineering
Work pattern:
Business unit: Local Government
Employment type: Permanent, Full Time
Education required: Not specified
Vacancy closing date: Jul 28 2017 [please, please, will no-one bite??]

Senior Planner - Brent Cross

Job overview
Vacancy ID: 46156
Work location UK - England - London
Office location: Barnet
Position category: Construction and Engineering
Work pattern:
Business unit: Local Government
Employment type: Permanent, Full Time
Education required: Not specified
Vacancy closing date: Jul 31 2017 [abandon hope all thee...]

Financial Times: "Landlords' differing fortunes reveal split in UK retail

Link to web site

"... Mike Prew, an analyst at investment bank Jefferies, who has long been pessimistic about the prospects for shopping centre landlords, says investors simply did not believe in the property values that were being reported:
"You have forward-looking equity capital not believing backward-looking valuations. I think we're about to go through a major correction in the UK retail market."
"... Set starkly against the fortunes of Hammerson and Intu is Segro, which owns the warehouses retailers use to store and deliver goods ordered online. Segro has ridden the online shopping boom to deliver record profits."


Financial Times: "Hammerson likely to be axed from FTSE 100"

Link to web site

"Hammerson owns shopping centres in the UK, Ireland, and France, including the Brent Cross shopping centre in London.

"Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said:
"In the mind of [those bearish on the shares], this leaves the company exposed on two fronts.

First, trading conditions in the UK for bricks-and-mortar retailers remains tough, as wage growth remains sluggish, the UK savings ratio is low, and doubts persist about how the British economy will fare after Brexit.

Second, competition from online rivals remains as fierce as ever, and many retailers are finding themselves with too much floor space, prompting fears over weak rent reviews and rising vacancies."


Barnet Times: "Twitter spat breaks out over driving short distances between political parties"

Link to web site

"A row broke out between political parties on Twitter over driving short distances.

"Anne Clarke, the Childs Hill ward Labour candidate for the Barnet Council elections in May, tweeted a poll asking whether it is considered 'socially acceptable' for people in London to drive short distances, unless for medical need.

"This was met with outrage from various Conservative councillors, including the council's deputy leader, Cllr Dan Thomas, Cllr Rohit Grover and Cllr Gabriel Rozenberg, who felt she was condemning local residents for their travel habits."


Evening Standard: "Barnet residents suffer 'heartbreaking' defeat in nine-year battle against rail super-hub"

Link to web site

"A nine-year campaign by residents against a planned London rail 'super-hub' has suffered a huge blow after councillors backed it by a single vote.

"Barnet council's planning committee voted six to five to approve the scheme for a freight transfer site for aggregate and building materials at Edgware Road, Cricklewood."

Barnet Times: "Cricklewood campaigners express anger over new rail freight 'superhub'"

Link to web site

"Campaigners have expressed their fury over the decision to build a rail freight facility near a residential area.

"Barnet Council's planning committee approved the building of a new rail freight facility, which has been dubbed an 'aggregate superhub' was approved with six votes in favour and five votes against on Thursday.

"The rail freight facility, to be built on existing railway land in Cricklewood, is part of the £4.5billion Brent Cross/Cricklewood regeneration project."


Barnet Eye: "Barnet Tories approve Cricklewood aggregates superhub"

"Last Thursday night, the Barnet Conservatives forced through the planning permission for the Cricklewood aggregates superhub. This was a story first broken by The Barnet Eye. We noticed some 'unusual' building building works on the railway land to the west of the Midland Mainline. A quick review of Barnet Council's website revealed that a rather sketchy planning application for an aggregates hub. This revealed that there would be a huge number of lorry movements. 

When we posted the story, the local community were unaware. Within days, there were hundreds of objections. Eventually this was withdrawn and a new scheme submitted, which has attracted over 800 objections.

What disgusted me was that the work had begun without planning permission. Whilst there appears to be one rule for ordinary residents, there clearly is another for large companies such as DB rail.

With regards to the actual proposal, I have very mixed feelings. I had a very interesting conversation with the leader of Barnet Council about this subject several months back. Richard stated that 'whether the aggregates come in by road or rail, they will come in anyway. Bringing them to Cricklewood by rail will mean less lorries and less pollution.. He is of course correct in his statement, but it is a far more complex issue."  [LINK]

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Campaigners lose bid to block controversial rail ‘super-hub’ on Brent boundary"

Link to web site

"A Brent councillor has criticised approval for the controversial Cricklewood rail super-hub next door to the borough.

"Barnet Council have given the go-ahead for the Cricklewood rail 'super-hub' despite campaigners urging the council not to proceed because of the effect on other areas.

"The site lies on the boundary between Brent, Camden and Barnet.

"The vote narrowly passed at the planning meeting, with all Conservative councillors, who have a majority on the committee, backing the plans."


Inside Croydon: "South Norwood pensioner wins Shard legal battle with Qataris"

"PERRY MASSON, our court reporter, on an extraordinary turn of events at the Royal Courts of Justice today"

Link to web site

"Ian Bone, the South Norwood pensioner threatened with a High Court injunction by lawyers acting on behalf of the uber-rich Qatari royal family, today emerged from the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand claiming victory for the common man, freedom of speech and common sense.

"Bone stood to pay the Qataris' legal costs and ultimately risked even losing his home in a dispute over whether he has the right to protest at The Shard."

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Brent MP backs councillors call for Cricklewood rail 'super hub' decision postponement"

Link to web site

"Brent Central MP, Dawn Butler, is rallying behind a group of Brent councillors ahead of a pivotal meeting tonight on Cricklewood's freight 'super hub'.

"The plans are set to go to a Barnet Council planning meeting, for them to approve the aggregate transfer station on the Edgware Road site.

"While sitting within the borough of Barnet, the proposed site for the 'super hub' sits near its border with Brent."


Barnet Times: "Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration subject of public meeting"

Link to web site

"Emotions ran high as project managers were put through their paces while discussing a new waste transfer station.

"A public meeting was held to give residents the chance to share their views on a new waste transfer station to be built in Cricklewood, by Edgware Road.

"... Capita was without answers for residents' concerns, and didn't even have a slide for the aggregate superhub at the meeting.

"The 'superhub' was also a hot topic, referring to a rail freight station which is also expected to be built."


Daily Telegraph: "Pope Francis urges world to jettison 'banality of consumerism'"

Link to web site

"Pope Francis has advised people to jettison life's 'useless baggage' in 2018, avoiding the 'banality of consumerism' and 'empty chatter'.

The Pope offered his reflections on how to savour the real meaning of life as he celebrated New Year's Day Mass on Monday in St. Peter's Basilica."

[Reposted from Nov 2017] Near the Freight Depot is the Waste Depot... 'Wembley Matters': "Ditch the Dump! Dollis Hill protests at being made a 'rubbish sandwich' by Barnet Council"

Link to web site

"148 residents [so far] have objected to the locating of a waste transfer facility on the Edgware Road near residential properties and a school [Barnet planning reference 17/6714/EIA]. The 'dump' is just within the Barnet boundary but will affect Brent residents. There are no comments support the proposal on the Barnet Council planning portal. LINK

"Alison Hopkins has submitted the following comment:
"I object in the strongest possible terms to this damaging and wholly unnecessary planning application. This is on the grounds of proximity to housing and schools, vastly increased traffic and congestion, air pollution and noise and environmental damage.

"The dump – and let's not call it a waste transfer facility [WTF], that's camouflage – is not needed. The only reason that the current WTF is being moved from the eastern side of the railway line is so that Barnet and the Brent Cross partners can build expensive housing with a high return to overseas and other investors. The current WTF is in a non-residential area and waste is moved out to landfill by train. Barnet claim that it's not as bad as the original plans, as it's 'smaller'. Well, it's far worse than the current dump, which at least makes some pretence to environmental care by using rail. However, the current dump also emits pollution and is a source of considerable stink to residents."

[Reposted from Oct 2017] Barnet Times: 'West London Orbital Railway' and Barnet trams, and Brent & Kilburn Times: No Rail Freight Depot


The Observer: "Two huge mergers have brought consolidation to the world of big retail property – a sign that even the largest malls are feeling the economic chill"

Link to web site

"[Opening a £600m extension to Westfield White City] looks like madness in the current economic climate. British households are facing the biggest squeeze on living standards since records began, while the trend for online shopping is prompting many retailers to close, rather than open, stores.

This tough environment is what sowed the seeds for this month's game of shopping-centre Top Trumps, with ... British property group Hammerson buying smaller rival Intu for £3.4bn, then Australian billionaire Sir Frank Lowy pulling a rabbit out of the hat by agreeing to sell his family's Westfield shopping centre empire, including its two London malls, to France's Unibail-Rodamco for £19bn.

"... Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Toys R Us are among the chains who have announced plans to close branches, while many former BHS premises remain empty. There is also speculation in property circles that big high street names such as House of Fraser could be among retailers considering a company voluntary arrangement – an insolvency procedure used by retailers to reduce their rent liabilities or close stores."


Instead of Westfield swallowing Hammerson... Daily Telegraph: "French shopping centre giant Unibail Rodamco swallows Westfield in £18bn deal"

Link to web site

"Shopping centre giant Westfield is to be acquired by France's Unibail-Rodamco in a deal that will create a $72bn (£54bn) retail property empire spanning Britain, the United States and much of continental Europe.

"Shareholders in Westfield Corporation, which owns malls in White City and Stratford, London, will receive $7.55 per share at a 7.8pc premium, valuing the Australia-listed company at $24.7bn.

"Westfield employed 523 people in the UK as of last December and is currently working on a new shopping centre in Croydon, south London, which is not expected to be threatened by the deal."


The Observer: "As corporate goliaths grow ever larger, Britain looks increasingly exposed"

Link to web site

"... Last week came another small milestone, in Britain. Hammerson, a property company few will have heard of, swooped on its rival, Intu, even less well known, in a £3.2bn bid. Yet the outcome will affect us all. Many major shopping malls – London's Brent Cross, Birmingham's Bullring, Manchester's Trafford Park, Oxfordshire's Bicester Village – will be owned by the same company. Hammerson will be the arbiter of how we shop: what stores are positioned where, in what mall and at what rent; it can even determine the restrictions on forms of permissible public activity in its private spaces.

"Hammerson will argue that it had no choice. So much shopping is online that the mall is looking increasingly like a late 20th-century phenomenon, outdated and outmoded. E-shopping is booming and, with the advent of virtual reality, you can go beyond browsing online to 'handling' the goods you plan to buy. Hammerson's only option is to buy up its competitors and try to hold the digital invaders at bay.

"You can see its point, but its monopolistic grip on the market will be such that it is better empowered to resist declines in rent and will take any opportunity to lift them. Our competition authorities stand idly by, helpless onlookers rather than proactive interveners."


Britain's worst property developer Hammerson stays out of the jaws of Westfield by merging with Intu

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Hammerson has agreed to acquire fellow retail property giant Intu, in an all-share deal that would create a company with assets of more than £21bn.

"Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said:
"The acquisition creates a leading pan-European platform of desirable retail and leisure destinations which are better positioned to serve the needs of our retailers, excite our customers and support our partners and communities.

Sure, our Brent Cross development masterplanners admitted at the public local inquiry last year that it had not consulted the public once in the last 15 years, but hey ho, that's the cut and thrust of business, and the public can go hang."
[He didn't say that last sentence. Although he could have done.]


BBC: "Renting in retirement: How feasible is it?"

Link to web site

"Home ownership can be a thing of beauty. Just as you don a pair of fur-lined slippers and spend more time on the golf course, you find you have paid off your mortgage. For the rest of your life, accommodation is effectively free.

"But this utopian model is becoming the exception. High house prices mean we are borrowing more for longer. And more significantly, the UK is slowly ceasing to become a nation of homeowners.

"Over the next 15 years the number of people renting their home from a private landlord is expected to double to more than nine million."


[Reposted from Aug 2015, followed by Nov 2017 update] Saving Cricklewood's Green Space from the London Borough of Barnet

(2013 poster)

Crown Moran Hotel (Sala Room),
142 - 152 Cricklewood Broadway,
Cricklewood, London NW2 3ED

WEDNESDAY, 15 JANUARY 2014 at 6.30pm
Chairman: Councillor Graham Old
Vice-Chairman: Councillor John Marshall

"Cricklewood Lane green space (adjacent to B&Q) This green space is a valuable community space in a densely built over environment. Recent ground works to establish what services are located where under the turf seem to indicate that Barnet is going to go ahead and build over this space. Rumours are that the Rosa Friedman Centre will be relocated here as a stage of the Brent Cross Development plan and together with other buildings, not specified, could mean this space being crowded out with buildings up to 5 storeys high. 

"This is outrageous. This land was ceded to the residents of Cricklewood as part of a section 106 planning gain when the B&Q building was constructed. How can Barnet now take this back to help them solve issues arising from the Brent Cross Development plan?"

"A number of local residents have commented on the Brent Cross Cricklewood Section 73 planning application objecting to the inclusion in the outline planning application of the space adjacent to the B&Q building on Cricklewood Lane. This area totals some 0.2 ha.

"The proposals in the Section 73 application currently under consideration remain unchanged for the uses and for the maximum and minimum heights for this site from the scheme permitted in 2010.

"However, it has been proposed to move this site from Phase 2 to Phase 1 as it is a site where the early provision of housing accommodation could potentially be achieved.

"This space is not designated within the Local Plan or approved planning application as open space although (as explained below) it was provided for use as public open space as part of the planning process leading to approval of the adjoining retail development and was transferred to the Council for that purpose.

"In the 2010 Permission, this site (Plot 58) was granted outline consent for retail or health uses on the ground floor and residential uses on the on the upper floors. It was programmed for delivery in Phase 2 of the development.

"This site had historically been subject to anti-social behaviour and a building was approved in this location under the outline consent as it was felt that there were urban design reasons for continuing the built frontage to this side of Cricklewood Lane. The building approved in outline under the 2010 Permission would provide a continuous active frontage to an area dominated at present by the blank side of the B & Q building.

"This area was provided as open space at the time of the construction of the present store (now B & Q) under the terms of a S52 agreement dated 30 January 1987 and was acquired from the Crown Commissioners by the Council in September 2004 with a restrictive covenant requiring it to be used as open space.

"Both of these restrictions are not unusual situations when comprehensively developing sites in existing urban areas such as town centres. Statutory powers under Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act would be used to override these restrictions at the implementation stage, if appropriate, in order to allow this part of the BXC development to be delivered.

"Since 2010 a number of community events have been held on this site, and there is now substantial local support to retain this area as open space. In response to this, proposals are also advanced to widen the paved area and plant trees in this location funded by the Mayor of London through the Outer London Fund (OLF). These recent OLF proposals are potentially compatible with the BXC proposals.

"Although it is noted that this space provides a level of local amenity space it should be noted that the qualitative and quantitative improvement to local open spaces provided early in the wider BXC scheme delivery programme will mitigate the loss of this space. In addition, it is likely that some increased area of public realm will be provided and retained as part of the Outer London Fund proposals.

"The Section 73 application will be considered by the Planning and Environment Committee and local residents’ comments will be reported for Members' consideration."