"Plans for 374 bedroom Aparthotel in Colindale given go-ahead"

Link to Barnet Times

“Despite the building being larger, slightly wider and higher it now has a more interesting design and because of the natural materials it is more sensible.”


Secretary of State Eric Pickles and his Localism Bill

Department of Communities Press Release, but summary is below

Builders forced to avoid 'Rabbit Hutches'?

Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered housebuilders to stop erecting rabbit hutches. Housing minister Grant Shapps has told them to carry on.

Is a delicious row about to break out between the Mayor and the minister? Sadly not: what Boris says goes in London and what Shapps says counts for naught, said a spokeswoman for the Mayor.

The minimum space standards being introduced in London next April mean that new homes in the capital may well be 20% to 40% larger than any new boxes stuck up in the minister's constituency of Welwyn Hatfield. Serves him right if the voters complain.

Courtesy of Brent Cross Coalition. Extracted from here.


Regeneration Director at Hammerson (and new Lord Mayor of London) shuns Brent Cross's temporary 'rapid transit bus' for the Lord Mayor's Show 2010

 The City of London has elected Alderman Michael Bear as the 683rd Lord Mayor of the City of London, to serve from Friday 12 November 2010. The Lord Mayor's Show and fireworks are on Saturday 13 November (click on the Lord Mayor's new set of wheels, above). 

(Click above for Barnet Times)

Barnet Times: "Finchley civil engineer Michael Bear, who is a top executive at Hammerson plc, a partnership company behind the Brent Cross Cricklewood development, has been elected Lord Mayor of the City of London"

Link to the web site of the BRENT CROSS COALITION


BBC Sport describes how Saracens set out their Copthall Stadium plans

Link to BBC Sport news item
Saracens have revealed they are in discussions with Barnet Borough Council about making Copthall Stadium in north London the club's new home.


Guardian Book Review: " 'Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain', by Owen Hatherley"

Click on Manchester photo for The Guardian's review, and for purchase details
"... In Hatherley's addictive illustrated travelogue, we encounter "cramped speculative blocks marketed as 'luxury flats'", "pointless piazzas with attendant branches of Costa Coffee", the "Disneyfication" of museums, "class cleansing" disguised as urban regeneration, and, everywhere, a glass‑and-steel contemporary building style that he calls "Pseudomodernism".

"NEAR the end of this angry, melancholy book, the author visits the Greenwich Dome.
But now, instead of the green, inclusive, continental-style new city quarter Labour supporters might have hoped for, he finds:
'a transplant of America at its worst – gated communities, entertainment hangars and malls criss-crossed by carbon-spewing roads; a vision of a [British] future – alienated, blankly consumerist, class-ridden.' "
(Courtesy of 'Brent Cross Cricklewood Coalition')


Barnet Times: "Residents in Grahame Park call for better scrutiny over regeneration estate work"

"DISGRUNTLED residents have hit out over the management of building work in Grahame Park after months of misery caused by 'noise, dust and pollution' ”.


Follow-up to Guardian Report on Public Transport

"The Buchanan report springs to mind on reading the Campaign for Better Transport's study, which roundly and rightly praises those cities that have laid on abundant and cheap public transport as a rather less drastic approach to taming the car. Ever since 1960, attempts have been made to try and keep this machine under control.

"Libertarian bores will insist this is due to some patrician hatred of mass mobility, but the CBT's report reminds us that what we could call "transport poverty" is something that afflicts the old, the unemployed, and the ill; and that the most effective means of dealing with traffic-choked cities is through public transport, rather than moralising."

(Thanks to the Brent Cross Coalition for this item.)


Boris the Builder - Can he do it?

London Evening Standard:

"Closest to my heart of all the standards in the guide, though, is the recognition that housing is important for making pleasant and civilised parts of the city. The new housing built in London today is most often designed to maximise the units that can be crammed on to the site. These huge boxes are then clad in some random and vaguely fashionable material that has little relationship to the surrounding architectural context.

"Take St George's Beaufort Park development in Colindale, north-west London. This ugly set of overscaled buildings, faced in that favourite developer vernacular of panels of brick and plaster, creates a meaningless urban plan that does not relate to its site.

"The buildings are like 19th-century Berlin Mietskaserne (tenements) but with public spaces modelled on Mayfair squares (needless to say, this does not feel like Mayfair). Inside are cleverly titled apartment types (the “Manhattan”) that hover somewhere between studio and a one-bedroom apartment, with bedrooms that you can barely squeeze a double bed inside."

London Development Agency:


Traffic causes 80% of air pollution...

The UK has been issued a written warning by Europe to clean London's air or face fines of up to £300m.

(click on picture for Guardian web site)


Barnet Press Release

The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Lynne Hillan, has announced her new cabinet.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Brian Coleman said:
"My priorities are roads, roads, roads and roads."

(Thanks to Brent Cross Coalition - click on graphic.)


£80m Battle of Britain monument plan unveiled

 Plans to erect a striking 380ft (116m) beacon as a monument to the Battle of Britain have been unveiled.

The Battle of Britain Beacon will cost £80m and be taller than Big Ben.
The structure will be built at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, north west London, housing an exhibition on the World War II air conflict.

The museum announced the scheme ahead of the 70th anniversary of the battle, which raged in the skies over Britain from July to October 1940.

The eye-catching building will be constructed out of steel and glass and feature a high-speed lift.

Rebecca Dalley, the museum's head of fund-raising, said the exhibition would examine all aspects of the conflict: "It will look at the battle in its entirety. It will look at the involvement of the pilots who took part in the fighting and the impact it had on the entire country.

"The battle will be examined from both sides. We have a fantastic collection of aircraft from both sides of the conflict.

"The civilian aspect will also play an important part in the exhibition, including the Blitz."

She said the museum hopes to complete within the lifetime of the remaining veterans from the conflict, now mainly in their 90s.
The project is set to be funded privately, with several potential investors already having shown an interest.

The museum is currently consulting on its plans.

Young crew

The announcement comes a day after it was revealed that a £3.5m monument commemorating the heroes of RAF Bomber Command who died during WWII, is set to be built in Green Park in London.

The memorial, which should be built by 2012, will commemorate the 55,573 crew of Bomber Command, with an average age of 22, who were killed in the war.

Its role was to attack Germany's airbases, troops, shipping and industries connected to the war effort.

The memorial will contain inscriptions, carvings, and a dedication and also house a sculpture of the seven aircrew by sculptor Philip Jackson.


Quality of Barnet Transport Experts?

(Thanks to Brent Cross Coalition for this)
London Assembly Member Brian Coleman, and Mayor of Barnet for 2009-2010, is quoted as saying, at the Mill Hill East planning public forum:
I have no confidence in that traffic expert and I have no faith in our Highways Department. They get every scheme wrong. We must go to outside consultants who know what they are talking about. Proper Experts. They don’t know what they are doing. They will cause harm for many years to the area.