Mill Hill East Transport (before the bean counters cut it all)


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Daily Telegraph video: "Simpler and more accessible planning system needed, says minister"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"A report by the Local Government Committee looking at the Government's planning reforms has suggested that the reforms are biased in favour of developers.

"The Prime Minister wants to stimulate growth and cut red tape by cutting 1,300 pages of planning guidance to just 52 in the new National Planning Policy Framework."

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

BBC: "Rewrite planning rules to end 'confusion', say MPs"

Link to BBC web site

"MPs are calling on the government to rewrite its controversial changes to planning rules in England, removing the default 'yes' to development.

"Ministers say a simplified planning system is needed to boost growth and encourage sustainable development.

"But the Commons communities committee says in a report that a 'fetish' with streamlining the planning process could slow it down by creating ambiguity."

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Independent on Sunday: "The true scale of Britain's woodland sell-off"

Link to Independent on Sunday

"Thousands of hectares of Britain's forests have been sold off by the Forestry Commission (FC), as it struggles to meet financial targets imposed by successive governments.

"A detailed inventory of woodland sold off by the FC, which is charged with protecting our forests for future generations, shows that it has raked in millions from sales to private companies, many of which hold licences to carry out logging. Campaigners complain that several buyers have barred the public from newly acquired woodland, despite signing legally binding contracts saying they will preserve traditional rights of access.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Countryside at risk under latest plans to downgrade planning laws"

Link to web site

"George Osborne, the Chancellor, is expected to announce a review of the Habitats Regulations that protect huge swathes of precious landscape.

"... Sources close to the Department for the Environment believe the review will bring the regulations in line with the controversial National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and propose a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ over rules of strict regulations.

"Mike Clarke, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said the habitats regulations have protected the countryside for almost 20 years."

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Independent: "Call for new towns on Green Belt"

Link to web site

"MINISTERS should allow new towns to be built on Green Belt land around the edge of cities to deal with Britain's housing crisis, a think-tank with close links to David Cameron recommends today.

"In a controversial report, Policy Exchange claims that the green belt is having negative effects on the economy and quality of life.

"... Critics are likely to seize on its recommendations as evidence that parts of the Government secretly wants to go much further than the current system allows and scrap the highly symbolic concept of the green belt altogether.

"But report’s author argues that the green belt planning restrictions which date back to 1935 are out of date."

Thursday, 17 November 2011 "L&Q and Countryside Properties picked for 600-home Dollis Valley regeneration"

Link to

"Countryside Properties, working in conjunction with housing association L&Q, has been selected by London Borough of Barnet as its preferred partner, for the proposed regeneration of the Dollis Valley housing estate in Chipping Barnet.

"The selection is subject to the council’s formal scrutiny process. The proposals, which are based on a masterplan design by Alison Brooks Architects and HTA Architects, would involve the construction of approximately 600 new, mixed-tenure homes in a wide range of designs and sizes to suit the differing needs of families."

Monday, 14 November 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Stop this planning free-for-all, National Trust warns"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Dame Fiona Reynolds of the National Trust argues that other countries that have embarked on radical deregulation of the planning system, such as Ireland, Greece and Spain, have been plagued by economic crises.

"Ministers should not be tempted by the 'lure of the quick fix' to allow unrestrained development that would have dire consequences for generations to come, she says.

"Dame Fiona issues the warning in The Daily Telegraph as she prepares to hold talks with Prime Minister on controversial planning reforms that would make it easier for major developments to be approved. Campaigners fear the proposals could lead to the destruction of large parts of the countryside."

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Hands Off Our Land: the 'huge' lobbying war chest behind the builders"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Sir Simon Jenkins, the National Trust’s chairman, said the 'fingerprints' of rich builders were all over the planning reforms, which campaigners say will give developers carte blanche to build on large parts of rural England. 

" 'We are up against some very rich and powerful people,' he told MPs on a Commons committee investigating the planning reforms. His comments come amid growing concerns about the influence of lobbyists and business figures on ministers and government policy."

Monday, 17 October 2011

Daily Telegraph: "MPs to air planning law reforms frustration"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"MPs will get their first chance to vent their constituents’ frustration with the Government’s controversial changes to the planning laws in Parliament this week.

"House of Commons business planners have scheduled a 'General debate on National Planning Policy Framework' on the floor of the House of Commons for Thursday."

Sunday, 16 October 2011

BBC: "A Point of View: In praise of wind turbines"

Link to BBC Web site

The countryside is often a man-made landscape, not a natural idyll, and wind turbines are just part of that tradition, writes Will Self.

"It was that arch-conservative GK Chesterton, inveighing against the rural purists of his own era, who said:
"The artificial is, if anything older than the natural. ... In the middle of the wildest fields, the most rustic child is, ten-to-one, playing at steam engines."
"He understood intuitively what the work of Oliver Rackham, that great historian of the British countryside, subsequently established factually - that the pattern of land use we see the length and breadth of these isles is as much a human artefact as Stephenson's Rocket."

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Planning minister Greg Clark faces opposition from his own council in Tunbridge Wells"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Conservative-controlled Tunbridge Wells Borough Council this morning voted to accept a report from its own planning officials calling for reforms to the National Planning Policy Framework.

"The study will now be sent to Mr Clark, who is MP for Tunbridge Wells, at the Department of Communities and Local Government ahead of the ending of a consultation on the reforms on Monday.

"The draft NPPF, which distils 1,300 pages of planning guidance into as few as 52, writes into planning rules a new “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, without defining clearly what it means."

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Link to BBC web site

"Semi-detached houses with gardens, clothes drying in the courtyards, walls and well-made streets - Pavlopetri epitomises the suburban way of life. Except that it's a Bronze Age port, submerged for millennia off the south-east coast of Greece.

"This summer it became the first underwater city to be fully digitally mapped and recorded in three dimensions, and then brought back to life with computer graphics."

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mill Hill East plan gets planning permission

Click above for overall plan (PDF file from 2009)
The dustcart depot is bottom-centre.

The Inglis Consortium a group of landowners (comprising VSM Estates, Annington Property and the London Borough of Barnet) has received outline planning permission from the London Borough of Barnet for the redevelopment of its new ''Millbrook Park' ['Mill Hill East' to anyone else] development in London. The site is now expected to be sold on as a phased development. 

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sunday Telegraph: "Bill Bryson warns the Coalition against turning England into a suburban nation"

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"Bill Bryson, US-born, British resident, incurably Anglophile, is warning that the country he loves is at risk of turning into the country he is from thanks to the Government's proposed reforms to the planning laws:
"Where I grew up, in Des Moines, Iowa, there is hardly any downtown economic activity now. Everybody shops in malls – you don't find a sense of community in malls. The solution, he suggests, lies in building on brownfield sites, or in Britain's 'very appealing, liveable towns' – with their existing infrastructure and unoccupied properties.

The Government talks as if the planning system is an impediment to growth. I would say it stops foolish or greedy people being rapacious to the built environment."

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Top civil servant lands planning job"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Richard McCarthy, a director-general at the Department for Communities and Local Government, is joining Capita Symonds, which advises major developers on planning and construction. 

"The department said he was leaving his £180,000-a-year post after bringing about 'major changes in planning'. 

"John Mann, a Labour MP, said Mr McCarthy’s move was 'wholly unacceptable' and risked a major conflict of interest."

Monday, 26 September 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Planning reforms already having an impact on countryside"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Planning officials have cited the Government's proposed changes to the planning system in a series of contentious decisions even though the new guidelines have yet to come into force. 

"The disclosure shows that the new 'presumption in favour of development' and the end of the 'brownfield first' rule in the current system which limits development in rural areas are being used already to decide whether building goes ahead."

Thursday, 15 September 2011

BBC: "What would Britain look like without a green belt?"

Link to BBC web site

"Plans to speed up England's planning process put the green belt at risk, campaigners warn. But what would the country look like without such a system?

"For its supporters it has preserved cherished landscapes and the British way of life. Its critics claim it has hindered development, stifled growth and fuelled house price inflation.

"Its advocates say that, without the protection it has afforded, cities like London would expand ever-outwards, subsuming smaller settlements beyond its boundaries such as Hertford and Guildford. Opponents say other European countries have managed to prevent this kind of urban creep without green belt policies."

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

'Rejoin the two branches of the Northern Line,' say campaigners

Link to 2-sided PDF leaflet
(ignore any incorrect 'unsafe web site' message)

"Barnet Council has predicted over 29,000 extra cars every working day at Brent Cross Cricklewood (including West Hendon). This means massive jams!

"Whatever the figure, it is not possible to build 14-million square feet of shops, offices, and homes at Brent Cross, plus MORE at Colindale, plus MORE at Mill Hill East, without creating huge road congestion across Barnet."

Daily Telegraph: "Green belt will have 'no protection' despite promises of ministers"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"Researchers at the independent House of Commons library have said that the Government’s legal presumption in favour of sustainable development will apply 'even within the green belt'.

"The framework’s legal presumption tells councils to 'plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible'. It has led to warnings over unrestrained development, and is being opposed by groups including the National Trust and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England."

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday Telegraph: "Flight to countryside fuels housing problem"

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"The current struggle between ministers and the rural lobby over the future of planning in England is a real 'culture war'. 

"It is a stand-off between protectors of the countryside and a Government which believes existing plans stifle economic growth and, in particular, house-building.

"The past success of the lobby to protect the countryside has had the effect of making it even more desirable. Cities are often seen as dangerous and cramped places to live."

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

BBC: "Barnet FC blasts council on Copthall stadium plans"

Link to BBC London

"The chairman of Barnet Football Club has criticised the borough over plans for the redevelopment of a stadium.

"Tony Kleanthous said Barnet Council had made it impossible for the League Two side to move to the Copthall stadium in north London.

"Responding to Barnet FC's claims, Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, simply said: 'Rubbish'."

Monday, 5 September 2011

Watford Observer: "Saracens submit revised £18m planning application for Copthall as Barnet issue angry statement"

(Sarries chief executive Edward Griffiths) 
Link to Watford Observer

" Saracens have submitted a revised planning application for Copthall, which will involve investing £18m into reviving the stadium.

"Barnet issued a statement today on their website criticising Barnet Council, and accusing them of trying to 'push football out of the area and move rugby in'."

Daily Telegraph: "Planning reforms: George Osborne says 'We are determined to win this battle'."

Link to Daily Telegraph

"The Chancellor defended the controversial changes to planning reforms, that campaigners claim will damage the countryside, as 'key to our economic recovery'.

"Planning delays cost the economy up to £3bn a year, and reform is 'imperative' to kick-start growth to Britain’s faltering economy."

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Observer: Planning Changes

(Mary Creagh, Labour's environment spokesman)
Link to The Observer

"Campaigners and grassroots Tories fear excessive development under the new Draft National Planning Policy Framework, which was published in July and features a presumption in favour of 'sustainable development"'

"Fiona Reynolds, director of the 3.5 million-member National Trust, has called for a fundamental rethink of the reforms. 'We firmly believe that the government has got its proposals for planning reform wrong,' she said.

"As the Observer reports today, Britain's leading countryside campaigner, the author Bill Bryson, has now added his voiced to the chorus, increasing the pressure for a U-turn."

(Bill Bryson, president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England)
Link to The Observer
"Britain's leading countryside campaigner, Bill Bryson, has joined a growing wave of opposition to government moves to shake up planning laws.

"As groups from the National Trust to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds line up against proposals to ease new development across the country, Bryson told the Observer he was deeply concerned by the direction of policy.

" 'The government's good intentions risk being undermined by the talk of economic growth at any cost,' said the American writer, who champions the English countryside and is president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). 'We are deeply worried to learn that environmental laws are regarded as red tape and that the planning system might be weakened to allow for more development'."

Evening Standard: "Warning over green space plans"

Link to web site

"New plans for designating green spaces could mean communities lose out on being able to protect local areas they cherish, the UK's oldest conservation organisation has warned.

"The Open Spaces Society is concerned that ministers are set to weaken, abolish or completely change the rules that allow people to register a local space as a new 'village green' if they have used it for recreation for more than 20 years."

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The Independent Leading Article: "Time to rethink the Green Belt"

Link to web site

"Houses trebled in price in the decade to 2007. A global credit squeeze is requiring young couples to come up with £40,000-plus deposits. Waiting lists for social housing are at record levels. And both house prices and rents are predicted to soar by 20 per cent over the next five years."

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Barnet Press: "Green campaigner slams the ‘barking mad’ bicycle policy"

Link to Barnet Press

"A LONDON Assembly member has described Barnet Council’s attitude to cyclists as 'beyond old-fashioned' and that more should be done to make this a bike-friendly borough.

"Green Party member Jenny Jones went on a fact-finding mission around Barnet to discover how the Smarter Travel scheme, aimed at converting drivers into cyclists and pedestrians, would work in the borough."

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Daily Telegraph: "New planning laws threaten green belt"

Link to Daily Telegraph

"The new national planning policy "dramatically" simplifies the planning system, including slashing 1,000 pages of policy to just 52.

"However environmental groups fear it will lead to more homes on the green belt and destruction of wildlife habitat.

"The proposals, launched for consultation, will not be made offical policy until next year but will already be affecting plans for development.

"Greg Clarke, the planning minister, said it would make it much quicker to build a new house or office block."

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Independent: "National Trust concerns over planning move"

Link to The Independent

"The National Trust today voiced 'grave concerns' over Government proposals aimed at dramatically simplifying the planning system, warning of 'damaging development' not seen since the 1930s.

"Ministers said they wanted to slash 1,000 pages of policy to just 52, while continuing to protect the green belt and areas of natural or scientific beauty.

"Fiona Reynolds, the trust's director general, said:
"Despite some warm words to this effect, the document makes it clear that development is to be encouraged, even urging local authorities to promote more development than is in the plan, and over-allocate land for housing."

Friday, 10 June 2011

Mr Reasonable: "Barnet Internal Audit Report - It just gets worse!"

Link to Mr Reasonable

"Having ploughed my way through the 268 pages of the Audit Committee papers I have to say that I am utterly shocked by what I have read. On top of what I have already reported on MetPro, the Internal Audit Annual Opinion Report goes much further on the various shortcomings.

"The overall internal audit opinion is only 'limited assurance' - that is, one step above no assurance."

From the report:
  • The Waste Prevention Strategy [below] has been ineffective in delivery of outcomes
  • The Waste Prevention Strategy has not been reviewed since 2005, to ensure that it remains fit for purpose or current
  • There are no governance arrangements in place to scrutinise, oversee and challenge the Waste Prevention Strategy
  • The Waste Project Board does not have a terms of reference, and focuses mainly on project management issues not strategic issues.

Link to document

The Guardian: "UK cities may ban heavily polluting traffic to avoid EU fines"

Link to The Guardian

"The government may act to force local authorities to ban heavily polluting traffic in most British cities, to try to control deadly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, and avoid unlimited fines from Europe.

"Funding must be prioritised for measures to help people walk, cycle and use public transport more. Schemes that increase the amount of traffic must be abandoned," said Jenny Bates, Friends of the Earth's London campaigner.

"Britain's air quality record is among the worst in Europe, and is already breaking European law for particulate, or PM10, pollution and nitrogen dioxide. According to a Mayor of London-commissioned study, poor air quality causes around 4,300 premature deaths in London every year, and studies show that poor air quality increases risks of heart attacks, asthma attacks and respiratory illness."

Monday, 23 May 2011

Barnet Times: "Saracens reveal new impressions of Mill Hill stadium on day they receive backing from UK Athletics"

Link to Barnet Times
"Plans to revamp Barnet Copthall Stadium by Premiership side Saracens would make it a 'key facility' for athletics, according to UK Athletics, the sports’ governing body.

"Today the rugby club has also released new artist’s impressions of the Mill Hill stadium as it could look, which show the height of the new stands more accurately."

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Link to Barnet Times

"A SECOND rugby body has given its backing to Saracens' plans to move to the Copthall Stadium.

"The Middlesex RFU, which governs the sport in the area, says the plans by the Men In Black, who yesterday scraped through to the Premiership Final, will 'bring huge long-term benefits' to the area"

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Barnet Times: "Community director says Copthall stadium plans would benefit Mill Hill and Barnet"

Link to web site

"THE Rugby Football Union (RFU) has written to Barnet Council urging it to allow Saracens to redevelop the Copthall Stadium “for the good of sport in north London”.

"Yesterday 7,000 letters backing proposals to relocate the Premiership club to the Mill Hill site were handed to planners, including 1,500 from the local area."

Saturday, 7 May 2011

25 June - 2 July: Ninth Mill Hill Music Festival

Link to Festival web site

"Over the years, the Mill Hill Music Festival has played host to some great names of the musical world: Humphrey Lyttelton, Warren Vache, Scott Hamilton, Campbell Burnap, The Foundations, Paul Young, Stacey Kent, Acker Bilk, Alan Gresty & Brian White, Gwyneth Herbert, and many more.

"The Festival is organised by music lovers for music lovers, on a not-for-profit basis, and we hope you'll take time this summer to enjoy some wonderful music with us."

Friday, 6 May 2011

Barnet Times: "Saracens' plans for Mill Hill's Copthall stadium criticised in Mayor's report"

Link to web site

"In a stage one ruling by the Mayor - on the Copthall Stadium proposals to develop the 1960s athletics stadium into a 10,000-seater venue - the officers say there is too much car parking, and that it threatens the Green Belt."

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Evening Standard: "Tory Brian Coleman wants to block Saracens stadium move"

Link to Evening Standard
"Brian Coleman opposes a move by Saracens to Barnet's Copthall stadium after his council agreed the club could take over for a peppercorn rent. And in a rallying cry to residents who are also against the scheme, he advised them to 'stick with it and lobby hard'."

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Barnet Times: " Two leading Barnet Tory politicians oppose Saracens Copthall plans"

Link to Barnet Times
"Last night around 300 residents, many against the proposals by the Premiership club, packed out Copthall School's hall for a meeting, chaired by Hendon MP Matthew Offord to gauge public opinion.

"The plans were set to go before a planning committee in June, but Councillor Coleman, who is in charge of transport and the environment in the borough, said he had been told here were problems and vowed: 'I will not put in a controlled parking zone'."

Monday, 25 April 2011

Edgelands: "Wilderness that is much closer than you think"

BBC iPlayer, week of 15 April 2011

Author: Michael Symmons Roberts, Paul Farley
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780224089029
Published: 17 February 2011
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd

"Edgelands explores a wilderness that is much closer than you think: a debatable zone, neither the city nor the countryside, but a place in-between - so familiar it is never seen for looking. Passed through, negotiated, unnamed, ignored, the edgelands have become the great wild places on our doorsteps, places so difficult to acknowledge they barely exist.

"Edgelands forms a critique of what we value as 'wild', and allows our allotments, railways, motorways, wasteland and water a presence in the world, and a strange beauty all of their own. Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts - both well-known poets - have lived and worked and known these places all their lives, and in Edgelands their journeying prose fuses, in the anonymous tradition, to allow this in-between world to speak up for itself.

"They write about mobile masts and gravel pits, business parks and landfill sites in the same way the Romantic writers forged a way of looking at an overlooked - but now familiar - landscape of hills and lakes and rivers. England, the first country to industrialise, now offers the world's most mature post-industrial terrain, and is still in a state of flux: Edgelands takes the reader on a journey through its forgotten spaces, so that we can marvel at this richly mysterious, cheek-by-jowl region in our midst."

Friday, 15 April 2011

Barnet Times: "Mill Hill East redevelopment plans given go-ahead by Barnet Council"

Link to web site

"Barnet Council could be set to benefit from millions of pounds of section 106 cash to improve roads and other amenities.

"Residents are now being evicted from the Inglis Barracks site near Mill Hill East Tube station in preparation for the new scheme."

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Barnet Times: "Mill Hill residents set up rival group to support Saracens' Copthall plans"

Link to 'Barnet Times'
"A RESIDENTS’ group has been set up to support plans from Saracens rugby club to make their home at a stadium in Mill Hill.

"Residents for Regeneration (RfR) has come together as a reaction to a group against the plans calling itself the Copthall Community Initiative (CCI)."

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Haringey residents wonder why they will get Barnet's dustcarts

Link above to 'Pinkham Way Alliance' web site
and here to North London Waste Authority information.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Barnet Times: "Saracens get 99-year lease for Mill Hill stadium from Barnet Council"

Link to Barnet Times

"THE first phase of Saracens’ proposed takeover of Copthall Stadium has been completed with the granting of a 99-year lease for the site.

"The plans will come before Barnet Council’s planning committee for consideration this summer."

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Independent: "Making London bigger, better, and more important"

Link to The Independent
"If London is so productive, then why don't more people live there? Greater London's population has grown only modestly more than the national average since 1981, about 14 per cent. 

"For many people, high prices prevent living in London. House prices in London are more than 50 per cent higher than the national average.

"... Cities can add housing by building up or by building out. Both avenues are restricted in Greater London. Environmentalism, as expressed by the city's green belt, limits the development of new homes on the urban edge. Preservationism, as expressed by myriad restrictions on rebuilding the urban core at higher densities, limits the development of more central residential towers."

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Daily Telegraph: "Householders will be able to heat their homes for free"

Link above to Daily Telegraph

"Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, expected at least 25,000 households to take up the scheme in the first year, with millions of air source heat pumps and other technologies installed over the next 20 years.

"Environmentalists and consumer groups ... wanted to make it easier for consumers to take up the scheme, to encourage more green technologies, rather than incinerating waste or wood, which can cause emissions and discourage recycling."

Friday, 11 March 2011

New web site monitoring council expenditure - "Mr Mustard"

Link above to Mr Mustard
"You are a bunch of incompetent dunderheads, not fit to run a party in a brewery, spending other people's money like drunken sailors, running scared of democracy, and about to waste £50,000+."