Monday, 31 October 2011

The Guardian: "Why is our consumption falling?"

Link to The Guardian

"Everyone believes that consumption is out of control. But is it? From food to paper and water, Britain has gradually been guzzling less over the last decade. Why?

"But, according to environment writer Chris Goodall, those stats tell an important story. 'What the figures suggest,' Goodall says enthusiastically, 'is that 2001 may turn out to be the year that the UK's consumption of "stuff" – the total weight of everything we use, from food and fuel to flat-pack furniture – reached its peak and began to decline'."

Barnet Traffic Cone Hat in Brian Coleman Transport Policy Protest Threat. Row, Fury. Bid. Claim. Crisis. (Cont. p94)

Link to Mrs Angry
(Sec. of State Eric Pickles said:
"As well she might be")

Pinkham Way Alliance: The Sands of Time are Fast Running Out



If you’d like to object to Haringey's ongoing attempt to redesignate Pinkham Wood as ‘industrial’ and diminish its conservation status - please do so right away.

If you're planning to submit your own response, read details of how to do this. It must be with Haringey by close of business on Thursday 3 November.

If not, please support the Pinkham Way Alliance, by adding your details with this very short online form. This must be with us by 4pm on Wednesday 2 November.

The more individual, adult household members that do this the better.

If you have any questions, or problems with the form, you can email us directly on

Please check the outline of our objections and alternatives to Haringey’s plans here so you know what you're supporting. Responses with Haringey by 5pm on Thursday 3 November, or sign-up to support the PWA objections by 4pm on Wednesday 2 November.

A reminder that our fantastic fundraising concert, with world-famous soprano Emma Kirkby, and lutenist Jakob Lindberg, will be at St Andrew's Church, Alexandra Park Road, on Sunday 20th November at 4pm. You can order tickets now.

Don't forget you can also follow us on Twitter, join the Facebook Group and make a donation.

Kind regards, Bidesh Sarkar
Chair, Pinkham Way Alliance

Saturday, 29 October 2011

BBC: "Bishop of Buckingham attacks St Paul's Cathedral closure" - Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' has the Brian Coleman connection

Link to BBC web site

"A bishop has accused St Paul's Cathedral of a 'hysterical over-reaction' to the continuing protest at the site. The Bishop of Buckingham, Alan Wilson, said closing the church was a mistake.

"Clergy reopened the cathedral on Friday, after citing health and safety reasons for its closure because of the Occupy London camp outside. St Paul's Cathedral and the City of London Corporation are now taking legal action to evict the protesters." 

Broken Barnet's "From our City Correspondent

Daily Telegraph: "Tipping point: what happens when our landfills are full?"

Link to Daily Telegraph report
Picture: "The landfill site at Remo, north-east Belgium,
which a firm wants to mine, in order to reuse the waste"

"In 2007, the Local Government Association reported that in Britain a combined area the size of Warwick was taken up with landfill. In July last year, it warned that the country will run out of space for its rubbish by 2018 unless new sites are found.

"The real nail in the coffin is the European Union’s landfill directive (first issued in 1999 but ramped up over the years with increasingly ambitious targets), which will impose fines of up to £1 million a day if we send more than 50 per cent of our waste to landfill by 2013, or 35 per cent by 2020 (currently we send 48 per cent to landfill).

"Unsurprisingly, environmental groups aren’t fans of incineration. According to Friends of the Earth, incinerators are considerably worse on carbon efficiency than even coal-fired power stations. It seems perverse that developed economies – so keen in other ways to kill CO2-belching industries – are looking to incineration as an alternative to landfill."

Air quality and legitimate expectation: whose job is it anyway to decide?

Link to

"An interesting case about who is to decide issues of air quality in a planning case about incinerators/energy-from-waste plants – that choice of terminology depends on whether you are objecting to, or applying for, permission to construct. 

"Because the judgment is extempore [that's your Latin], it is very shortly reported at the moment."

Following that earlier 'Executive Summary' [click on the image above] there has now been a fuller report.

Local Government Information Unit: "A Guide to Neighbourhood Planning"

Link to LGIU web site

"Neighbourhood planning will give communities the opportunity to organise themselves into forums that can prepare neighbourhood plans and put forward neighbourhood development orders to secure planning permission for developments they support.

"The coalition government says that neighbourhood planning is central to its ‘decentralisation, localism and Big Society agenda’. The Localism Bill sets out what neighbourhood planning is, and how it should work in practice. Through neighbourhood planning, the government says that communities will be able to:
  • choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built 
  • have their say on what those new buildings should look like 
  • grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead.

Channel 4: "Britain's Rubbish" (gettit?)

Link to Channel 4 video (for limited time period)

"Dispatches lifts the lid on Britain's bins, and asks: what the plan is to tackle the country's growing rubbish problem?
Reporter Morland Sanders travels the UK in the wake of the government's Waste Policy Review, to find out about bin collections, litter, excessive packaging and Britons' secret bin habits.

He finds householders angry about their bins not being collected every week, and fly-tipping setting resident against resident. 

He asks whether we can do more to help reduce the rubbish problem ourselves, and sets a family the challenge of living without a bin for a fortnight. Can they really recycle everything?

On the high street, he questions whether we are simply sold too much packaging with the things we buy, making us throw far too much away, and sifts through litter to see who should be doing more to keep Britain tidy.

He also talks to the people who collect, sort and recycle our waste, and discovers what happens to our paper and plastics once they are collected. Does profit win out over green considerations?

And he investigates whether the waste companies are really solving our rubbish problem."

The 99%

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Barnet Press: "Time to have your say on Pinkham Way proposals"

Link to Barnet Press

"MPs and campaigners are pushing for residents to take part in a consultation on the Pinkham Way site this week. Haringey Council was ordered to rerun a consultation into the designated site usage of the land off the A406 – close to the border with Barnet – after members of the Pinkham Way Alliance called in a planning inspector to scrutinise the authority’s core strategy.

"After a public meeting, the inspector advised the council that insufficient consultation had taken place on the strategy, which included plans to change the designated use of the old Friern Barnet sewage works. The new consultation is due to end next Thursday and MPs have been lobbying residents to take part."

The Guardian: "There's more to 'going Dutch' than having a separate cycling lane"

Link to The Guardian

"It took time to sink in: the Dutch cycling facilities were so good that their use was obligatory, and enforced by the police. For a cyclist raised on the mixture of antagonism and neglect that still characterises London's cycling culture, it was a shock. And when members of the London Cycle Campaign recently voted for their 2012 mayoral election campaign to be "Go Dutch – clear space for cycling on London's main roads", it struck me that they will have to bring about an enormous shift in attitudes in a very short space of time.

"The idealisation of Dutch cycling in the British cycling press omits to mention that being a respected, mainstream means of transport incurs responsibilities as well as offering rights. Laws about lights, bells, bikes on trains, as well as compulsory paths, are rigorously policed. Taking a bike on a train requires a €6 ticket in addition to the cyclist's fare – a significant cost for regular leisure riders.

"None of this is unreasonable when the other side of the bargain is the combination of amenity and respect accorded to Dutch cyclists."

Thursday 27 October: TONITE!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Vole o'Speed: "The cycle of decline in outer London"

Link to a posting on the "Vole o'Speed" web site
(click on the heading there to see all posts)

"We live in the city of Boris Johnson's much-trumpeted Cycling Revolution. We are not on the outer edge of that city. Oh no, starting from here, there are about 3 more miles of suburbs, and one mile of green belt before you reach the border of Hertfordshire.

"What has happened in outer London ... is that a cycle of decline has been allowed to operate, whereby people have acquired more and more cars and been allowed to store them everywhere on the streets, so making those streets more and more difficult for walkers and cyclists. At the same time, of course, traffic levels have soared.

"The cyclists that there were in the 1970s, over time, have been squeezed-out, and given up, and then acquired cars themselves, which have been added to the pool, making things even worse. A couple of generations have grown up with no experience of cycling whatever, and so no understanding of what treatment cyclists on the road need, so they give them scant consideration when driving. That hostility has forced most of the few cyclists who were still on the roads off them. The culture of cycling has been wiped out almost entirely. 

"... It seems to me that we will not get much more cycling in the London suburbs until the typical street (Mollison Way) looks a lot more like the Dutch street (Vredeveldsweg). But how can we possibly get that? We can't just take all those cars away from people in a democracy. We can't tell them they can't own and use all those cars. No politician could say that; it would be electoral suicide, when people's whole current lifestyles are bound up so intimately with use of those cars. And we can't magic up more space. 

"People need a viable and attractive cycling alternative first, before we can start to reduce car use and car ownership. But it's the cars that are preventing people cycling. This seems like a chicken-and-egg situation. Where do we start?"

Hembrow web site: 
"How the Dutch got their cycling infrastructure"

"How did the Dutch get their cycling infrastructure? This question keeps coming back because it is, of course, relevant to people who want what the Dutch have.

"Road building traditions go back a long way, and they are influenced by many factors. But the way Dutch streets and roads are built today is largely the result of deliberate political decisions in the 1970s, to turn away from the car-centric policies of the prosperous post-war era. 

"Changed ideas about mobility, safer and more livable cities and about the environment led to a new type of streets in the Netherlands."

Link to Hembrow web site.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

David Burrowes MP writes to constituents

"I am writing to update you on the plan to develop a waste management facility at Pinkham Way.

"In Enfield I have been leading the opposition to the plan which, if implemented, would have a detrimental impact on our local environment.  As we look forward to improvements over the next year in the A406, redevelopment of properties, and regeneration of New Southgate, a massive waste management facility would be in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  North London Waste Authority (NLWA) had wanted the plan to go through quietly, with little consultation with my constituents.  

"Combining with local Conservative Councillors, the Pinkham Way Alliance and residents associations, we did not let them get away with it.  I held public meetings, delivered leaflets, and knocked on doors across our affected area in Palmers Green, Bowes and Southgate Green.  I called on Enfield Council to formally oppose the NLWA's plan.  I was disappointed that the Council ducked the opportunity to kick out the plan, although not surprised, given the Council leader wrote to me to say that the Council could not reject its 'own plan'.

"However, our campaign has been successful.  Haringey Council announced that the NLWA outline planning application was 'on hold', and it emerged that the Government’s Planning Inspectorate had criticised Haringey Council on the consultation process used for their overall plan for the Borough - called the 'Core Strategy'.  Specifically, Haringey had sought to change the land designation at Pinkham Way from ‘employment’ to ‘industrial’ use.  No doubt the Council thought that they needed to make the change, to smooth the path for the NLWA’s proposed new waste plant.  Haringey were accused of running a consultation that'“could appear to be prejudicial to the interests of fairness and natural justice'.

"So we now have the opportunity to be part of the consultation.  But time is running out and ends at 5pm on Thursday November 3rd.

"The response to this consultation should be limited to the question of the designation of the Pinkham Way site, the danger to the site's nature conservation status caused by any planned development, and the soundness, or otherwise, of Haringey's evidence for it.

"At this stage, comments about traffic and congestion, pollution and air quality, proximity to homes and schools, or problems about recycling and waste management are not relevant. When new planning applications are made next year, we can make these points.

"I am making the following points which you also may wish to adopt:
  • I object to a designation of the former Friern Barnet Sewage treatment site as a Locally Significant Industrial Use.  The loss of any protection for the nature conservation value of the site would be detrimental to the natural and local environment
  • I formally request an assessment of the eco systems and natural habitats on the site to determine its nature conservation value.  The Government have now provided the tools for conducting such an assessment, which should form the basis of any proposed re-designation
  • It should be noted that the loss of the caveat to protect the nature conservation is a major change to the protection this site.  A consequence would be the likely loss of this valuable nature conservation site, which is one of only nine sites designated Grade 1 of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation.
  • It will widen the range of uses on the site to include heavy industrial type uses, with all the potential noise, pollution and traffic congestion impacting upon the local environment.
  • Inevitably, re-designation would mean the site would become vulnerable to Policy 4.4 of the London Plan, which directs local authorities in London to identify Locally Significant Industrial Sites which might be suitable for waste management.  The significant local opposition to such a use should be noted.
  • It is not based on robust or credible evidence.  No credible evidence was produced at the Examination in Public, and the re-consultation document CSSD-3 has no new evidence.  The updated Sustainability Appraisal, which has been produced by Hyder Consulting UK Limited to provide further evidence in support of this re-consultation, does not contain any new evidence to support this re-designation; on the contrary, it points out the threat to the biodiversity of the site.
  • In the Core Strategy pre-submission draft, the site was designated Employment Land, with supporting evidence for this designation. It would seem that pre-planning application discussions with North London Waste Authority and Barnet Council in relation to the development of a waste processing plant, and Barnet Council’s proposal to relocate its refuse vehicle depot, have influenced the proposal to re-designate use.  This gives continued grounds for again concluding that the consultation would 'appear to be prejudicial to the interests of fairness and natural justice'.
  • There is no evidence that Haringey considered whether alternative designations would be appropriate - e.g. Metropolitan Open Land, Local Green Space designation, or Green Grid cross-boundary green space, connecting Barnet, Haringey and Enfield.
  • National policy has recognised that networks of natural habitats provide a valuable resource, and this should be reflected in the Core Strategy, and specifically in the designation of the site.
  • It is not deliverable: The LSIS designation is only deliverable if the Grade 1 Borough Importance for Nature designation is removed or substantially compromised. The Council’s own additional evidence points out, in relation to the Friern Barnet site in particular, that any development on the site has potential to have biodiversity impacts, because it is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
  • Finally, the Government has just concluded its consultation with regard to National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG).  It would be premature to re-designate in advance of consideration of the NPPG, which should then lead to consultation on the Core Strategy.

"Please email or write to LDF Team, London Borough of Haringey, River Bank House (6th floor), Wood Green, London, N22 8HQ to submit your objections, by 5pm on Thursday 3rd November, and pass this on to any neighbours or friends who may not be aware of the consultation."

Liberal Democrats urge local people to fight plans that paved the way for Pinkham Way

"Lynne Featherstone MP is contacting thousands of constituents, in order to ensure that local people get the best chance to respond to a consultation that could have major effects on the plans to build a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way.

"The Hornsey and Wood Green MP is keen to ensure that local residents are aware of and get some advice on how to best respond to a consultation on the designation of land at the Pinkham Way site.

"Labour-run Haringey Council has been forced to re-run the consultation that paved the way for the plans for a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way, after being reprimanded by the planning inspectorate. The initial consultation, which changed the land designation from employment to industrial land, was so poorly run that Haringey has been shamed into re-running it.

"Liberal Democrats, who are fighting the plans at Pinkham Way, are keen to make sure no one misses out on the chance to respond this time. As well as leafleting thousands of homes close to Pinkham Way, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne is today also contacting thousands of residents, to urge them to respond before the 3rd November deadline.

"Any residents who want more information about how to respond should contact Lynne’s office on 020 8340 5459 or email onlynne. [We believe that is a LibDem joke.]

"Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“The way Labour ran the consultation last year was disgraceful, and I’m glad that the Planning Inspector agrees with us and has forced Labour to do a re-run.

The change in the designation of land from employment to industrial paved the way for the North London Waste Authority to submit plans for Pinkham Way. Anyone who is worried about Pinkham Way should take them time to respond to this consultation and object to the change of land designation – we have everything to gain from a strong response from local residents!”

"Alexandra Ward Councillor Juliet Solomon adds:
“The change in land designation and the way the consultation was carried out last year was one of my main points of concern when I stood up to the Labour Council on this in July.

“The last consultation was carried out in a shoddy way, with not enough local people being consulted. It’s good that this sneaky behaviour has not gone unpunished, and now it’s down to all of us to respond – please get in touch with Lynne’s office for details on how to do so.”

Bounds Green & District Residents Association: Example of protest letter

Link to previous BG&DRA post

 "You will hopefully recall the recent update from our key activist Barry James – well, he has now completed his submission to the Core Strategy consultation, and it is well worth reading, before you have a go yourself.

"Don’t forget the deadline for responding is Nov 3rd!"

Monday, 24 October 2011

Sunday 20 November: Pinkham Way Alliance concert

The Pinkham Way Alliance presents

Dame Emma Kirkby
with lutenist Jakob Lindberg


Sunday 20th November 2011, at 4pm
St Andrew's Church
Alexandra Park Road
Muswell Hill
London N10 2DD

All money raised will go to the Pinkham Way Alliance campaign.

Tickets: £15 adults and children aged 16+, and £10 under 16s.
Refreshments will be available after the concert.

"Muswell Hill resident, Dame Emma Kirkby is an English soprano singer and one of the world's most renowned early music specialists.

She is performing a special one-off fund-raising concert for the Pinkham Way Alliance, and will be accompanied by the accomplished Swedish lutenist Jakob Lindberg.

Originally, Emma had no expectations of becoming a professional singer. As a classics student at Oxford and schoolteacher she sang for pleasure in choirs and small groups, the fact that her voice was not a particularly large one meant that her potential as a soloist was not recognised immediately. Despite that, she became a founding member of the Taverner Choir, and in 1973 began her long association with the Consort of Musicke.

In 1999 Emma Kirkby was voted Artist of the Year by Classic FM Radio listeners and in November 2000 she received an OBE. In April 2007 BBC Music Magazine published a survey of critics to nominate “The 20 greatest sopranos”, placing Emma Kirkby at number 10.

On 21 January 2011 it was announced that Dame Emma had been awarded the Queen's Medal for Music, an award given to an individual who has had a major influence on the musical life of the nation.

Emma Kirkby has made well over a hundred recordings, yet despite all her recording activity she prefers performing live. We are delighted that she has generously agreed to perform this benefit concert for the Pinkham Way Alliance."

The Independent: "Little time left to halt warming"

Link to web site

"A lack of international will means the chances of bringing climate change under control may already be "slipping out of reach", scientists have warned.

"A study by the Swiss science university ETH Zurich shows that, without an early and steep cut in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures are not 'likely' to remain less than 2C higher than pre-industrial levels. The 2C target, which experts say is needed to avert dangerous climate change, was agreed by the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

"... Scenarios showing peak emissions around 2030 were likely to keep warming below 3C, but would miss the 2C target. Another study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the 2C threshold could be crossed between 2040 and 2060. This is well within the lifetime of many people alive today."

Walesonline: "Plans for huge waste incinerator withdrawn with immediate effect"

Link to Walesonline

"COVANTA Energy has withdrawn its application to build a 750,000 tonne-a-year waste incinerator with immediate effect. The firm blamed the 'fragmented approach' of local authorities for making the plant unviable. It said it would have transformed the area had it gone ahead.

"The American giant proposed to build the Brig-y-Cwm site on land between Merthyr Tydfil and the Rhymney Valley. Despite a petition of more than 13,000 signatures against the proposal, a spokesman said that the withdrawal was a 'purely strategic decision'."

Comments are on the YouTube page.

[Reposted] North London Waste Plan: Pinkham Wood

Table 6.3 
Pinkham Way – opportunities and constraints

Site name: Friern Barnet former Sewage Treatment Works (Pinkham Way)

Site numbers: 121

Owner: London Borough of Barnet North London Waste Authority

Borough: Haringey

Site area: 5.93ha

Issues for Consideration

Potential use: General waste use.

Existing use: The site has been vacant since the sewage treatment plant was closed in 1963. It does not have existing buildings and is covered in vegetation that has taken hold which is of ecological interest.

Local planning policies: Identified in the Haringey UDP saved policies as employment land and ecologically valuable site; borough grade 1 site of importance to nature conservation (SINC). Schedule 1: Site Specific Proposals: Employment generating uses subject to no adverse effect on the nature conservation value of the site. Defined Employment Area 6. Ecologically Valuable Site 9.

Access: Access to the site is off an access road from the North Circular Road (A406) that also serves a retail estate to the north of the North Circular Road. There is good access to the strategic route network. The developer will need to demonstrate routes that HGVs will use to get to the site.

Sustainable transport: The Kings Cross/Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City/Stevenage railway line runs along the eastern boundary of the site. The railway is on an embankment above the site and so the scope for sustainable transportation of waste may be limited without considerable investment.

Neighbouring uses: The site is bounded to the north by the North Circular Road, to the east by the railway line and embankment and to the south by the Muswell Hill golf club's course. Immediately to the west lies Hollickwood Park and beyond that there is housing. The existing site is screened by vegetation to the south and west. This screening should be retained and improved as part of any development.

Environment: The site has been identified as a SINC (site of importance to nature conservation) and whilst the site has been identified for employment generating uses, there must be no adverse effect on the nature conservation value of the site. The site is also surrounded by areas of importance to nature conservation and any development must not adversely impact these areas and should incorporate features that enhance biodiversity in the wider area.

Potential for decentralised energy: The North Circular Area Action Plan and the New Southgate Area Masterplan are being prepared by Enfield Council and the new waste development should consider the potential to supply energy locally.

Flooding: The site is largely in flood zone 1 with just 16% in flood zone 2. A culverted stream runs below the site. If any of the site’s sewers discharges into it there is a potential flooding risk due to water backing up during high river levels.

Groundwater: As part of the site falls within source protection zone.2, a groundwater risk assessment will be required. Developers are encouraged to engage in early discussion with the Environment Agency.

Delivery and phasing: The Outline Business Case of the North London Waste Authority is shows [sic] the development of this site within the period 2012 to 2017.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations": 'Occupy London' and the Friern Barnet connection

(Click on either image, for clerical posting on 'Broken Barnet' web site.)

Pinkham Way Alliance: Responding to the Haringey's 'Core Strategy' re-consultation

"We hope as many people as possible will respond individually to this consultation, and we have put together a series of points (below) to consider, in your response to Haringey. 

"It is important to emphasise that the response to this consultation should be limited to the question of the redesignation of the Pinkham Wood site, the danger to the site's nature conservation status caused by any planned development, and the soundness or otherwise of Haringey's evidence for it. 

"Comment can be made about the way the consultation itself has been conducted, but please note that comments should NOT cover traffic and congestion, pollution and air quality, proximity to homes and schools, or problems about recycling and waste management. There will be a chance to comment on these aspects of the issue, when consultation takes place on the planning applications next year.

"The Pinkham Way Alliance is also preparing a response based on our points below, and if you prefer, you can add your name to that by signing up through this online form before 2nd November 2011."

Points to consider for response to re-consultation on Haringey's Core Strategy

"Haringey Council are re-consulting about its proposal to re-designate the Former Friern Barnet Sewage treatment site (Pinkham Woods) from:
EL - Employment Use
(subject to no adverse impact on the nature conservation value of the site), to:
LSIS - Locally Significant Industrial Use
(with no linked protection for the nature conservation value of the site)
"The implications of this are:
  • the loss of the caveat to protect the nature conservation is a major change to the protection this site would receive, and consequently there is a likelihood of losing this valuable nature conservation site, which is one of only nine sites designated Grade 1 of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation
  • It will widen the range of uses on the site to include heavy industrial type uses, with all their potential noise, pollution and traffic congestion
  • re-designation would mean the site would become vulnerable to Policy 4.4 of the London Plan, which directs local authorities in London to identify Locally Significant Industrial Sites which might be suitable for waste management. If the site was not re-designated LSIS, it would not fall within this policy."

"We strongly object to this re-designation for the following reasons:
  • It is not based on robust or credible evidence. No credible evidence was produced at the Examination in Public, and the re-consultation document CSSD-3 has no new evidence. The updated Sustainability Appraisal which has been produced by Hyder Consulting UK Limited to provide further evidence in support of this re-consultation does not contain any new evidence to support this re-designation; on the contrary, it points out the threat to the biodiversity of the site (see below).

    In the Core Strategy pre-submission draft, the site was designated Employment Land, with supporting evidence for this designation. Why did the Council change the designation following consultation? What evidence emerged, to persuade them the designation should be changed to LSIS? By their own admission, 'pre-application discussions' have influenced this re-designation.

    Barnet Council's existing Mill Hill depot
    These discussions relate to the proposal by North London Waste Authority and Barnet Council, to construct a massive MTB waste processing plant (to deal with up to 300,000 tonnes of waste per year), and Barnet Council’s proposal to relocate its refuse vehicle depot (for vehicles it uses for waste collection and passenger transport and for parking space for Barnet Council’s fleet of refuse/recycling and staff vehicles, plus a small office/storage building and a refuelling station)
  • There is no evidence that Haringey considered whether this was the most appropriate strategy against alternatives such as Metropolitan Open Land designation, alternative Local Green Space designation (or local SLOL designation?) or Green Grid cross-boundary green space, connecting Barnet, Haringey and Enfield
  • It is not consistent with national policy: PPS 9 is the overarching framework in which policies should be developed - particular para 9 which states that networks of natural habitats provide a valuable resource
  • It does not accord with Regional Policy: See The London Plan, in particular Policy 7 (7.14 and 7.18-7.21)
  • It is not deliverable: The LSIS designation is only deliverable if the Grade 1 Borough Importance for Nature designation is removed or substantially compromised. The Council’s own additional evidence points out, in relation to the Friern Barnet site in particular, that any development on the site has potential to have biodiversity impacts, because it is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (p.6 of Hyder Addendum SA). The bigger the development, the bigger the impact.
For all the above reasons, the re-designation is not soundly based."

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Park Royal City: Investment in Infrastructure (although some 1980s music is best forgotten)

Link to London Borough of 
Hammersmith & Fulham web site

"Futurist computer-generated graphics showing how one of Britain’s poorest neighbourhoods could be transformed by the nation’s first high-speed rail super hub have been released.

"To the sound track of ‘We Built This City’ by Starship, the YouTube clip shows how vast swathes of derelict or underused industrial land – around Old Oak Common in NW10 – could be transformed into London’s newest city.

"The ambitious regeneration vision, which has been dubbed Park Royal City, shows 12,000 new homes and businesses and 115,000 extra jobs (40,000 in Hammersmith & Fulham) created around an unrivalled convergence of transport routes in north-west London." [Unlike the expected 29,000 extra cars every day, expected by Barnet Council at the expanded Brent Cross.]

Friday, 21 October 2011

[Updated] Barnet's Theresa Villers MP and Cllr Robert Rams have planning concerns (!)


"Theresa Villiers, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet and East Barnet Ward Councillors, Cllr Robert Rams, Cllr Joanna Tambourides and Cllr Barry Evangeli, have today written to Enfield Councillor, Cllr Martin Prescott, Chairman of the Cat Hill Development Planning Panel, to ask him to reconsider the current location for the upcoming residents meeting on 1st November.

"Their letter follows the cancellation of the last meeting on 11th October, when over a hundred and fifty people were unable to access the packed venue, and the meeting had to be called off at the last minute. The meeting has been rearranged for the 1st November at the Gladys Child Theatre at Southgate College, but a large number of residents have contacted to Theresa and their local Councillors, to express concern that again the venue will not be big enough.

"Theresa said:
“A number of residents have contacted me about their concerns over the new venue for the Cat Hill Development meeting. It is vitally important that all my residents are able to get into this meeting. There could be up to 500 people turning up and it will be a tragedy if people are turned away.

I have today written to Enfield Councillor, Cllr Martin Prescott asking him to urgently look for a new venue so that everyone who wants to attend can.”
"East Barnet Ward Councillor, Robert Rams, also commented:
"This development will have a huge impact on our residents in East Barnet. These proposed tower blocks are not in keeping with our community, and will put a huge strain on our services and roads.”

The Campaign for Cat Hill Committee has done excellent work in opposing this development. Because of them, there will be a large number of people turning up on the 1st November. Enfield Council must ensure that all our residents are able to get in and have their concerns heard."

Update from 'Enfield Independent':
"Plea for bigger Cat Hill venue rejected".

Brian Coleman, NLWA member ("Pinkham Way is just a sewage farm.")

Picture is from Mrs Angry's 'Broken Barnet' web site -
Click on image for links to the 'Famous Five' Barnet Bloggers

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Bowes and Bounds Connected: 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'

Link to 'B&B' web site
for photographs of last Saturday
(scroll down on link)

"One of the most contentious local developments for many years is the proposed waste processing plant just along the North Circular at Pinkham Way.

"Opposition to the development has focussed on its scale, impact on air quality, or the suitability of its location next to schools and residential areas. Yet within the community campaigning there is an acceptance that the waste we are all generating needs to be dealt with, and ideally we should all be working to ensure we reduce the amount of waste produced in the first place.

"The Bowes and Bounds Connected website carries an extensive set of resources providing lots of useful local information about waste prevention and tips on how to resuse and recycle a huge range of materials.

"In reality, the need for massive waste reprocessing plants can only be removed when there is a collective reduction in the stuff we all put in our bins.

"On 15 October the Bowes Park Community Association held an Environment Fair to help share information about what we can do locally to reduce waste, save water, reduce energy usage, and lessen the environmental impact of our travel. But it wasn't all doom and gloom and serious stuff ... the way to really make the important behaviour changes -particularly for young people -is to make it simple and fun. We celebrated our local environment and met our neighbours ... and there was cake!"

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Enfield Independent

(It is not possible to click a second time on this, to enlarge the image enough to read it. We are looking into this issue.

UPDATE: The system has been improved, and you can now click "SHOW ORIGINAL' in the bottom-left-hand corner.  It is then sometimes possible to click on the image again, to magnify it.)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) conference: bend the ear of the Secretary of State!

Link to WRAP web site

WRAP Annual Conference 2011:
Relearning to reuse: Getting the most out of scarce resources

Keynote speakers:
Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for the Environment
Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future.

15 November 2010
15 Hatfields, London, SE1 8DJ

Apply for your FREE place at the WRAP Annual Conference today.

Please note that places are limited. Registration will not automatically guarantee a place.

Bowes Park Environment Fair

"On October 15th the Bowes Park Community Association held an Environment Fair, to help share information about what we can do locally to reduce waste, save water, reduce energy usage, grow plants for food and lessen the environmental impact of our travel... and also listen to local music, share locally produced food and have fun!"

Click on images for 'Bowes and Bounds Connected" web site, for more photos.

The Guardian: "Coffee chains urged to improve takeaway cup recycling"

Link to The Guardian

"Coffee shops are failing to make it easy for customers to recycle the estimated 2.5bn takeaway cups thrown away each year in the UK, a consumer group warned on Tuesday.

"The investigation by Which? found that consumers were confused by retailers' use of 'mixed materials', which make recycling a headache, and urged providers to take more environmental responsibility."

Recycling products - interactive tool.

BBC: "Climate change 'grave threat' to security and health"

Link to BBC web site

"Climate change poses 'an immediate, growing and grave threat' to health and security around the world, according to an expert conference in London. Officers in the UK military warned that the price of goods such as fuel is likely to rise as conflict provoked by climate change increases.

"A statement from the meeting adds that humanitarian disasters will put more and more strain on military resources. It asks governments to adopt ambitious targets for curbing greenhouse gases."

Pinkham Way Alliance: new leaflet

Monday, 17 October 2011

Jolly Japes! Exploring London's Secret Underground Railway

Link to Silent UK web site
(may be delay in loading)

"For as long as I can remember, explorers have joked, discussed, and cried themselves to sleep over the possibility the Post Office Railway could be explored. Those keen to attempt entry desperately clawed at every scrap of information, like a starving hobo snacking on bread crumbs. Just the idea of access, let alone the task of traversing the line seemed fraught with impossible obstacles and doubt."

Link to "Urban explorers break into landmarks".

Memo to TfL: Spending on Safer Cycling

70% Privatisation of Barnet Council: It's all because the earth is orbiting a triple star

Link to 'Mr Mustard' web site

"Merda taurorum animas conturbit"

"The translation of the Latin heading is 'Bullshit Baffles Brains'.

The above Strategic Review cost £19,000.

Also see today's response in this article in the Barnet Times about tomorrow's strike. Cllr Thomas says that any savings made from staff wages (not being paid to strikers) would be directed into public services. (is £19,000 paid to Agilisys & Impower a public service or a public disservice? Discuss.)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Paul Mason, BBC: " 'Occupy' is a response to economic permafrost"

Link to BBC web site

"... These protests are a powerful signal worldwide. Their mere existence shows that people are determined to 'think globally' about routes out of this crisis - at a time when economics is driving politicians down the route of national solutions. However marginalised they are politically - and in some countries, above all America and Greece, they have broken out of marginalisation - it is still a fact: in 1931, as the remnants of Globalisation 1.0 collapsed, there were no mass international protests against austerity. There were plenty of national, and indeed nationalist ones.

"... 'Occupy Everywhere' is the kind of movement you get when people start to believe mainstream politicians have lost their principles, or are trapped by vested interests, or are all crooked.

"That's the answer to the question 'what'. The answer to why now? Basically we are in danger of a global stagnation - it was HSBC's economics team that described it as a permafrost. It poses the question 'who pays for the banking crisis?' very acutely. And large numbers of people are now realising it is going to be them, and more painfully, their children. As in Greece, in that circumstance, for every protester camped in the freezing dawn there may be many more quietly fuming in their living rooms who feel the same way."

Statement from the Pinkham Way Alliance

Enjoy the photos at the 
'Pinkham Panthers' web site
Help Needed to prevent the Destruction of Pinkham Woods

London Borough of Haringey is currently consulting on their plans to change the designation of the Former Friern Barnet Sewerage Treatment Works site (known locally as Pinkham Woods) from:
“Employment generating uses subject to no adverse effect on the nature conservation value of the site." to “Locally Significant Industrial use" without any caveat on protecting its nature conservation value.
It is important that those organisations and individuals who care about London’s wild places oppose this change. Consultation responses must be submitted by 3 November. The consultation documents can be downloaded from Haringey’s website at the following links: (large file)

The consultation states this proposed change in use "Complies with discussions which have already taken place to use part of the site for a recycling centre and other part as waste station".

What is not mentioned in the consultation is that these pre-application discussions relate to a planning application by London Borough of Barnet and the North London Waste Authority to build a 300,000 tonne per annum mechanical biological treatment plant (one of the largest in Europe) plus a vehicle depot for London Borough of Barnet’s fleet of vehicles, that is expected to result in over 1000 vehicle movements per day.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Haringey’s pre-application discussions have identified that these proposals would destroy 3.6 hectares of woodland on this 6.3 Hectare site. Things the consultation document also fails to mention are:

  • The Former Friern Barnet Sewerage Treatment Works site was closed in 1963 and since that time has been left empty to develop into a rich wildlife habitat
  • Its current designation as employment use is “subject to no adverse effect on the nature conservation value of the site” - this part of the designation is conveniently not mentioned
  • The site is one of only eight in the Borough that is designated as being of Grade 1 Borough Importance for Nature Conservation Value
  • Haringey’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) of October 2009 identified an important opportunity to de- culvert the stream on this site as one of a limited number of opportunities to restore watercourses within the Borough
  • Haringey’s BAP highlights that Haringey currently has only 0.16 hectares of Local Nature Reserves per 1000 residents, compared to Natural England’s recommended ratio of 1 hectare per 1000 population. The current ratio is predicted to fall to 0.14 hectares by 2016, due to population growth
  • The BAP has established a target to create an additional 0.5 Hectares of woodland within the Borough.

What you need to know to respond to the consultation

The consultation asks whether the proposed changes are:
  • based on robust and credible evidence? 
  • the most appropriate strategy when considered against the alternatives? 
  • consistent with national policy?
No evidence has been presented that would support the sites change of use to industrial use. The consultation document itself highlights a declining demand for industrial use, that the Upper Lea valley has large tracts of employment land that are now obsolete, and part of the economic development strategy for the Upper Lea Valley is to locate green industries and resource management facilities in the Upper Lea Valley.

The focus for protecting Industrial land will be to protect sites currently in industrial use. No justification is presented for why Haringey would therefore need to designate this site for industrial use, and reverse a current policy position that has sought to protect this site for its nature conservation value.

Had Haringey provided consultees with the full picture of just how important this site is for nature conservation and its context, it would have been obvious to them that a more appropriate evidence-based use that addressed priorities in the Borough would be to designate this site as a Local Nature Reserve. A use which is particularly fitting given the sites close proximity to four neighbouring schools and which would create the opportunity to provide a green chain connecting the site with neighbouring green spaces and improving the permeability of this area of the Borough.

Coppetts Wood in Barnet was also the site of a sewerage treatment works that was closed at the same time as Friern Barnet in 1963. Coppetts Wood was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1998.

The PPS 1 Supplement on Planning and Climate Change sets out the key Objectives for Planning Bodies in terms of the development of local planning policy. These include:
  • To secure new development and shape places that minimise vulnerability, and provide resilience, to climate change; and in ways that are consistent with social cohesion and inclusion;
  • To conserve and enhance biodiversity, recognising that the distribution of habitats and species will be affected by climate change.

Quite clearly, changing the designation of this site, to knowingly remove its current protection and pave the way for its destruction, is not in keeping with these key objectives of National Planning Policy.

As a final bit of context, the site is situated to the south of the North Circular at Pinkham Way and north of Muswell Hill golf course. It is effectively the area of woodland opposite the Alan Day Car dealership, and can best be viewed from the bridge that connects to the Friern Barnet Retail Park. The site forms an intrinsic part of a designated green corridor that connects Alexandra Palace Park via the mainline railway lines to Tunnel Gardens, Blue Bell Woods, Muswell Hill Golf Course, and other green spaces. Haringey's own Nature Conservation officer described the site as:
"an important part of a larger ecological complex and corridor including other SINC’s (Hollickwood Park, Muswell Hill Golf Course, Tunnel Gardens and Bluebell Wood, Albert Rd Rec and Rhodes Avenue Spinney)."
Those who have visited the site will know that this site has one of the richest habitats for wildlife in the Borough, with a mixture of woodland and scrub.

Photos showing just some of the wealth of plant and insect life the site supports can be viewed at:

In addition to the loss of this important site for nature conservation, the resulting vehicle movements that would result from the planning application this change in use is being made to facilitate, will further increase NOx emission rates on the local road network, exacerbating a problem which already sees local residents on Colney Hatch Lane exposed to NOX emissions in excess of national objectives.

Please urgently submit a response to the consultation that:
  • Opposes the change in designation of the Former Friern Barnet Swerage Treatment Works site to Locally Signifucant Industrial use
  • Insisting that any designated use retains the caveat subject to no adverse effect on the nature conservation value of the site
  • promotes its designation as a Local Nature Reserve.

For further context on the real drivers behind this change in designation, please visit: