Highlights of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan 2018-2033
The Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan is a statutory planning document that will shape all new development for the next 15 years.
Design & Heritage
The Plan sets out five ‘character areas’ within the area: the Village Core, the Outer Village, 19th Century Expansion, several ‘outlying’ sections, and the Heath (which is already well protected from development). Development that fails to respect and enhance the character of an area and the way it functions will not be supported. Similarly, the Plan identifies thirteen important views: applications in these particular areas should show how they protect and enhance the views.
Development will be required to protect and/or enhance both listed and non-listed heritage assets and should take advantage of opportunities to restore lost features.
This part of the Plan also sets out new criteria for Design and Access statements, guidance on street furniture, lighting and paving and emphasises the importance of permeability in larger developments, avoiding lockable gates and fencing.
The Plan affords significant new protection to Hampstead’s trees, green spaces and biodiversity. It designates fourteen additional Local Green Spaces that will be protected from being harmed by development, over and above those that already have protection. These include, for example, the ‘World Peace Garden’ on South Hill Park, Branch Hill allotments and Burgh House Gardens. Also given new protection are veteran and other trees, tree lines and biodiversity corridors – eleven such corridors are designated in which ecological systems are to be protected. These include, for example, Well and Flask Walks, and the rear gardens between Downshire Hill and Pilgrim’s Lane.
Throughout Hampstead, developments are encouraged to use restrained exterior lighting, increase tree canopy cover and use permeable surfaces.
The basements section of the Plan seeks to address the impact on neighbours and the local environment, both during and after construction through more stringent basement construction and basement management plans. It sets hours on weekdays within which high impact work is permitted.
The Plan also sets forth additional steps and guidance for basement impact assessments and establishes a 15m protection zone for veteran trees and historic tree lines.
Traffic and transport
The Plan stipulates that major developments such as new schools should only be permitted in areas where there is high availability of public transport. At present, according to Transport for London’s measurement system, availability of public transport in Hampstead is well below the highest level. Thus, the Plan’s provisions will create pressure over time for improvements in the supply of public transport, which should in turn reduce the volume of traffic, especially during the school run.
Overall, the Plan supports development that contributes to a reduction in vehicle construction and pollution. In addition, the Plan seeks to limit the impact of heavy goods and construction vehicles by limiting their size, both during construction (construction vehicles) and after completion (delivery and servicing vehicles). Any exceptions must be documented. The cumulative impact of construction on air quality and pollution must be taken into account and mitigated.
The Plan sets forth objectives to improve the pedestrian environment and specifies the needs for cycle storage in new residential developments.
The examiner supported the Plan’s recommendation that the A502 (Heath Street) be downgraded.
The Plan supports the preservation of small retail shops and as well as the use of first floor premises for office and retail units. It resists the conversion of offices and retail units above shops to residential use, so as to ensure that Hampstead and South End Green remain lively and dynamic. New shopfront proposals are to follow guidelines on design and signage.
Housing and Community
The Plan supports the development of social, affordable, intermediate and community-led housing, as well as the inclusion of smaller dwellings in new non-social developments. It also resists the loss of existing smaller units.
The Plan contains provisions to ensure that Hampstead remains a healthy, caring community by resisting the loss of important community facilities and encouraging street life in accessible, well-lit, welcoming public spaces. The use of proceeds of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a tax on developers, is encouraged to improve community facilities and spaces.
Summary of individual policies
Design and Heritage (DH): protects Hampstead’s heritage and important views
Policy DH1: Design
Proposals should demonstrate how they respond and contribute to character of local, safeguard amenity of neighbours and protect and enhance important views. Criteria include safeguarding amenity and privacy of neighbours, protecting and enhancing views and incorporating permeability in new designs.
Includes new criteria for Design and Access Statements.
Policy DH2: Conservation Areas & listed buildings
Provides greater protection for conservation areas and listed buildings. Developments should take advantage of opportunities to enhance and restore features that make a positive contribution to Conservation Areas.
Policy DH3: The Urban Realm
Developments must conform to guidance regarding street furniture, lighting, paving, etc.
Natural Environment (NE): protects our green spaces and trees and encourage biodiversity
NE1: Local Green Spaces
Designates 14 new sites as Local Green Spaces that development must harm
Further protects veteran and other trees, and encourages future planting.
NE3: Ecological Networks
Identifies 11 ‘biodiversity corridors’ in which ecological systems and tree lines are to be protected.
NE4: Supporting biodiversity
Developments encouraged to use restrained exterior lighting, increase canopy cover and use of permeable surfaces.
Developments should protect priority habitats, species and movement of wildlife
Basements (BA): limits the impact of basement construction
BA1: Local requirements for Basement Impact Assessment
Prohibits any basement development where damage would exceed 1 on the Burland Scale
Provides protection for veteran trees, historic tree lines
BA2: Basement Construction Plan
Obliges proposals to identify, anticipate and address any potential harm to neighbours or the environment
BA3: Construction Management Plans
Requires development to must minimise negative impact of construction
Traffic and Transport (TT): promotes walking, cycling and public transport. Improves air quality by reducing traffic
TT1: Traffic volumes and vehicle size
Supports development that reduces traffic and pollution. Limits the impact of heavy goods and construction vehicles.
TT2: Pedestrian environments
Supports development that improves the pedestrian environment, avoiding unnecessary clutter and barriers, and encourages cycling.
TT3: Public transport
Development for schools and other large developments may only be possible in areas where there is high public transport availability.
TT4: Cycle and car ownership
Specifies enhanced off-street cycle storage provisions for new residential developments, as long as can be sympathetically realised.
Economy (EC): energises village centres and local shops
EC1: Healthy retail mix
Supports development that provides office and retail uses on the first floor and preserves small retail and shop uses
Resists the change of use from retail and businesses to residential above shops.
EC2: Contributing positively to the retail environment
Supports shopfront development that contributes positively. New shopfront proposals must follow list of design and signage measures.
Housing and Community (HC): encourages more affordable housing and protects community assets
HC1: Housing Mix
Supports development of more affordable housing and resists the loss of smaller units
HC2: Community facilities
Protects community facilities and further loss of facilities for older and vulnerable people.
HC3: Enhancing street life through the public realm
Supports development that creates accessible, well-lit, welcoming public spaces
Read the full Neighbourhood Plan by clicking here