Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum: our mission 2020-24
The role of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum has changed since it was set up in 2014 to write a Neighbourhood Plan. The main reason for this is that the Neighbourhood Plan was completed in 2018 and, after receiving overwhelming support in a public referendum, was adopted into Camden's planning regulations. Therefore, we had to give thought to what we should be doing in the coming years.
The result is a new mission statement that will guide our activities. You can read it HERE.
We will put this statement to a vote at our next Annual General Meeting, which will be held on Monday 16th March at Burgh House, New End Square, at 7pm.
At the AGM, we will discuss the impact of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan. A new committee will be elected: the list of nominated candidates can be found here. As required, we have posted the minutes of last year's AGM here.
Because of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, we have postponed until a future date the informal discussion that we had planned on how to improve local traffic and transport, promote cleaner air and create a more walkable environment.
The mission statement has three parts and three guiding principles.
First, we want to make sure that the Neighbourhood Plan is doing what it is supposed to do. The Plan represents the views of the Hampstead community, coming out of extensive consultation including public meetings and hundreds of comments during the drafting process over four years. It was subject to independent examination and a public vote. So it's important that it influences the planning process. The Planning Watch page on this website shows the comments that the Forum has made on planning applications, and the outcomes that are relevant to the Plan. We think the outcomes demonstrate that the Plan has taken its place in the local planning structure and is having an influence.
Secondly, we want to ensure that the Plan stays relevant and continues to support its expressed vision and aims. We are identifying areas that could be reviewed or elaborated and improvements that could be made in a future update.
Thirdly, we need to be a trusted source of information on local planning issues, through this website or other media. In addition, we want to be a forum for discussion on issues of importance to residents, provided this is in keeping with the Plan's vision, aims and policies. For example, the Forum has been involved in monitoring air quality. We assist Councillors by holding public consultations on projects on which proceeds of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) could be used. To see an up-to-date list of CIL projects in Hampstead Town Ward, click here. We monitor important and veteran trees. And we have sought to protect pubs and other sites as assets of community value.
Behind these roles are three guiding principles: that whatever we do must be community-led, based on the views and concerns of Hampstead residents, supported by public consultation; it must be evidence-based; and it must be rooted in the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan - in the mandate under which we wrote the Plan, and in its objectives and policies.
You can read the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan here, view the Plan area here and follow the process of consultation and drafting that led to the Plan's creation here. A summary of the Neighbourhood Plan's policies can be found here.
The Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum is a voluntary group set up by local residents. Under the terms of the Localism Act 2011, communities were given the ability to shape future development in their areas through Neighbourhood Plans. The Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum developed the Plan following intensive discussions over five years with local residents, community groups and businesses.
The purpose of the Neighbourhood Plan, and of the Forum, is not to oppose development. Rather, the Plan aims to keep Hampstead lively and contemporary, while safeguarding the fine heritage of our streets and buildings. Hampstead should be enduringly green, with the Heath, open spaces, trees and landscapes well protected. It should be safe and walkable, with good public transport. It should foster local enterprise, supporting the needs who live and work in the area as well as visitors. And it should be a strong community with good amenities.
PLANNING WATCH: The Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum comments selectively on planning applications that, in our view, support or are at odds with the Neighbourhood Plan's policies. Click here to see the Forum's recent comments and to see how the Plan's policies are being taken into account in planning decisions.