Hampstead's Neighbourhood Plan has entered the final stages of its progress towards becoming a statutory document that will help to shape future development in the area. Following a mandatory public consultation held by Camden, the Plan has been sent to an independent examiner. The examiner's initial response can be read here
The role of the examiner is to ensure that a Neighbourhood Plan meets legal requirements and does not contradict other relevant documents that set out planning policies, such as the Camden and London plans and the National Policy Planning Framework.
In her letter of 17 January 2018, Jill Kingaby, the examiner appointed by Camden in consultation with the Forum, says that she expects to complete her examination within the normal four to six week timeframe. She confirms that she has been sent the necessary materials and she thanks Camden and the Forum for 'a most helpful set of evidence and background documents.'
The draft plan and other submissions can be read on Camden's website here.
Camden's consultation elicited comments on the Hampstead Plan from a wide range of bodies and individuals, all of which have been submitted to the examiner. The Forum will provide a short response to some of the comments. Ms Kingaby notes that this is 'entirely consistent with emerging good practice in the conduct of neighbourhood plan examinations.'
The examiner will produce a report that sets out her recommendations. Once these have been considered by Camden, a final version of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan will be produced. This will be put to a public referendum. If it is passed, it will take its place as a statutory document alongside Camden's Local Plan and will help to shape planning in Hampstead for the next 15 years.
Hampstead residents set up the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum in 2014 in order to produce a Neighbourhood Plan under the terms of the Localism Act 2011. This gave communities a greater say in shaping development their areas. The Plan, drafted following intensive and repeated consultation with Hampstead residents, includes policies on design & heritage, the natural environment, basements, traffic & transport, the economy and housing & community.