Please comment on the draft Neighbourhood Plan

In a column in the Ham&High, Forum chair Alex Nicoll summarised the changes that the Forum is proposing to the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan and sought comments from residents.

The full text is below.

The revision of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan has reached a key point. We are asking local residents for comments on the draft that we have been working on for the past year.

The new proposals respond to the climate crisis with new policies on sustainable architecture and the natural environment. We include new requirements to encourage considerate construction, and guidelines for large sites that we expect to be developed in the coming years.

Please take a few moments to give your views by completing our survey at hampsteadforum.org.

The building of a Neighbourhood Plan is a widely consultative process. This is required under the Localism Act of 2011, which set up neighbourhood planning as a way to give communities a bigger say in shaping the future of their areas.

Ten years ago, hundreds of comments from Hampstead residents contributed to the drafting of the existing Plan. This took effect in 2018 after being approved by Camden, by an independent examiner, and then by residents with 91% support in a public referendum.

It now sits as a statutory document alongside the Camden Local Plan (which is also being revised), and planning applications must abide by its policies.

Last year, the committee of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum, which wrote the Plan, decided that it could do with an update. Inevitably, the exercise turned into something larger than we had envisaged.

In public meetings, we found strong interest in beefing up policies to encourage sustainable design — in particular, retrofitting properties to improve energy efficiency. With technologies developing rapidly, there was a general lack of awareness of what was possible or allowed. It is vital that this is done without damaging our important heritage.

The intensification of the climate crisis has contributed to other changes: for example, an attempt to build neighbourhood corridors’, which encourage movement of wild life, into a network, especially around the fringes of our greatest asset, Hampstead Heath. In addition, we encourage measures to limit flood risk.

The new draft proposes policies to promote considerate construction, after some parts of our area have been plagued by very lengthy, disruptive and noisy building projects.

If you live or work in Hampstead, please tell us what you think of the draft by answering our survey at hampsteadforum.org. Thank you.

Up next Forum will hold AGM on 12 March 2024 Meeting will include discussion on retrofitting Consultation on draft revised Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan is under way Please let us know your opinions
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