More than 400 people sent in responses to the Forum's Vision document, which was distributed to all households in our area. The results show a strongly positive response to the objectives that were set out in the document. Here we present the detailed results.
These slides, presented at a 'Community conversation' public meeting on 20 November, summarise the results of the consultation, and also set out the stages of the Forum's progress towards the goal of writing a Neighbourhood Plan. In particular, the sixth slide shows that each of the five aims and 15 objectives in the Vision document, as well as the Forum's overall vision statement, met strong support.
Of those who responded, almost all lived in the Forum's area and - perhaps more surprisingly - more than a third said they worked in the area. Analysis of the postcodes of respondents showed that they were well spread out across the area. More than half have lived in Hampstead for over 20 years. Almost all responses came from people aged over 35.
About half of respondents - some 200 people - offered written comments in addition to their answers to the questions. These revealed several prominent areas of concern about the Hampstead and South End Green neighbourhood. The most popular topic was the mix of shops on Hampstead High Street. Many people wanted to see more independent retailers and fewer chain outlets, and in particular fewer mobile phone shops and estate agents. However, there was not unanimity. For example: ‘While I encourage small businesses I think we have to be realistic – the small businesses often suffer and the chains often do well.’
Another issue was the addition of basements to houses, even though these were not specifically mentioned in the Vision document. Residents expressed strong opposition, citing damage to neighbouring houses and the water table, and the blight of long and noisy construction projects. On the subject of housing, many residents would like to see more affordable homes. Among other issues was traffic – congestion was associated with the school run and heavy lorries. Meanwhile, the absence of a permanent police presence remained an important concern. More detailed analysis of the written comments can be found here.
Detailed analysis of the answers regarding each aim and objective can be found here. Finally, the data that respondents provided about themselves - where they lived and worked, their age range and how long they they have lived in the area - is summarised here.
Thank you to all those people who responded. Your answers are enormously helpful in guiding the Forum towards creating a Neighbourhood Plan. It is your vision for Hampstead that we are seeking to put into effect. We will continue to consult widely as we build the Plan. Ultimately, the Plan will require approval in a public referendum if it is to take its place among the national and local policies that govern planning decisions.