Rampant development and high street woes drive support for Hampstead pressure group

13:00 04 February 2014

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum brain storming session at Burgh House

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum brain storming session at Burgh House

© Nigel Sutton email

Fears that rampant development and struggling high streets could see Hampstead “change out of all recognition” are contributing to a surge in support for a new pressure group, a campaigner says.

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum brain storming session at Burgh HouseHampstead Neighbourhood Forum brain storming session at Burgh House

Janine Griffis said worries about what Hampstead will be like in five years time are a major motivation for many who are getting involved with plans to create a Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum under the Localism Act, which, it is hoped, could wield real power over planning matters.

More than 40 people gathered to express their thoughts on the area’s future at the first community engagement event held by campaigners – a mass brainstorming session at Burgh House in New End Square on Sunday.

Campaign spearhead Ms Griffis said: “There’s kind of a concern and fear that Hampstead will change out of all recognition.

“I think it’s based on the fact that property is worth so much and rates are so high in Hampstead High Street and Heath Street, people are afraid that shops they love won’t be able to stay.

Janine Griffis Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum brain storming session at Burgh HouseJanine Griffis Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum brain storming session at Burgh House

“People really care about Hampstead and want to make sure it doesn’t lose its special character.”

Ms Griffis said the meeting had been a great success and was the first of many that will feed into a “neighbourhood plan” to be drawn up by the forum.

“It was really to start to establish some themes upon which our plan will be based, everything from what Hampstead should look like in five years, to how to protect our open spaces and how to keep our heritage,” she said.

“We were really taken aback with the level of enthusiasm.”

Guests were encouraged to let their imaginations run free and Ms Griffis said about 50 suggestions were put forward, with a full list to be published this week.

Ideas included keeping streets leafy by insisting two trees are planted for every one that is felled, while the impact of lorry traffic, large developments and basement excavations were hot topics.

Ms Griffis, who is chairman of the Pilgrim’s to Willoughby Residents’ Association, added: “People came along because they want to keep the village vibrant, maintain the sense of neighbourhood and make it a place that people of all ages can live in for all of their lives.”

Visit for more information and to register your interest.


Latest News Stories

35 minutes ago
The Friends of Parkland Walk has released its own set of Christmas cards, all using images of the leafy nature reserve

These tranquil, snowy scenes look as if they were photographed in the depths of the countryside, rather than in the middle of a capital city.

Yesterday, 17:10
Actresses Juliet Stevenson and Michelle Collins with volunteers and Alexandra's mum Lindsey Wylie from the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) launch the Christmas food parcel appeal. Picture: Polly Hancock

A charity is marking the fifth anniversary of a Highgate schoolgirl’s death from cancer with the launch of a Christmas appeal to help children left without support following the closure of Kids Company.

Yesterday, 15:35
Kato Harris will appear at Isleworth Crown Court next Tuesday

This is the first picture of teacher Kato Harris who has appeared in court accused of repeatedly raping an underage girl.

Yesterday, 12:53
Victims of the contaminated blood scandal: (left) Nick Hirsch, (right, from top) Clair Walton and her late husband, Colette Wintle and Mark Ward

Timetable for settlement on NHS scandal has slipped yet again say campaigners - as they wait to see if cash is allocated in chancellor’s autumn spending review

Yesterday, 08:46
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines to save £11million

‘While a new website would be welcome, this should not be done at the cost of frontline cuts’ says fire resources committee chief

Tue, 18:01
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The two young men from Kentish Town who left the UK to fight for Islamic State (IS) in Syria are former pupils of Acland Burghley School.

Tue, 16:46
The government says the HPV vaccine is safe and will protect against deaths from cervical cancer

East Finchley mother accuses pharmaceutical industry and government of ‘ignoring generation of sick girls’ as European Medicines Agency finds no link between illnesses and cervical cancer jab

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder