New Hampstead neighbourhood forum will be ‘force to be reckoned with’ for planners

Flask Walk in Hampstead

Flask Walk in Hampstead - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A campaign to create a community group with powers to help shape planning policy in Hampstead was launched this week.

Hampstead residents are hoping to follow the lead of their counterparts in Highgate, Dartmouth Park and other areas by setting up a “neighbourhood forum” – which campaigners say could become a “force to be reckoned with”.

Under the Localism Act, which came into effect in April 2012, neighbourhood forums can draw up planning documents that councils must take into consideration, potentially including guidance on controversial planning issues like basement excavation.

Janine Griffis, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “We need to consult with everyone within the proposed boundary of the forum and then we will apply to become a forum.

“Once we have that designation from Camden, then we can go about making a plan for Hampstead.

“The Localism Act allows local people to write their own plan that sits alongside Camden’s strategic documents. It could be about anything from what new developments should look like to protecting local trees and features, to strengthening guidance that already exists and giving it greater weight – guidance, for instance, on basements.”

She added: “We will be a force of local people to reckon with.”

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