A neighbourhood plan can cover a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues, although it is officially a planning document (that the Council will have to take account of when making decisions) so will focus on issues that come up in a planning context. Some examples are:
- what sort of development should be allowed in the area, and where;
- should particular sites be allocated for particular types of development;
- whether we need more open space;
- whether we need more affordable housing or accommodation for the elderly; and
- whether we need additional community facilities and, if so, what activities should be catered for.
Some neighbourhood plans also include non-planning issues and we may wish to as well. Such issues could include:
- what can we do about litter in the area?
- how do we stop anti-social behaviour?
- how can we make existing buildings in the area more energy efficient?
- can we get Boris bikes in the neighbourhood?
Let us know your thoughts on any of these matters.
We are now starting to draft our Neighbourhood Plan. To do this, we are setting up five working groups, one for each of the main themes that have emerged as priorities in our community engagement so far. These are:
- HOUSING AND DESIGN: a neighbourhood that is predominately residential, characterised by a rich variety of architectural styles and increasingly energy-efficient housing for people of all means;
- COMMUNITY: a neighbourhood that has a strong community feel, encompassing a wide mix of social groups, and supported by first-class community services;
- LOCAL CENTRES: a neighbourhood that has thriving local centres and is served by a wide range of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs;
- ENVIRONMENT: a neighbourhood that is leafy with treasured green and open spaces and wide, tree-lined roads, giving a semi-rural or village feel;
- STREETS AND TRANSPORT: a neighbourhood that is well-connected both to neighbouring areas and to central London by excellent public transport, walking and cycling links.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come and see us at the AGM, if you would like to get involved in one or more of these groups to help shape the future of our neighbourhood.
The Forum has an organising committee of volunteers who live or work in the area. The committee for the next year will be elected at the AGM and we are keen to receive nominations. If you would like to put yourself forward, please email us before the end of April 2014 at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from anybody who has something to offer, particularly if you live in the Highgate Newtown area or west of Highgate Road. (You can see a map of the Forum’s boundary here)