FROM transforming a redundant Petrol Station into a community grazing green – or perhaps a new business hub – to reducing traffic in the area, the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum has drawn up a wish list of projects that could become reality under new plans.
After three years of research and development the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum were pleased to present their First Draft Plan at their AGM last night.
There was an excellent turnout at the Highgate Library Civic and Cultural Centre. The Forum were supported by Councillors, Sian Berry, Sally Gimson and Oliver Lewis.
Sian Berry has offered advice throughout the process, attending meetings and contributing to the development of the Plan.
The evening was introduced by Ellen Gates, Chair DPNF, who opened the session with “I’m pleased to say that we have a plan!”
Gates went on to explain the how the committee had tackled the process of gathering information and then developed policies that considered the issues that the community felt strongly about.
Director of make:good, Catherine Grieg, who undertook the recent grant funded engagement programme in the area, presented their work that had been guided by the Forum. Local resident, Jon Levy, questioned the reduction of provision for Young People in Camden and the controversial HNCC development. He later wrote to the Forum about his concerns: ‘The immediate community around HNCC has voiced overwhelming displeasure and objections to the scheme.’ wrote Levy. ‘These community views have been ignored by the developers and the architect himself has rejected any criticism of a project that is doomed to bring 36 additional private houses onto council land without a single affordable home.’
Ellen explained that this was a first draft and that it was important for the community to sense check and comment on the content to ensure that the policies best represented public feeling going forward. ‘We now need your feedback and endorsement to help us through to the next stages of producing the Plan for our neighbourhood.’ she said, directing people to feedback via the website or by leaving comments at Truffles Deli in York Rise.
Ben Castell went through the draft policies touching briefly on each and directing the audience to the read the plan summary and the full draft plan that can be downloaded from the DPNF website. Chris Harrison introduced specific neighbourhood sites that anticipated major changes over the next few years; these include the Mansfield Bowling Site, the ASF Garage on Highgate Road, Swains Lane and Murphy’s HQ opposite Gospel Oak Station; and Kay Hughes described key projects that would protect and enhance green corridors, pocket parks and gardens, cycle routes and main transit routes.
The evening concluded with an imaginative approach to the ASF Garage site, proposing that the land originally belonged to the community and should return as a protected ‘green’ space – with the potential to be redesigned as a business hub to relocate creative industries from Highgate Studios to Dartmouth Park. Proposals were described by Ilona Hay, texere studio, and Michael Pawlyn, Exploration Architecture.
Texere Studio’s proposal show the petrol station canopy as a green roof with aerial walkways connecting into the green space below. The space under the canopy could be used for various beneficial purposes such as a farmers market.
Exploration Architecture’s scheme envisaged removing the garage and rerouting vehicle access to Denyer House so that the green space could be continuous from the railway arches all the way to Chetwynd Road. Integrated into the landscape with green roofs, starter units for small businesses would be grouped around a glazed courtyard.
Comments on both proposals would be welcomed and will inform the way the ideas are developed.