Author Archives: Kelly Pawlyn

Press Release The Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum Dated: 26 May 2020

The Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum (DPNF) is the 4th in Camden[1] to have developed and obtained approval of it’s neighbourhood plan (Note 1). It was formally adopted on 2 March 2020, after a referendum in which 87.9% of the votes cast were in favour. It will now guide decisions on planning applications in the area.

The outgoing Chair of DPNF, Ben Castell said: “I am delighted that we have succeeded in articulating through the Neighbourhood Plan what the community would like to see in terms of this beautiful area, with its rich heritage, its socially diverse community, and its commitment to sustainability.  Along with the committee and other supporters, we worked hard to engage the community to develop a clear idea of a vision and priorities for the area, and to develop proposals and now policies that will help shape the area over the next few years. [For me, what was most satisfying was the level of active participation by so many to shape this plan, making it a meaningful and important part of Camden’s planning policies.”

A new Committee has been formed following the AGM in February, and the new Chair and Vice Chair are in place along with two sub-groups (see Note 4).

The new DPNF Chair, Maya de Souza, states: “I am excited to take on this role, working with a group of talented and knowledgeable local residents in leading the Forum into the next phase. I am keen to see DPNF as a community body make a valuable contribution to the area in terms of planning and development. It also has an important role in shaping local projects and help put Community Infrastructure Levy funds to good use.  We have many challenges to take on board including: as to housing and provision of facilities suitable for residents taking on board age, income and other characteristics, safeguarding the heritage of the locality, and enhancing the sustainability of the area. We are committed to fully involve residents and local businesses, work with elected councillors, and build partnerships with existing groups to do so. On behalf of the committee, I’d like to invite anyone to get in touch who would like to be involved”.

DPNF Vice Chair, Valerie Doulton said, “I am pleased to continue taking part in this important endeavour, and look forward to working with the Committee and local residents. I’d like to extend my thanks to former DPNF Chairs, Ben Castell, Ellen Gates and Kay Hughes, as well as previous committee members and supporters for their tireless work to bring this challenging first phase of DPNF to a successful conclusion.”.

Recently, the DPNF has contributed to a number of key decisions with success.

  • Highgate Newtown Community Centre – Demolition Management Plan: this was submitted by the contractor in March, but plans for community engagement were cancelled because of the lockdown. The DPNF committee submitted a request for an extension of time for the consultation on the plan as well as detailed comments pointing out strong concerns relating to nuisance to neighbours in the lockdown period and safety concerns as to the heavy movement of trucks on Bertram Street, which would result from the proposed plan. The Council has now agreed a an extension of the consultation until 31 May, and DPNF urges all to respond and make their views known.  A working group meeting has been set up for Thursday 28 May 6.30-7.30pm. Residents are encouraged to email if interested in attending.

“The DPNF is eager to ensure Dartmouth Park residents are treated with the utmost care, respect and safety during this development phase, andnd that their ordinary lives are not seriously disrupted. We’d encourage all those affected to put in a response to the consultation by 31 May,” states Ellen Gates, member of the Planning & Development sub-group.

  • Haddo House: 5G Mast Application

DPNF submitted comments to oppose the plan to install new equipment on this iconic building with “unusual features that give it distinctiveness and flair”. The equipment would be tall and bulky, affecting the clear lines of the building.

  • Dartmouth Arms – Asset of Community Value

DPNF’s application for the Dartmouth Arms registration as an Asset of Community Value to continue has been successful.


1. The Referendum version of the Plan is here

2. The vision of the area as set out in the Plan is as follows:

This Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Plan seeks to ensure that Dartmouth Park is a vibrant neighbourhood with a balanced and diverse community, with thriving local centres, excellent connectivity with the rest of London and increasing opportunities for pleasant and safe active travel. While welcoming sustainable development that provides new jobs and needed housing, the people of Dartmouth Park wish to ensure that the area’s village character, rich architectural heritage, attractive green streets, open spaces and natural environment are not only maintained but enhanced.

3. Priorities & Objectives

The following Objectives are designed to help us achieve our Vision for Dartmouth Park:

Design and Character  Ensure a neighbourhood that is predominantly residential, characterised by a rich variety of architectural styles and excellent design.  
Housing Community  Provide a mix of housing for people of all means.  
Neighbourhood Centres and Employment  Create a neighbourhood that has a strong community feel, encompasses a wide mix of social groups, and is supported by first-class community services. Ensure the neighbourhood has thriving local centres and is served by a wide range of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs
Environment and Sustainability  Retain the neighbourhood’s leafy feel, with treasured green and open spaces and wide, tree-lined roads giving a village feel, and contribute to addressing issues of climate change and air quality.  
Transport and Streets  Ensure the neighbourhood is well-connected both to neighbouring areas and to central London by excellent walking and cycling links and public transport.  

4. A new committee has been elected – Nick Bradfield, Ben Castell, Maya de Souza, Valerie Doulton, Ellen Gates, Ilona Hay, Jessica Jacobs, Sue King, J-J Lorraine,

Kathleen Molnar, Emily O’Mara, Catharine Wells, Eileen Willmott.

The new Chair is Maya De Souza and Deputy Chair is Valerie Doulton.

5. Structure

The sub committees include – 

  • Planning & Development Sub-Group
  • Projects Sub-Group

Please Contact –

Kathleen Molnar, Communications Lead, DPNF

07973 510 866

[1] Fortune Green and West Hampstead, Kentish Town, Hampstead, Dartmouth Park

DPNF UPDATE : AGM 21 Jan 2020 / Referendum 6 Feb 2020

Read the version of the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Plan that is subject to the local referendum on 6 February 2020 here



Annual General Meeting, 21 January, 7pm for 7.30pm.

Please come to our AGM at the Highgate Library Civic and Cultural Centre on Croftdown Road. We will update on what’s in the Neighbourhood Plan and hear from invited speakers.  More details to follow.

We would love some new faces to put themselves forward to join our committee.  Contact us at if you would like to put yourself forward or to find out more.

What has the Neighbourhood Forum been doing in 2019?

2019 has been a year with lots of work behind the scenes for the Neighbourhood Forum, getting our Neighbourhood Plan ready for the local referendum.  After consulting on a draft of the Plan in 2018, we made some changes in response to comments received and submitted it to Camden Council in January 2019, along with a number of other documents such as a Consultation Statement.  You can see these on our website –

An independent examination of the Plan took place between  April and July.  This involved another round of consultation and resulted in the Examiner approving the Plan to proceed to a referendum subject to some minor amendments.  We made the suggested changes and the Council signed them off in September.  Details of this process can be viewed on Camden’s website.   

What is a Neighbourhood Plan and why we should have one in Dartmouth Park?

Neighbourhood Plans are the most localised level of the planning system. They generally cover quite small areas, such as wards or parishes. They give communities a say in how their local areas are planned and how planning policies should be applied.  They are mainly intended to be used in making planning decisions. When a development or change is proposed in Dartmouth Park, Camden Council will have to refer to the Neighbourhood Plan and check whether proposals are in keeping with policies the community has developed. The policies in the plan will in general apply for the next 15 years.

The Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared by us, a group of local volunteers, over a number of years.  If it passes referendum, the views of local people, as expressed in the Plan, will directly influence any changes in our area, including on potentially major development sites like Murphys Yard, Highgate Newtown Community Centre and Mansfield Bowls Club, should new proposals come forward.

Our Plan is mostly concerned with making sure that any development – large or small – maintains the special character of the area.

Read the plan here.

Why and when are we having a referendum?

A Neighbourhood Plan only has any weight if it has passed a local referendum with over half of votes cast.

We were all set to hold the local referendum in early December but this was delayed by the General Election.

The new date is Thursday 6th February, with polling stations at Highgate Road Chapel (Chetwynd Road) and Highgate Library Civic and Cultural Centre (Croftdown Road).  If you live in the Neighbourhood Area, you should receive a polling card early in January.

Other news: what else is going on?Camden Council’s Kentish Town Planning Framework is out for final consultation now.  It sets out their expectations for future development on Murphys Yard and also Regis Road (which is not in the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum area).  Please take a look and give your views to the Council by 29 January 2020.In the meantime, Murphys are preparing their own planning application.  The designs that they showed at exhibitions included several tall towers.  We will continue to engage with them to ensure that the final scheme fits well into the surrounding neighbourhoods and has an appropriate mix of uses, including genuinely affordable housing. Murphys have a website to explain all, here. It’s great to see the new shops fitting out on Swains Lane. The Swains Lane Retail Forum has worked hard to attract the type of independent traders that many local people want to see. 
Happy new year to all our neighbours! We hope to see you at our AGM and please don’t forget to vote on 6 February.
Copyright © 2019 Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum, All rights reserved.

Zoning Barbecues in Waterlow Park

Waterlow Park is enjoyed by many visitors, both local and from afar, who come for a wide range of reasons from dog walking, to sporting activities, walking and enjoying the views or perhaps to visit historic Lauderdale House and its cafe, or Lux; a major European centre for moving image artists. Another reason groups of people may come to the park in summer is to have a barbecue, as it is one of the few public places in London where this is allowed.

Waterlow Park was even given the ‘top slot’ in a Time Out ranking a year or so back for BBQs. The growing popularity of the park as a BBQ venue led to problems with groups of people scattered all over the park, so for a couple of years it was impossible to get away from the accompanying smoke and smells that BBQs generate.

To deal with what had become a problem the Waterlow Park Trust approved the zoning of BBQs in 2019, restricting them to two areas to the south of the middle pond and away from the main meadow, Lauderdale House and the tennis courts. This meant that during last summer it was in principal possible to visit and enjoy the park without having to dodge the smoke in the same way as before. There were some teething difficulties introducing the new regime, but by and large it seems to have worked as the weeks went by.

The Waterlow Park Trust have just set up a Working Party to look at issues surrounding BBQs and make recommendations for the 2020 season and now want to hear your feedback.

Do you feel that the new zoned approach is working? What has been your experience in 2019 compared to previous years? Can you think how things might be further improved for park visitors? What if there were a fixed communal BBQ structure to reduce the number of people bringing their own? Any ideas and comments would be appreciated.

Please give your feedback as soon as possible by visiting the contact page on the Waterlow Park Trust website.