Author Archives: Kelly Pawlyn

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.



Wasn’t sure if you have heard – we just found out this morning that the site is already up for auction on right move – even though it is an asset of community value – we’ve asked Camden to respond but they haven’t yet.

We are gathering on Sunday for photographs for local newspapers. Come along and find out more. Event details below. Bring a sign or banner!

For more information check out our Facebook page and Twitter @NatureTerrace


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