Category Archives: General meetings

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.

We have a plan! First Draft Plan Published at AGM

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.

jessicaAfter three years of research and development the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum were pleased to present their First Draft Plan at their AGM last night.


Sian Berry demonstrates her multimedia skills by photographing, tweeting and commenting on the evening’s events

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.’

policiesEllen 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.


Local Architect, Ilona Hay of texere studio, presented a whimsical vision of the ASF Garage site reimagined as a grazing landscape and community Green

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.

Base Master Plan with Parking Path

A plan view of the ASF Garage site transformed in to a green roofed and glazed business hub, presented by Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architects