Category Archives: Neighbourhood plan

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

Engagement : Business Drop In

Over the course of the project make:good will be dropping in on businesses across the Dartmouth Area to find out what their priorities are for the future of the area and for their businesses.

On their first drop in make:good spoke to a number of businesses along Highgate Road and York Rise. All the businesses they spoke to want to encourage more footfall to the area and their ideas for doing this ranged from:

-Having more office spaces in the area so there is more daytime economy during the week which supports the businesses

-Creating a theme/ brand for the shops that makes it a destination

-Creating walking routes/ maps or an app about the Dartmouth Park that encourages walks through the streets with shops

-Creating more social spaces (benches) for people to stay on the streets with shops longer

-Designing places for young people to enjoy along streets with shops so they can support the businesses after school hours

make:good will continue to speak to businesses in the area. If you have not heard from them yet then please contact them on or call on: 0203 735 7629


Closure of Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve

Children from Gospel Oak School the Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve

Children from Gospel Oak School visit the Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve

Members of the DPNF are working with local groups to help save the Mark Fitzpatrick / Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve from being sold as a development plot.

The site – established and maintained by local residents Jeanne Pendrill and Terry Reynolds – has been used by local children and community groups for nearly 30 years. It became an Asset of Community Value after an application was made by committee member, Jessica Jacobs.

“The Mortimer Terrace Nature Reserve holds a symbolic and spiritual significance associated with appreciating and nurturing inner city natural environments.” explains Jacobs. “The reserve also plays a vital role in preserving the incredible diversity of wildlife in Camden, as well as forging community links and networks and providing a safe space for environmental education for our next generation of Camden citizens.”

Historically,  the land was reserved as a buffer between Victorian housing on Gordon House Road and the railway and designed to contain trees that protected the community from pollution caused by rail transport. It was saved from development in 1987 when building contractors Mark Fitzpatrick agreed to sign a 10 year lease allowing the local community to create a vital nature reserve and biodiversity corridor.

Over the years the site has been used by school groups from across Camden while at the time of closure last month it was being visited on a weekly basis by children from Gospel Oak Primary school.

Reception teacher, Nicola Rowell described how much she enjoyed bringing children to the site, ” I loved it there, it provided a unique setting for the children and a safe arena for interacting with the environment”.

Jeanne, Terry and Jo Mould of the London Wildlife Trust, met with the current owners last week to request access to help maintain the land while its future is undecided but access was denied by the owners citing legal and insurance issues.

Update 23/10/2015 Jeanne and Terry believe they will be granted access to the site in order to help maintain the reserve. If access is allowed they will act to resume school visits via the gate at Heathview.