The Highgate Neighbourhood Plan, prepared by local people and backed by the local councils of Haringey and Camden, has received the approval of the official examiner. This means it will go to a referendum of Highgate residents to be held on June 29.
The Plan has a specific section on the Highgate Bowl which should provide it with more protection as open land. The wording states ‘development offers the opportunity to secure the area as open space’. While the plan envisages some development within the yards which adjoin the Bowl, it makes clear that any proposal must ensure that the open character of the Bowl is maintained’.
This provides more protection than we currently enjoy and it is important that as many people as possible vote in favour of the plan on June 29th. Full details on http://www.forhighgate.org
We have published our first annual report covering our activities since we received charitable status.
You can download it via the following link.
Chairman’s shorter report 2014-6
Our Bowl project has been voted the fourth ‘high priority’ project in the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum’s poll of potential Community Infrastructure spending projects. You can find out more and add supportive comments at http://www.highgateneighbourhoodforum.org.uk/plan/cil-list/
Following all sorts of discussions and visits to other sites which preserve urban open land for the community , we have fleshed out our vision, spelling it out in more detail, and suggesting various options. The result is set out on our Vision page. But it’s still a work in progress and we would welcome your comments -what you like and what you don’t.
More than 100 people signed up to support the Friends of the Bowl and receive further information at the Friends stall at the Fair in the Square in Pond Square on Saturday June 13th. At the stall we gave out leaflets, and also offered biscuits and chocolate lollies specially prepared by Monica Martini, one of our trustees.
Monica, who organised the stall, said “There was tremendous interest and it was sustained throughout the day. With the help of maps and pictures we explained exactly where the Bowl was and why we believe it is so important to keep this unique piece of land as open space. People could see the point immediately.We were delighted by the response from all ages and we will be following up on the contacts we have been given.”
Our new MP has given her backing to our efforts to preserve the Highgate Bowl as open space. Catherine West, the newly-elected MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, whose constituency covers much of Highgate and includes the Bowl, set out her support in her first public engagement – at the AGM of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum on May 12th.
She described the initiatives being taken in Highgate as ‘exciting’ and compared the efforts to preserve the Bowl with the legacy of Sir Sidney Waterlow, the nineteenth century Mayor of London who left his garden in the centre of Highgate, now Waterlow Park, for public enjoyment as ‘a garden for the gardenless’.
Ms West, a Labour MP, said that while housing was one of her priorities, it was important to preserve our precious urban green spaces.
The Friends of the Highgate Bowl has launched its own website, www.highgatebowl.org as part of its campaign.
Martin Adeney, Chairman of the Trustees, said “We hope the site will demonstrate just why we want to preserve this unique and historic green oasis in the middle of Highgate for generations to come. We have set out a clear framework of how we want to use the land, ensuring it remains as open space and providing public access. We are having discussions with different groups including local schools. But within that there is scope for lots of different ideas. We look forward to people’s suggestions”.
“As for raising the money; in due course we shall be embarking on major fund-raising, and seeking pledges. We already have some significant interest but obviously are looking for much more”.
This Site Allocations DPD (PDF, 9MB) sets out sites where Haringey council expects significant developments to happen between now and 2026, along with a broad idea of what kind of buildings could be built there.
The plan suggests that Highgate Bowl should be zoned as significant local open land (SLOL), which is great news for us.
These significant developments aim to help meet Haringey’s housing demand and create new employment space and jobs, as well as taking advantage of huge infrastructure improvements like Crossrail 2. The sites were selected from previously published planning strategies, responses to consultations, analysing updated data, and meetings with other public sector bodies
By being included in this document, it does not mean that development will definitely happen – it simply means the council believes that new buildings could be built on those pieces of land to meet the long-term needs of the borough. Any proposals would be subject to the normal planning process and public consultation.
View our response to the Haringey site allocation plan.
Friends of the Highgate Bowl has sent in a response to the Highgate Neighbourhood Plan consultation. It covers the contribution we see the Bowl making to the future of Highgate. Read our submission below:
I am commenting as he Chairman of the Friends of the Highgate Bowl, the charity set up to purchase open land in the Bowl with the intention of keeping it as open land and to use it as an environmental learning centre for the local community with links to schools and also adult training in horticulture and local ecology.
The plan’s policy (KA3) does not commit strongly enough to keeping the current open land in the Bowl as open space. It is too focused on development opportunities in (we hope) other areas of the Bowl and while talking about footpaths and protecting the SINC designation which refers to a particular, more narrowly defined area, it does not categorically talk of preserving the open land. This should be included as one of the bullet points. – Martin Adeney