Apologies for the hiatus in news, but after a post-referendum summer break we have been busy developing the future work of the Neighbourhood Forum. We are committed to ensure that Highgate benefits from the opportunities offered by the Localism Act and has access to the powers and funds offered by the ongoing role of the Forum. We are one of hundreds of Neighbourhood Forums around the country, a powerful community-driven movement to put people at the centre of changes and developments in their area.
The Highgate Neighbourhood Plan, written by the community, has now been adopted by the Camden and Haringey Councils to form part of the statutory planning process and has already informed some planning decisions. We have had useful meetings with both councils to develop our working relationships and learn about other initiatives that might benefit the area. In particular we are keen to ensure that the councils continue to work together providing joined-up policies and processes that work for the area as a whole including issues around parking and transport.
A key and unique benefit of a Neighbourhood Forum is access to a percentage of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – a charge by the council on any development in the area. The funds already collected in Haringey are substantial while Camden are awaiting suitable projects to come forward. We can spend these funds on our CIL list as suggested and prioritised by the community and are working to push forward a project that would provide a play amenities at a number of sites.
Other initiatives we are developing are those around improving transport links across Highgate, looking at a number of green initiatives and developing a tourist strategy for Highgate that will attract visitors to our great cultural organisations, pubs and green spaces and support our local businesses.
As a relatively new organisation, run by volunteers, we want to ensure the community has access to information about change in the area and opportunities to participate in initiatives that they feel passionate about. So please let us know if you would like to support for a local project and look out for calls for participants as we develop and announce more about our work.
Chair, Highgate Neighbourhood Forum