I’m very pleased that Hampstead will be the next Conservation Area statement to be updated by Camden Council: ensuring that the area’s character and heritage is afforded the best possible protection.
The Conservation Area statement details the character of the area, which must be ‘preserved and enhanced’ by developments in Hampstead. This means that developments that undermine the character can be rejected.
However, to ensure this can bind developers, it must be kept up-to-date, while it hadn’t been updated since 2001 (and had a number of factual errors in it).
Moreover, the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan – which further protects the interests of the area – is designed to rely on the Conservation Area statement as part of its evidence base. An out-of-date Conservation Area statement would hinder the implementation of the plan.
I have raised this issue with officers, as have Cllrs Stephen Stark and Siobhan Baillie, on a number of occasions. We even examined using Community Infrastructure Levy funding to expedite it.
However, I am delighted that officers accepted the urgency and will do it immediately without needing a CIL contribution.
A draft new Conservation Area statement will be sent to the Hampstead Forum and the Conservation Area Advisory Committee for feedback in a month, will be put to consultation over the summer, and could be in place by the autumn: in time for the Neighbourhood Plan.
For more about my campaign to oppose over-development, click here.