I’ve written to Camden to back the redesignation of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum and its sibling to the west, the Redington Frognal Neighbourhood Forum.

By law, neighbourhood fora must be ‘redesignated’ every five years to ensure they retain support and relevance. You can read my submission here.

Neighbourhood fora are responsible for Neighbourhood Plans, which are phenomenally helpful tools to help preserve the best of the character of a local community. They outline what local communities themselves want to see happen locally. And they bind councils, so they give local councillors extra power to turn down bad applications.

Sitting on the Planning Committee, I have been able to cite Neighbourhood Plans a number of times. This has meant fewer bad developments and more good ones.

As well as developing the Plans, the fora are invaluable assets in evaluating proposals and giving feedback on them.

They have also assisted councillors in both Hampstead Town and Frognal & Fitzjohns to allocate local Community Infrastructure Levy funding. This model is not followed anywhere else in Camden and ensures the monies are spent on things that local residents want.