People in West Kentish Town have been calling for a plan for the neighbourhood for some time (see here) and there is a growing realisation that the best way to achieve this could be a Neighbourhood Plan as defined by the Localism Act of 2011.
A Neighbourhood Forum is prerequisite for drafting a Neighbourhood Plan.
To meet legal requirements, a neighbourhood forum must have:
• an express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area concerned;
• a purpose that reflects the character of the area in general terms;
• a membership open to people living and working in the area, and elected members for the area (reasonable steps must be taken to secure at least one of each);
• a minimum of 21 members from the above groups;
• a membership drawn from different places in the area and different sections of the community.
West Kentish Town Neighbourhood Forum has now been set up and has prepared its Constitution, with the following agreed objectives to:
a) Enable the participation and involvement of all who live or work in the Neighbourhood Area in the preparation, production and implementation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan.
b) Protect and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Neighbourhood Area for the benefit of individuals living, working, training and attending school within the Neighbourhood Area, and local businesses.
c) Encourage imaginative and environmentally regenerative proposals to support planning and development appropriate to the diverse nature of the Neighbourhood Area. Foster community spirit, encourage civic engagement and support activities that address the climate and ecological emergency.
d) Address issues of local concern involving and including housing, schools, amenities, workspaces, businesses, community facilities and safety the Neighbourhood Area and to promote high standards of town planning, urban design and architecture. By
- Prioritising the development of means by which to support and protect existing workspaces, market, services, shops and businesses and having, at its core, the needs and interests of those businesses that remain affordable to those in the community.
- Promoting methods by which to protect existing businesses in the event of a pandemic or similar event.
- Defending the interests of the current residents of the neighbourhood against housing and community degeneration, ensuring the neighbourhood remains an affordable, dignified and welcoming environment for the people and families living in the area.
e) Devise a comprehensive strategy for the management, protection and integration of West Kentish Town Conservation Area in the context of the wider neighbourhood. Ensuring the quality and appropriateness of development and design across the Neighbourhood Area as a whole, with respect to its various character areas, extending some of the principles applied to the conservation area.
Further to discussion with members it has been decided to change the name of the forum to West Kentish Town and Gospel Oak Neighbourhood Forum, to better reflect the identity of the area.
If you interested in finding out more about developing a neighbourhood plan for West Kentish Town, please email email@example.com.