Following my earlier posts about the proposed Finsbury Park Neighbourhood Forum (linked via tag), a formal application has now been lodged to Islington, Haringey and Hackney councils.
Whilst Islington wil apparently be the lead council, Haringey are acting as a partner and will be running a local consultation.
Neighbourhood forums are set up by local residents but are given an official status and have a strong influenced over local planning and development. Given that part of the ward of Harringay is included in the boundaries of the area proposed by our neighbours, it is in our interest to consider the issues and get involved on the consultation.
Unfortunately, the email I got about this form the Council included a link to a page on their website which was supposed to include all documentation relating to the application, but didn't. It gave two phone numbers, the first of which is for an officer away on holiday and the second of which I've left a message on but have yet to hear back. My email to the officer who sent the email enquiring after the documents has received no reply. Not a great start Haringey.
Having said that, there is some documentation out there on the web:
Whilst the Haringey page doesn't yet include what it is supposed to, it does contain some useful general explanation about neighbourhood forums and links to other material.
I'm attaching what documentation I've been able to find by using a Google search of the Islington Council website (as you can see from their web page, they don't offer them as being available online, but only for viewing in person). Three are attached to this original post. A further three are attached to my comment that follows and one that is to big for either is available on my Amazon server at https://hgyol.in/2GgKuZU.
The consultation is running from 14th May to 25 June. I will ask the LCSP to cover this issue at their next meeting on 14th June.
Further attachments as described above.
Thanks for this Hugh
The lack of supporting documentation is just not on. The consultation and the manner in which it is carried out is governed by statute and failing to abide by both the statutory guidance and the local statement of community involvement risks invalidating the entire exercise.
If we did a neighbourhood forum that included "all of Harringay" it would overlap with theirs... how is that fair?
Looking at the map of the proposed area it seem that Endymion Road is excluded as is Rowley Gardens Estate on Green Lanes. Residents directly overlook Finsbury Park but will be excluded from the forum while people living way over at Hornsey Road will have a say on future developments and activities in the park. Just for this reason I can’t see how the proposal can be supported.
Michael, I was wondering (and you might know) will the neighbourhood forum have access the finances of the Finsbury Park festival cash cow?
Not as far as I know. They would have influence on how it is spent though if it’s used to fund things that require planning permission or are subject to plans or strategies.
I've now had a chance to skim the boundary survey publication and it seems that the Friends of Finsbury Park are involved in the group proposing the forum and are having a significant influence in the shape of the boundary. The following section is included in the survey report:
Friends of Finsbury Park Management Committee, in a blog post dated 16 August 2017: “The committee felt strongly that the whole of the Park should be included within the Neighbourhood Area. The Park is managed as a whole, and planning policies should be applied consistently across the entire area. Being designated in a Neighbourhood Plan could also offer an extra layer of protection to the Park – above and beyond the planning designation of Metropolitan Open Land that the Park benefits from. Two of our Management Committee members are actively involved in the preparation of the Plan.”
Another rationale given for including the park is as follows:
Given that the neighbourhood and open space are both called Finsbury Park, it would be incongruous for the Neighbourhood Area to include one but not the other.
For me the second point can be dimissed as risible. The first sounds like a serious attempt by FoFP to find another institution to act as a bulwark against Haringey Council's frustrating their aspirations for the park. As far as "planning policies..be(ing) applied consistently across the entire area" is concerned, the statement is inaccurate. The consistency would be only with the areas to the south and west of the park since the residents of those areas would be the ones who held sway. It would only be consistent with the areas to the east and north by their grace.
In one of the documents linked to on the Haringey webpage I mentioned in my original post, we read the following:
It is up to the Neighbourhood Forum to decide what issues and policies will be included in their plan. These could include housing, town centre, open space or recreation policies.
When adopted, a neighbourhood development plan will form part of Haringey’s local planning framework and will be used when considering planning applications.
If the local people of Finsbury Park and Stroud Green want a neighbourhood forum, more power to their elbow, but the park itself is part of Harringay and part of Manor House/Woodberry Down as well as being part of Stroud Green and Finsbury Park. It is also a shared asset for a much wider area and ought not to be subject to the particular interests of a narrow area-based group. I wouldn't expect the park to be included in a Harringay Neighbourhood Forum and I don't expect it to be included in a Finsbury Park one.
Hugh I absolutely agree with the points you make in your final paragraph. I'm only just looking into the proposals thanks to your post. The proposed boundary to include the park is not acceptable in my view and I intend to object subject to a bit more reading round all this. A logical boundary might have at least broadly followed the N4 Finsbury Park postcode but to not include any roads beyond the north east fence lines is pretty outrageous.
There's a bit to read! Personally I don't mind north of the park not being included. It is after all a Finsbury Park & Stroud Green Forum.
I think your final point is especially relevant. The park is an asset that serves people living in a huge radius from it. I would be unhappy to see legal status being given to a group that has no connection with and gives no voice to the thousands of residents to the north, east and south east of the park.
It would be interesting to see what crossover there is between those involved in the Friends of Finsbury Park group and this proposed forum. There is of course nothing wrong with people being involved in both but it would give an indication of the kinds of policies the forum would want to see applied to the park.
Didn't the original boundary proposal include a few rungs of the ladder and hermitage road? Which would have surrounded the park to some degree but as I recall it always had a bias toward Holloway Road.
I think the fundamental problem is the inclusion of the Park. To include it should mean the the forum area is much larger to include all those with an interest in the Park but that would undermine it being a Stroud Green centred organisation. The only sensible option I can think of is excluding the Park all together