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.
I got a response from Haringey today with a link to a new web page - http://www.haringey.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning/p...Now it’s up, it’s avtually much better that what Islington offer.
Along with the ward councillors for Stroud Green, Harringay councillors have been formally asked for their views. I looked at the documentation and map today and agree that this is fundamentally about the park. Or at least, that is what it looks like given the red lines. That worries me. I think these neighbourhood plans and the implications are quite hard to grasp, so I have asked for a meeting with planning with ward councillors. I think a local meeting about this would also be good because these plans have implications for planning decisions and use of s106 funding if I am not mistaken. I am sure Michael A will correct me on this.
Anyway, please let me know if you think this would be a good idea and I will get on with it - liaising of course with the LCSP.
Cllr, Harringay Ward
Thanks for your interest, Zena. Any other local interest you can encourage / lead would be most welcome.
Hello Harringay folk
Ben Myring here. I'm a Stroud Green resident and a member of the Working Group for the FPSG Neighbourhood Forum.
As some of you will recall, we worked hard to define the boundary of the Neighbourhood area by local consultation, and that led to the exclusion of areas to the east of the park, and ultimately to the exclusion of the streets immediately north of it too. I was rather impressed at the mobilisation of people on this site to achieve those exclusions!
As for the park itself - the reason for including it as a whole was because that was the express desire of the Friends of Finsbury Park. I will ask the Friends to further explain their thinking here. I understand (though may be mistaken) that they were unsure about supporting our proposals unless we included all of the park.
I would add a few thoughts of my own that may help to clarify the situation:
1) Members of the Friends of Finsbury Park, regardless of where they live, will have influence on FSPGNF as we expect them to be an affiliate member of the Forum. That would be less true of the park were excluded!
2) FPSGNF is formally committed to co-operating with neighbouring Neighbourhood Forums - as I've suggested here before it might be advisable for you to get one off the ground in Harringay. We're already starting to develop links with existing Forums.
3) As the park is Metropolitan Open Land there's a limited amount of influence that a Neighbourhood Plan will be able to have over the park itself, though as Hugh notes it is common practice to include MOL in these applications. For those above suggesting that our work to establish the Neighbourhood forum is 'about the park' I'm happy to say that our aims are much broader. They are set out here: http://finsburyparkstroudgreen.com/
Happy to answer any questions.
Ben Myring on behalf of FPSG.
Hi Ben, Thanks for joining in the debate. As I've said above, I'm fully supportive of the FP&SG NF as a concept. Where our views diverge however are on the inclusion of the park.
The NF's position is that it consulted widely on the boundaries and on that basis, included the park. I'm glad you listened to voices this side of the park and dropped initial ideas of including some of the streets of Harringay. You did that, you say because people this side didn't feel part of your area. However, like with people the other side of the park, people this side feel that the park is part of their area. Yet you've included all of it, despite the views that people this side have expressed.
The park itself has not expressed an opinion. People both sides of it have, but the boundary as far as the park is concerned seems, to ignore the views of those this side of the park completely.
At one point in your survey report, your group says that it would be unthinkable to have an FP&SG forum without the park, can you imagine how untenable it might be to have a significant chunk of our ward sliced off for governance by another neighbourhood?
If as you say, there's a limited amount of influence that a Neighbourhood Plan will be able to have over the park itself, I hope that for most of the NF members, there will be a willingness to reconsider the evidence it gathered during the boundary survey and think again about the advisability of including the park.
Thanks for your constructive comments Hugh.
"The park itself has not expressed an opinion" - no, but i think the Friends are the closest thing to that wondrous yet unsentient landform being able to express a view. I'll let them explain their thinking further.
Fair point. Having said that, the view of FoFP cannot be taken to be broadly representative whereas the results delivered by the significant amount of hard work you put into the survey can be said to be so.
Hugh makes some very good points here.
Ben, thanks for clarifying. So, the findings of the boundary consultation and the wishes of residents in neighbouring areas have been ignored primarily to maintain a closer association with the FoFP? That's not really a good start and I hope you are willing to give this a re-think.
The Neighbourhood Forum will need to forge a good working relationship with Haringey so it would seem sensible to minimise the involvement of the Friends and their relentless battle with the council.
It'll be interesting to hear what they have to say about their reasoning. They already have a foot in the door as part of the Stakeholder Group, so I guess they see this as just another point of leverage for their campaign to rid the park of its main source of income.
If you have a peruse of our boundary justification document I'm sure you'll appreciate that that is very far from being a fair categorisation. We've been extraordinarily careful (vastly more than most any other proposal, from what the Council officers tell us) to reflect people's views when forming the boundary, and this is just the latest round of consultation.
I'm open to correction on this, but I'm not sure that the Localism Act gives a neighbourhood Plan any say at all on events in the park anyway. It gives powers over development planning. And as the park is Metropolitan Open Land that would be extremely limited power in the park itself. The Friends' main concern from the perspective of a Neighbourhood Plan is to prevent inappropriate development on the fringe of the park, and in that sense our proposed boundaries would give us no say at all on developments in Harringay (though some in Haringey!).
I wonder if a solution might be then to redraw the boundary to only include the fringes of the park that border the NF area?
Neighbourhood Forums have an explicit role in the development of Haringey’s Local Plan which is the overriding plan for the borough. The local plan has specific policies for the use and development of Finsbury Park including open space and biodiversity policies and possible future policies regarding culture and leisure use so yes, the Neighbourhood Forum would be major influencers in these areas.
Ben, I appreciate that a lot of work has been done on the boundary survey - I took part myself and have been following progress. It looks like you’ve arrived at a good result in defining the residential boundaries. The problem is that people’s views on the inclusion of the park have been ignored. It’s been clear for some time this this is not supported by residents north and east of the park.