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.
But this is all about control of the park, isn't it?
I think you're right John - this paper from the Open Space Society entitled "How to win local green space through Neighbourhood Plans" sets that out pretty clearly.
I looked at that briefly yesterday, Peter. Whilst I thought it might be indicative of some of the thinking behind this application, I couldn’t see any direct use of the advice since the park is already metropolitan open space. Did I miss something?
Fair point - I'm probably trying to read more into something than is actually there! To Michael's point my main issue is the inclusion of the park in any specific Neighbourhood Forum boundary - on balance it feels to me it shouldn't be. Any park should be inclusive to all - stretching far wider than the neighbouring streets.
It’s interesting to note that the Highgate NF includes part of the Heath. So inclusion of MOS. So it seems standard to include, but I also note not necessary to include all of a space.
Including a PART of the park is one thing, including ALL of it is quite something else!
Yes, but FOFP’s stated position is that it only makes sense to include the whole park. That’s at odds with what happened in Highgate.
"makes sense" being completely subjective.
It wouldn't really make sense to include a section of the park - it's managed as a single entity and there's no obvious position for a boundary other than the perimeter.
The Highgate one appears to have defined a boundary across Hampstead Heath in order to include Kenwood House and its grounds along with the bathing ponds to the south.
I haven’t seen Highgate NFs boundaries but I do know that part of the Heath is officially in Highgate, so possibly it runs along the suburbs boundary.
Nick - yes, the western extent of the Highgate NF is the boundary of Highgate ward, but only takes in those areas of the Heath where people live (the area around Kenwood for example). Although Highgate ward actually includes the whole of the Parliament Hill section of the Heath that bit is excluded from the NF area, presumably because there is no residential property.
The Neighbourhood Forum and the Friends of Finsbury Park are closely connected - as Hugh mentions in his post above, two members of the Friends' Management Committee have been on the working group for the forum and the Friends have actively encouraged and endorsed the proposal to include the park in the forum area.
I'm sure that control of the park isn't the sole aim of the forum, but they seem to have gone to extraordinary lengths to try and justify its inclusion. Their initial boundary proposals included a few streets at the southern end of the Ladder along with a section of the area around Hermitage Road, allowing their neighbourhood area to fully surround the park. It should have been reasonably obvious, though, that Harringay is not part of a cohesive neighbourhood with Stroud Green.
The boundary was later amended to draw a line through the middle of the park (retaining the area used for events, of course, along with a section of Endymion Road) and subsequently amended again to omit residential streets to the north and east and reinstate the whole park regardless.
Finsbury Park is an amenity shared by a wide area so it's entirely wrong to hand a significant degree of statutory power over the park to residents in a single neighbourhood. There is an existing Strategy Group which enables a balanced discussion between the three boroughs and other interested parties including resident groups and the Friends - I'm sure the Neighbourhood Forum would be welcome to join this group in order to have their say.