Neighbourhood forum groups run public polls on where to spend planning cash

Thursday, 14th January 2016

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FROM turning a bus stand into a public open space to introducing a new shuttle bus from Highgate to Hampstead and Muswell Hill, the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum has drawn up a wish list of projects that could become reality under new plans.

Members of the Forum, whose area plan will go to a referendum later in the year, are gauging the views of people in the area as to what they believe could make Highgate a better place to live and work in. 

And they are now running an online poll to see how funds raised by the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should be spent to make such schemes a reality.

The CIL is a fund that areas are set to receive when they have formally ratified a community plan. It means 25 per cent of any funds raised from agreements with developers will be spent on projects chosen by the Neighbourhood Forum.

Possible projects include creating a shuttle bus to improve transport links with Muswell Hill and Hampstead, turning the 271 bus stand into a public park, building a new playground on Parkland Walk and helping fund a community space on the site of the former Highgate Garden Centre in Townsend Yard. 

Chairwoman Rachel Allison said Forum members had come up with an “imaginative 

wish list” for the neighbourhood. She said: “People have come up with all sorts of imaginative ideas to improve and protect what they love about Highgate to make it an even better place to live and work.

“The new government levy on developments is a wonderful chance to turn some of those dreams into reality.”

She said a series of objectives had been suggested, including moving the 271 bus stand from the corner of Pond Square and Highgate High Street to a new spot outside Highgate School, where the 214 currently terminates. 

“The bus terminates there for historic reasons – it was a tram terminus,” she said. “There are sometimes accidents because of where the bus is with carts and pedestrians. We could open it up to be an extension of Pond Square.”

Another plan is to set up a small shuttle bus service that would link Highgate village with Dartmouth Park, South end Green, Hampstead, Muswell Hill and Crouch End.

She added: “It would mean we could get from A to B without having to head into town. It would help reduce school run traffic link these centres which would in turn help smaller independent shops.”

Meanwhile, residents in the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum area are also being asked for their views on where CIL money should go. 

Options include opening up a garden in Oriel Court to the public, improving lighting in South End Green, and contributing to a park-and-ride shuttle bus. 

l To read the Highgate Plan and vote on the project list, go to www.highgateneighbourhoodforum.org.uk 

l For the Hampstead plan, see www.hampsteadforum.org/cil

 

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