30 Questions & Answers about the Neighbourhood Forum and the Referendum Version of The Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan 2016
1 What is a Neighbourhood Forum? What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
A Neighbourhood Forum is a community group that has written a vision for Kentish Town on how it might develop in the future.
A Neighbourhood Plan sets out where development in the area will go, what type of development it should be and what it should look like.
2 How did the people in the Forum who wrote the Plan get to be there?
They are all volunteers who gave up 100’s of hours of their spare time to get involved and create the Plan. The committee of 15 people are elected democratically each year at the AGM.
3 What sort of people are in KTNF?
All backgrounds really. We are supported by residents, ward councillors and groups including residents and tenants associations, women’s groups, schools, green groups
4 I’m interested in all this. How can I get involved in future?
Join the signed up membership list of the Forum and get regular emails. Join working groups as planning applications come through on specific developments. Join the committee.
5 How was the Plan set up?
Local residents and groups got together in 2012 and formed the Forum to create the Plan for Kentish Town
6 Who decided the area boundaries for the Plan?
Local people and groups decided on the Area when the Forum started. We couldn’t make it too big or it would have become too difficult to manage.
7 There is too much development. I like Kentish Town as it is. Why do we have to have more development?
Development can’t be prevented. Development can make the area better. London is growing by 100,000 people a year and people have to live and work somewhere. The Plan gives local people a voice on where development takes place, its type and what it should look like.
8 Is KTNF part of Camden Council?
Absolutely not. We are all local unpaid volunteers and are not part of the Council. Camden Council though had a role in assisting the Forum through the process
9 Why haven’t I heard of this before?
If you read the CNJ, we’ve had articles and advertisements since we started. We’ve leafleted all households twice. Camden Council has advertised us in the CNJ and on its website and put up notices on lampposts throughout the area. We’ve got a website and twitter account too.
10 How was the public involved in developing the Plan?
We have spent the last 4 1/2 years consulting by: street meetings and displays; public exhibitions; workshops; sending leaflets to households (twice) asking for feedback and comments; leaving feedback on the website; and Camden Council’s consultation which ran for 6 weeks online
11 I have some ideas of things to add to the Plan. How can I do this?
The Plan has now been consulted on and we can’t now add more policies. But what did you have in mind? Have you looked at the Plan (available online now: ktnf.org and hard copies to view in the library and community centres from 10 May 2016) – maybe it is already covered?
12 Why doesn’t the Plan include social housing quotas, ban on estate agents, ban on foreign owners of flats?
We can’t do anything that overrides policies that apply nationally with any of the above would. It has to comply with London and National rules. However, development of social housing is specified in several of our policies.
13 Why are different shopping areas classed differently?
Camden Council define “primary shopping frontages” (e.g. large parts of Kentish Town Road) and “secondary shopping frontages” e.g. areas adjoining a primary shopping frontage such as the northern and southern ends of Kentish town Road. We have added policies to help protect shops in secondary frontages. Shops in primary frontages are already quite well protected (for example Starbucks couldn’t change from a shop in a primary frontage to a café/restaurant).
14 Are there any other Plans being developed for Neighbourhood Forums nearby?
In the borough of Camden there are 10 ongoing and only one in Camden has been passed at Referendum, that’s Fortune Green & West Hampstead. Our Plan if passed, will be the second in Camden and the fifth in London.
15 How can I find out if my street has a Neighbourhood Forum?
You can see where the other Neighbourhood Forums are by searching for “Neighbourhood Forum Camden” and going to Camden Council’s website
16 What are the benefits of the plan?
There are many and these can be viewed on the website [website details on the business card]. Highlights include: potential new affordable and private housing of 1,300 units at Regis Road; better and more employment space at Regis Road; new “step free access” at Kentish Town and Kentish Town West stations; a new and enlarged “Town Square” outside Kentish Town tube; protection of green space in the area including Camden estates; protection of our local shops
17 I live in the Tufnell Park end of the area. What’s in the Plan for me?
The policies in the Plan for protecting green spaces include protecting biodiverse habitats such as Ingestre Wood and Nature Trail are in north Kentish Town. Creating a large number of new homes in the Industry Area will benefit all the shops in all parts of Kentish Town, including Fortess Road.
There can only be new development where there is land available and there is very little available land in the northern end of the KTNF Area.
18 How will the improvements such as the “step free access” at all the stations and the Town Square be paid for?
These will be paid for by contributions that developers have to pay (CIL) when they develop new buildings. If Regis Road is redeveloped, we anticipate significant funding will be available to meet these aspirations
19 When will the stations become “step free” and the Town Square developed?
When developers have paid enough to the community to pay for or contribute towards these policies.
20 What does protecting or preserving things actually mean?
It’s not about keeping everything unchanged, but improving what we currently have and preserving the best of what we have.
21 What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and how does it work?
This is a charge all developers have to pay the Council when they develop new buildings. The money is used to pay for infrastructure in Camden. 25% of CIL should be spent on Plan priorities such as “step free access” and the Town Square
22 What is the Plan’s legal standing?
If you Vote on the 9th June and the majority of people Vote YES, the Plan will be “Made”, it becomes part of the Council’s planning strategy and will be legally binding; developers will have to comply with the policies in the Plan if they want to develop in Kentish Town
23 What if Camden Council ignores things in the Plan?
Legally, Camden’s planning officers and Councillors on the planning committee that make planning decisions can’t ignore the Plan.
24 Who monitors the progress of the Plan if it is voted in?
Members of the Forum will monitor the Plan, just as they do under the current planning system.
25 What is the vote on June 9 for?
Local people who live in the area will decide if they want the Kentish Town Plan. If you vote YES on the day (or by postal vote), you will be voting for the Plan to be put into action.
26 How do I know if I can vote in the Referendum?
You can vote in the Referendum if you live in the Forum Area (see map I hold in my hand) and if you are registered to vote.
27 Why should I vote?
The Plan has been created by local people who want Kentish Town to change in the way they want, not how Camden or developers want. By voting, you will make sure this happens.
28 What if not enough people vote?
If the majority of people vote YES, the Plan will be “Made” which means it becomes legally binding. But the more people who vote, we think it will give it much more weight. If not enough people vote yes, the Plan will fail.
29 What happens if the majority of people vote against the plan?
All decisions on development in our area will be decided by Camden Council’s policies, and none of the policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will be considered.
30 Can I go and vote at any of the polling stations?
No. You must first make sure you are registered to Vote. If you received a Polling Card through the letterbox to vote in the Assembly Elections on May 5th, you can vote in this referendum.
- All registered voters living in the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan Area are entitled to vote in this local referendum.
- NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE? Go to: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
You have until Monday 23 May to register to vote for this Kentish Town Neighbourhood Referendum.
- If you would rather vote at home before 9 June, phone NOW for a POSTAL VOTE: 020 7974 6000, option 6. You have until Tuesday 24 May to apply for this.
- Ask for a PROXY VOTE if you will be away. The last date to apply for this is Wednesday 1 June.
Your Polling Card will tell you which of these polling stations to use: Ingestre Community Centre; Kentish Town Library; Kentish Town Health Centre, Bartholomew Road, or Congregational Church, Kelly Street. You don’t need a Polling Card to Vote at your designated polling station.