Agenda item


Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.


Members considered an update report of the Superintendent and the following points were made:


Fundamental Review


·        The Director of Open Spaces advised Members that the Corporation had a huge ambition for London as a world city requiring significant investment. It was noted that due to the significant capital expense from a number of key large-scale projects currently coming through the Corporation, all projects that were not yet at Gateway 5 would be reviewed under new criteria as part of a fundamental review of revenue and projects.


·        Members were advised that central government would also be reviewing spending and funding over the next three years which was unlikely to be favourable for the City due to the rebasing of current business rates and a loss of government funding.


·        The Director of Open Spaces stated that the Corporation was considering borrowing money for the first time and that the fundamental review would impact every capital project decision going forward which meant that innovation was required.


·        In response to a comment from a Member regarding the difference between City Cash and City Funds, Members were advised that City Cash, which provides investment funds outside of Local Authority funding, is under the same financial pressures as the City Fund. It was expected that both would further depreciate over the next few years and the Chamberlain’s department was working on figures to accommodate the pressures.


Humanitarian Aid Workers Memorial proposal – Kenwood Estate


·         The Superintendent sought Member’s views on a proposal to install a memorial sculpture within the grounds of the Kenwood Estate which would be visible from the Heath.


·         This was discussed at the Committee walk on Saturday 27 April during which Members were shown the proposed site for the sculpture.


·         Dr Jeremy Ashbee provided context for the cultivation of the memorial. The criteria required that the memorial have access from London, offered space for quiet contemplation and was non-denominational.


·         Members were advised that the site - Stable Field – offered a good fit in terms of the tree line of the plot and the discontinuous circle concept.


·         It was noted that English Heritage were supportive of the proposal but there were local stakeholder concerns. Feedback regarding the materials, scale, colour and construction of the memorial would be sought as the charity wished to harmonise and cause minimal damage to the area.


·         Members raised concerns that the sculpture, which resembled a gingerbread man, could be the target of vandalism and graffiti. It was noted that the site was open to the public 24/7 and could not be permanently policed by the Heath’s Constabulary. 


·         A Member (Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee) noted that the sculpture would potentially pose a terrorism or activism risk. 


·         A Member (Ramblers' Association) suggested making the sculpture a hollow figure that to prevent graffiti. Members were advised that it was designed specifically to hold messaging as part of the concept.


·         The Chairman stated that whilst the memorial was a worthy cause, agreeing to the sculpture could open the Heath up to requests from other equally worthy causes which would be hard to manage with no set criteria. It was noted by a Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) that the general policy towards artworks on the Heath had always been that they were temporary and occasional. 


·         In response to queries regarding why the memorial could not be moved to an area elsewhere on the Kenwood estate, Dr Ashbee advised that it would be considered a modern intrusion on the designed landscape and could not impact on the natural or cultural element of the site.


·         Members felt that the memorial provided a conflict of philosophy as Kenwood did not want the sculpture on their estate, yet this built object would impact the natural culture of the Heath. Members stated that they also advised during the Committee walk that the memorial would be a draw to the site which was contradictory to what was being proposed to the Committee and contrary to the Heath management of rural preservation. 


·         It was noted that the site had minimal transport links. Members felt there were other more suitable sites closer to London which could be used.


·         A Member (Highgate Society) felt that it would have been helpful to know what the other proposed sites were and why they were rejected.


·         The Chairman stated that Member’s concerns would be provided to the HHHWQP Committee for consideration and all feedback would be sent to English Heritage following the meeting on 5 June 2019.  




·         Members were advised that a small-scale one-week grazing pilot project was being proposed to take place in late summer involving sheep/cattle. The trial would provide the ecological benefits of grazing for biodiversity to the site and locations were being considered carefully. The project would be managed by Heath Hands volunteers.


·         A Member (Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee) felt that this trial would be a great offer for children providing them with an experience of country life. 


·         It was agreed that the project would require a fenced enclosure, preferably using green chicken wire, to protect the sheep/cattle from dogs and foxes.


·         A Member (Friends of Kenwood) who owned sheep highlighted the expense of looking after and managing them, noting the extensive amount of paperwork needed to get them and significant practical risks involved.


·         It was noted that a similar temporary grazing project was taking place at Streatham Common. 


·         Members were advised that there was an opportunity to borrow experience from with the Corporation. A Member (Highgate Society) recommended liaising with Bricket Wood.


East Heath Car Park (A DP5)


·         The Superintendent advised that this capital project was currently on hold, but it was hoped this would be given the go ahead due to health and safety implications.




·         Jack Straws Castle, 2017/2064/P, 2017/2211/L, 2017/2171/P. The Superintendent advised that the developer had lodged an appeal and the case would need to go to a Hearing.


·         North Fairground Site, 2017/4346/P. It was noted that this Public Inquiry had been postponed to 3 October 2019.


·         South Fairground Site. Members were advised that a Public Inquiry went ahead on 12 February 2019 lasting four days and would be reconvened on 20 August 2019 for three days. The City of London Corporation has appointed Council.


·         55 Fitzroy Park, 2018/3672/P. The Superintendent noted that the London Borough of Camden had yet to determine the case.


·         The Water House, Millfield Lane. 2017/3692/P. The Superintendent advised that construction was progressing following conditions on the boundary and was being well managed.


·         Parliament Hill William Ellis School, 2018/1270/P. The Superintendent advised that the Operation Services Manger was continuing to work with the local Community Working Group.


·         Jack Straws Castle – change of use application. The Superintendent advised that objections had been made against this application.


·         Athlone House. The Superintendent advised that a representation had been made against the proposed gate.


·         Members were advised that the Lido had received planning consent and that planning applications for the three playgrounds and a reindeer stable had been submitted.


2-3 Heath Passage


·         The Superintendent noted that this land had sold for £225k and the owners were not yet known.


Mobility scheme


·         The Superintendent was pleased that three new all-terrain buggies were available for hire by Heath users. A new hiring system has been set up with the buggies available to hire from the Lido.




·         The Superintendent stated that an engagement and consultation exercise with Heath users was being developed regarding development of a dog walkers and a personal training code of conduct. A consultant was assisting with developing a questionnaire and the communications messaging.


·         Pop-up events to engage with dog walkers and trainers will take place towards the end of May.


·         The Heath and Hampstead Society were concerned that dog licensing would not work if a cap was not introduced across all London open spaces. Members were advised that the Constabulary and Queen's Park Manager was a member of Parks for London (formally London Parks and Green Spaces Forum) which was a charity enabling the people that plan, design and manage London’s parks and green spaces to share knowledge and experience. The Constabulary and Queen's Park Manager agreed to talk with the Heath and Hampstead Society regarding their concerns.


Hampstead Heath Constabulary


·         Members were advised that the Constabulary had increased its patrols and was continuing to work with the MET to deal with the increase in robberies in and around the Heath. There have been four robberies in the period March/April.


·         Body Worn Video Cameras (BWV) have been procured following support at the last Committee meeting and the constabulary are undergoing training on using the equipment and updating its policies. BWV will begin to be used as a tool to enforce safety at the end of May.


Waste & Recycling


·         The Superintendent advised that the they were awaiting the report from Keep Britain Tidy which would provide data and a package regarding messaging and campaigning.


·         Co-mingled recycling will be initially trialled at Parliament Hill Triangle. The first bin will be trialled in a rural area to gauge feedback on the style of bin to be used.     


·         Members were advised that two workshops have been held inviting public engagement on messaging on littering.




·         The Chairman advised Members that all Members of the Court of Common Council and the Lady Mayoress had been invited to attend a walk and celebration at the Heath on 25 June 2019. The Town Clerk agreed to circulate details regarding this event.


·         A Member (Hampstead Rugby Club) advised that since he proposed a rugby old legends event at the last meeting, he had met with the Wasps and Queens teams. The Queens suggested a training camp idea but there would be costs involved.




·         Members give their views on the Key Priorities as set out in the High-Level Asset Management Plan (appendix 1);


·         Members give their views on the Open Spaces Learning Team Play Principles (appendix 2);


·         Members give their views on the Humanitarian Aid Workers Memorial, as detailed in para 15;


·         Members give their views on the proposal to trial grazing on Hampstead Heath, as detailed in para 16;


·         Members give their views on the proposed Circus Event (appendix 3);


·         Members give their views on the proposed Cross-Country Event (appendix 4);


·         Members give their views on the concept design for the Vale of Health Playground (appendix 5);


·         Members give their views on the concept design for the Preachers Hill Playground (appendix 6).



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