Members considered the Hampstead Heath High-Level Asset Management Plan 2018-2021 and the following comments were made:
· Members were advised that the Plan covered all City of London Corporation Open Spaces setting out all key projects and the framework would constantly evolve over time as necessary.
· Emphasis was given to the ambition to ensure “buildings and facilities that are fit for purpose, sustainable, support effective delivery of services and optimise efficiencies and value for money” as key to the strategic framework.
· In response to a query (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee & Neighbourhood Association Committee) regarding retail spaces, Members were advised that something similar to the Visitor Engagement Centre in Epping Forest would provide an opportunity to sell merchandise. A Member (Highgate Society) noted the great range on offer at the London Wetlands Shop.
· The Chairman felt that “retail” was the wrong wording and requested that the wording be changed to “visitor, engagement and education centre” be added to this paragraph.
· A Member (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee &
Neighbourhood Association Committee) queried what site was planned for the relocation of Heathfield House office accommodation. Members were advised that the footfall at a number of sites were being considered, e.g. the stores area at Parliament Hill Staff Yard which were not being used, and that there was real need to reconfigure spaces and buildings to make them fit for purpose. Members were pleased that there was no intention to increase the footfall.
· A Member (Friends of Kenwood) was concerned that the project concerning waste, which was very expensive, would not be considered a priority by 2021/22 due to the fundamental review and funding constraints. The Superintendent confirmed that being more waste efficient remained a priority and the Team would continue to progress with the planned schemes.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) felt that the format of the Plan was difficult to follow and did not like the red text.
· With regards to the East Heath Car Park asset transferring to the City Surveyors Department on completion of the capital works, Members were advised that there was a service-level agreement on managing this asset which required ongoing surveyance by City Surveyors.
· A Member (Highgate Society) voiced concerns regarding the wording concerning maximising opportunities for income generation “through events and third-party leasing opportunities” and felt this needed to be worded carefully to avoid headlines about commercialisation of the Heath.
· With regards to a concern (Representative of Clubs using facilities on the Heath) regarding the resurfacing of the Athletics Track, Members were advised that only changes that would be of benefit, e.g. the Rugby Club having no set base, would be considered.