Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The Consultative Committee received a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath that provided an update regarding management and operational activities across the Heath since September 2015. The Superintendent provided some additional information regarding the following matters:
· Bricks and sand had been delivered to the Lido and works to the reconstruction of the East wall were due to start.
· The proposed design for the new railings would require planning consent.
· A site meeting was due to take place the day after the Consultative Committee meeting to discuss the programme of work to reduce erosion and improve the surface water drainage from the East Heath fairground.
· Since commencing the tanking works at the Hill Garden Shelter on 13 October 2015, the contractor had discovered voids under the staircase.
· Designs for the new railings required at the Hill Garden Shelter by health and safety legislation were available from the Operational Services Manager.
· Representations for the Water House application regarding the impact on trees, hydrology of the ponds, and access and health and safety issues had been submitted to the London Borough of Camden (LBC), who were meeting in late November to consider the application. A member (Highgate Society) added that the plans could result in a closure of Millfield Lane for up to three years, during which time pedestrians and cyclists would be diverted over Heath land.
· The LBC had received several representations regarding an application to de-designate 2-3 Heath Passage as Metropolitan Open Land but a date had not yet been set for the application to be considered. A member (Highgate Society) suggested that a map of designated Metropolitan Open Land would be useful for members.
· A member (Highgate Society) updated the Consultative Committee about the High Court case regarding Athlone House. The applicants’ grounds of appeal had been dismissed by the Court but they had until 12 November 2015 to apply for a Court of Appeal hearing.
· The staff consultation closed on 10 November 2015.
· The Superintendent had received a petition with over 2,000 signatures and Facebook mentions which would be reported to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee.
Fleet and Equipment
· Equipment identified as surplus to requirements would be sold to raise funds in accordance with the target to reduce the size of the fleet and equipment numbers.
· The cost would be increasing from £5 to £10 via Direct Debit or £20 via cheque payment.
· A member (Highgate Society) noted that £10 was a low fee for private properties to have access to the Heath and suggested it could be worth increasing. The Director of Open Spaces added that there had been complaints from some other open space residents about the recent increase from £5 to £10.
· The tender for five cafés across the North London Open Spaces division was currently being advertised for three year licences.
· The Lido Café would now be tendered separately from the Parliament Hill Café.
Operational Facility Improvements
· Additional classroom spaces could be provided in the Hive building following its transferral on management responsibilities from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to the Heath Hands. The Deputy Chairman added that there were close working relationships with the RSPB through their Membership to the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee.
· An informal discussion would take place with the LBC regarding potential planning issues with the proposed new information centre, pictures of which were available from the Operational Services Manager upon request.
· Co-mingled waste skips were being rejected from the contractor due to a high proportion of dog waste compared to general waste. Additional dog waste only bins would be installed next to general waste bins to encourage dog walkers to separate waste.
· In response to members’ (Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee and Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee) questions, the Superintendent advised that the waste team were now in a position to start work on relocation of bins as well as increased capacity and protection against animals.
Golders Hill Park
In response to a member’s (Heath and Hampstead Society) question, the Superintendent advised that the management of the Zoo was to be merged with the management of the Queen’s Park Farm. He added that they aimed to reduce the footprint of the Zoo whilst maintaining encouraging animal adoption and engagement with local schools.
· Six Officers would be on duty on New Year’s Eve.
· Three successful prosecutions had been taken to court and reported in local press since September 2015: two dog-control offences and one offence relating to fishing out of season
· The landscape restoration works at Kite Hill would be protected by a secure fence during New Year’s Eve.
· In response to a member’s (Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee) question concerning the compaction of the Kite Hill desire lines, the Superintendent advised that the Conservation team would be consulted to assess their condition.
RESOLVED – That the Superintendent’s Update be noted.