Agenda item

Superintendent's Update

Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.


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


Annual Work Programme


·         The Operational Services Manager advised Members that waste and recycling continued to be a huge issue at the Heath with 12 tonnes being cleared by the Garden Team each week.


·         It was noted that there were no incidents of fly tipping during July-September.


·         Fires remain a huge concern for the Heath, particularly after the fire at Epping Forest during the summer. The Operational Services Manager advised that the Heath ensures full water barrels situated around the Heath and works with Fire Brigade to ensure that equipment can be used.


·         Members were advised that staff worked hard to keep facilities open over the busy summer period. The Committee thanked all staff and volunteers for their hard work.




·         The Water House, Millfield Lane, 2017/3692/P. The Superintendent advised that he was involved in the Community Working Group who were making good steady progress.


·         Parliament Hill & William Ellis School, 2018/1270/P. The Superintendent advised that Officers were liaising with the development regarding trees.


·         South Fairground Site. Members were advised that the appeal hearing against the Planning Enforcement notice issued by the London Borough of Camden had been set for December.


·         North Fairground Site, 2017/4346/P. Members were advised that following non-determination of the case by London Borough of Camden, an appeal hearing has been set for February 2019. Officers continue to work with Vale off Health and Hampstead.


·         Jack Straws Castle, 2017/2064/P. The Superintendent advised that London Borough of Camden did not approve this application.


·         Garden House, Vale of Health 2017/2885/P. Member were advised that this matter was on the agenda and that London Borough of Camden had not resolved this case.



·         Wallace House, Fitzroy Park 2017/4301/P. Members were advised that planning approval was granted.



·         55 Fitzroy Park 2018/3672/P. The Superintendent advised that he had met with Licensing Officers to voice concerns. He advised that the Corporation were strongly against the development and would be objecting pending receipt of ecology reports.





·         The Constabulary and Queen's Park Manager advised that since 1 April there had been 1,100 incidents at the Heath with 849 resulting in a formal warning or penalty charge, 7 arrests and 26 criminal offences reported to the MET. There were 40 instances of vulnerable missing persons.


·         With regards to medical emergencies, first aid was given on site on 21 occasions. It was noted that trained staff were available to use the defibrillators on site.


·         Members were advised that the Lido had been the biggest challenge during this period and a stewarding company were employed to manage the queuing. Staff had to deal with some irate members of the public when doors were closed when the Lido was at capacity. There were also issues with people swimming in non-swimming ponds which were unsafe and not life guarded. The Constabulary and Queen's Park Manager noted that the Team were looking to develop measures to deal with these issues for next summer.




·         The Superintendent advised that there was a two-week closure of the Ladies Pond for maintenance. Ladies used the Mixed Pond during this period whilst an extended accessibility survey was carried out.


·         A survey has been undertaken to look at routes for improving access for disabled people at the Men’s Pond. The Superintendent is engaging with an architect to resolve technical issues with where and how people will get into the water.


·         In response to a query from a Member (Representative of Clubs using facilities on the Heath) regarding reconfiguring the access points of the Men’s Pond, the Superintendent explained that the aim was for lifeguards to be positioned to ensure they had a visual of people coming into the facility. The Team were also trying to resolve access concerns for good level access and offering support to disabled people in the same facility.   




·         The Leisure and Events Manager advised Members that an Officer Event Group had been created to look at upcoming events. On 17 October they discussed three of the biggest and popular events held at the Heath who were keen to set a date for their 2019 events: Race for Life, Affordable Art Fair and Night of the 10k Personal Bests. It was agreed that all of the events satisfied events criteria A-G.


·         Members were advised that the 2019 events programme and a report capturing all 2018 events would come to the Committee in February.


·         A Member (Friends of Kenwood) felt that the application timescale offered was generous.


·         A Member (Highgate Society) raised a point made at the Highgate Wood Consultative Group that the document was too much for a small activity and might be put off by the process. The Superintendent advised that the website would be structured to select a smaller or more in-depth application depending on the size of the event. 


·         Members agreed that reference to payment by cheque was outdated and should be removed.


Weddings and Civil Ceremonies


The Hill Garden and Pergola continues to be a poplar venue for weddings and

civil ceremonies,


·         Members were advised that since publication of the agenda, 13 weddings had taken place this year and eight ceremonies were booked for 2019.




·         Members provide feedback on the proposed events for 2019;


·         Members provide feedback on the Sports Licencing Scheme (Appendix 2).

Supporting documents: