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:


Green Flag Judging


·         Members were advised that the Heath had been assesses against the Green Flag standards and the results would be published in July 2019.


East Heath Car Park (A DP5)


·         Members were advised that the capital project was had nearly completed gateway 5 and would be progressed on the basis of health and safety implications.




·         Jack Straws Castle, 2017/2064/P, 2017/2211/L, 2017/2171/P. The Superintendent advised that an appeal would be heard on 23 July 2019 and that a planning representation had been made by the Corporation against the developer.


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


·         South Fairground Site. It was noted that this Public Inquiry had been postponed until 20 August 2019.


·         55 Fitzroy Park, 2018/3672/P. Members were advised that more information had been submitted to the London Borough of Camden by the Applicant but that it still did not provide enough detail about the project.


·         The Water House, Millfield Lane. 2017/3692/P. The Superintendent advised that a representation had been submitted concerning the construction of a boundary fence.


·         Parliament Hill William Ellis School, 2018/1270/P. The Superintendent advised that the Operation Services Manger was continuing to participate in the Community Working Group and the project was going well.


·         Jack Straws Castle – change of use application. The Superintendent advised that a decision would be made on the application in late summer.


·         Athlone House. The Superintendent advised that a representation had been made against the proposed gate and Officers were working with architects on a scaled down gate.


Oak Processionary Moth (OPM)


·         Members were advised that the Team had identified 641 nests in 230 trees and work would begin tomorrow to remove nests focussing on high risk areas. It was noted that technology was now being used to track nests. 


·         The Superintendent thanked Heath Hands for their continued monitoring of OPM.




·         Members were advised that Historic England had given permission for a small trial of grazing 5 sheep within the Tumulus enclosure at the end of August.


·         A Member (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee & Neighbourhood Association Committee) suggested hosting a welcoming ceremony for the sheep as a good PR exercise for the trial which could also encourage school participation.


·         In response to a query concerning fencing and protection of the sheep, the Superintendent stated that there would be double fencing with netting and that volunteers would be permanently on site during the day with the sheep being moved inside during the night. 




·         The Superintendent advised Members that the Adventure, Preachers Hill and the Vale of Health Playgrounds were awaiting planning approval.


·         It was noted that some CIL funding towards the playgrounds had been verbally agreed and this was being confirmed.


Licencing (A DP 6)


·         Members were advised that a focus group had been set up as part of the engagement and consultation exercise in relation to the dog walkers code of conduct and the personal training code of conduct. The next meeting would be on 4 August 2019 following two pop-up events on 20 July at 9am-12noon and 25 July at 5-8pm.


·         A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) queried when the Committee would have the opportunity to provide feedback. Members were advised that they could input into any of the public consultation and the Committee would be requested to comment on the outcomes in the autumn.


·         The Town Clerk agreed to circulate the link to the public consultation to Members.


Forest Schools


·         Members were advised that there had been an enquiry for a new Forest School to use the Heath on a daily basis. This would be of a large scale triggering the major event level. The Superintendent confirmed that he would be meeting the Applicant and a full application would be brought to the Committee for comments.


·         A Member (Friends of Kenwood) noted that Into The Woods worked well at Kenwood House with minimal impact.


·         A Member (Friends of Kenwood) was slightly concerned by how the monetisation, competitiveness and commercialism of the Forest Schools could be perceived by the public and what was the saturation point. Members were advised as a caution that Highgate Wood was already at capacity and that this large school would need a full assessment before an agreement could be made.


·         The Deputy Chair noted that local schools also used Open Spaces such as the Heath on top of these schools which had an impact.


·         A Member (Highgate Society) voiced concern that the financial implications of Forest Schools could offer a barrier and limit the diversity and range of schools using the Heath. It was agreed balance was needed between the different schools that used the Heath.  




·         The Leisure and Events Manger updated Members on a number of recent events:


o   Affordable Art Fair – this event on 12 May 2019 saw a footfall of 15,000 attendees and a 3% increase in art sales.

o   Cancerkin Walk – this event on 9 June 2019 was run by a local charity and included 150 walkers.

o   Spring Bank Holiday Fair – this event took place on 25-27 May 2019.  

o   Community Heath Festival – this event on 8 June 2019 was a success with a focus on health and wellbeing.

o   #ThisGirlCan – this event was the second national campaign and saw a slightly higher number of attendees.  

o   Race for Life – this event on 15 June 2019 has run for 20 years and the 10k race included 1,800 runners.

o   Hampstead Summer Festival – Art Fair Day.

o   Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests – this event was hugely successful and saw 54 new personal bests being set in Olympic and world qualifying times. It was noted that The Times newspaper dedicated its entire back page to the event.




·         Members were advised that the good weather during the last weekend in June saw the swimming facilities at beyond maximum capacity which offered new challenges. The most serious concern was members of the public entering other ponds which put them at risk of danger. It was agreed that the Corporation needed to rethink the management of these increasingly busy days to ensure visitors remain safe.


·         The Chairman stated that there was clear pressure on staff and facilities during the summer months and saw waste as the biggest problem. It was noted that an education piece was being worked on encourage visitors to take their rubbish home with them in an attempt to deal with waste pressures.


·         A Member (South End Green Association) noted that foxes and crows, etc, were also ripping up rubbish taken from the open/overflowing bins. The Superintendent stated that new, closed, disguised bins were currently being trialled at the Heath along with a new waste collection system.  


·         A Member (Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee & Neighbourhood Association Committee) suggested signage on bins for busy days. Members were advised that a campaign on litter was coming which would include messaging consistent with the London Borough of Camden.




·         In response to a query regarding Heath views, Members were advised that views were being analysed comparing winter and summer to map and identify the impacts. Following this, a report analysing the views would come to the Committee and the results would inform the AWP.         



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