• All around us trees are beginning to come alive again after the dormant winter period, so feast your eyes on early blossom, buds and shoots.
  • Walk around your area using this handy TREETALK app to identify different trees, and also note street trees that need watering or are damaged, as well as empty tree pits.
  • Water trees near your home and businesses, ask your neighbours to do the same.
  • Our local DPNF tree expert notes that without regular watering, up to 30% of newly planted street trees may not survive to maturity.
  • One of our DPNF initiatives aims to label the more unusual and older trees in our forum area.
  • Let us know if you wish to help with this project.
  • In 2019, Hampstead Heath’s David Humphries and his team produced a 12 – page guide of veteran trees on the Heath on the Ancient Tree Forum website. Why not download it for your next walk?


  • Enjoy the Spring colour of daffodils and narcissi popping up where residents have been planting bulbs in tree pits.  Please take photos of your favourite tree pit and send them to us.
  • If you live or work near a bare street tree pit, you can sow a few seeds of wildflower annuals to brighten up your street and give pleasure to every passer-by. Sprinkle some wildflower seed mix into lightly raked soil, smooth over and moisten to help pollinating insects later in the year.
  • Remember to tie a green ribbon or green string around the tree trunk so that Camden Council and Veolia know not to use pesticides. More information here.


  • Do you have tired and unsightly wooden fencing separating the front area where you live from the pavement? Would you be interested in getting help and advice to plant hedging which would increase biodiversity and improve our green corridors. Please get in touch.
  • If you have gardening tools and time and are willing to help some elderly or less able people who cannot afford gardeners with the occasional tidying of hedges or pruning of trees and bushes, then please let us know.


  • Our wildlife moves across maps and boundaries and we can all benefit from sharing information and expertise with other organisations.
  • The leads on greening projects will be working with Heath Hands

 to make it easier for people to identify and report particular birds, hedgehogs and other wildlife along our roads, in our gardens, on our estates.

  • Waterlow Park and Highgate Cemetery have both had cameras installed to track hedgehogs (no recent sightings to date). Here is a link to the British Hedgehog Society
  •  Free Tree Whips

Camden Forest 2025 is a volunteer initiative working with Camden Council and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) to increase the number of trees planted across the borough. If you would like to plant a 2-3ft bare root tree whip from a choice of Rowan, Crab Apple, Wild Cherry or Dog Wood (all native species) please go to contact Camden Forest for more information.

Seed Saving Network

The network based in Omved Gardens in the Highgate Bowl are hoping to “germinate” a community of growers, sharing seed tips and data about growing of heritage and organic varieties of vegetables and plants.

If you have queries or ideas for greening our area or you wish to join the DPNF Greening Team, please contact us by email

6 October 2020

Dear Neighbours

Please find the draft response of the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum (DPNF) after consideration of the issues and discussion with the DPNF Committee about 2 Chester Road 2020/3461/P.

We plan to send this out before the deadline of 11th October 2020.

DPNF encourages you to review the points highlighted by the DPNF Committee and write in with your own comments.

Please note, the deadline is Sunday 11th October 2020.

Many thanks in advance
Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum Committee

DPNF response to 2 Chester Road 2020/3461/P
A planning application for the redevelopment of 2 Chester Road has been submitted to Camden (2020/3461/P).  The proposed development would provide a hostel for the temporary accommodation of homeless families, in some cases women and their children at risk of violence.  The new development would provide 50 new dwellings in three blocks (3 and 4 storeys) arranged around a central communal garden.  The application proposes the demolition of the existing building on the site, until recently used as a hostel for single person temporary accommodation.

The DPNF supports the development in principle.  The provision of this facility is consistent with the objective of the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Plan to support a variety of housing and community facilities in the area.  However, we do have some concerns about the detail of the proposed development.

  • The proposed buildings are too large and domineering for the site in the heart of a residential neighbourhood.
    • Even the three-storey block on Chester Road will be significantly (up to a storey) higher than the neighbouring houses.  The four-storey block on Dartmouth Park Hill will present a sheer cliff-like appearance to the road.
    • We welcome the landscaping of Colva Walk and the provision of ramps in place of steps.  However, we are concerned that the Colva Walk passage would be overwhelmed by the sheer wall of the building, and that the passage would become a wind and noise tunnel.
  • The proposed number of residents (up to 200 in 50 units) is too high, resulting in cramped accommodation.  In addition, although there is a central communal garden, there is no provision of private outdoor space such as balconies. We would prefer to see more generous allocations of space for a smaller number of vulnerable families, which would ameliorate over-crowding and avoid any undue impact on local infrastructure such as medical facilities.
  • The design of the façade is poor.
    • The development is entirely inward facing, with little engagement with the community.
    • The proposed continuous façade is bleak and monolithic, with no setbacks, balconies or other features to break up the bulk and create a more domestic scale to blend with the neighbourhood.
    • It is proposed to clad the buildings in shiny green tiles with a curving and asymmetric profile.  The choice of these tiles is arbitrary and capricious, and has no connection or reference to the materials used in the area; the green of the tiles, in particular, is completely at odds with the warm red, brown and yellow bricks of the surrounding streets.
  • We also object to the demolition of the existing building, without proof that this is essential.
    • Camden’s Local Plan Policy CC1(e) requires all proposals that involve substantial demolition to demonstrate that it is not possible to retain and improve the existing building. The case has not been made to show that demolition is necessary; we question the assertion that the existing building has reached the end of its life. In addition, with Covid -19 the likelihood of enduring changed working patterns and reduced needs for office space suggests that there may be opportunities to repurpose an existing building in the borough instead. These issues need to be explored in order to meet the Policy as to demolition.
    • The building was designed by Bill Forrest, one of the excellent young architects in Camden’s architecture department in the 1960s and 70s who designed some of the finest social housing in the country, including the Highgate New Town development of which the hostel formed part.  The demolition of such a thoughtful and high-quality building in a conservation area is deplorable.
    • The demolition of the existing building, with its large embodied carbon, is not consistent with sustainability objectives.
  • We welcome the use of prefabricated offsite construction methods and the inclusion of underfloor electric heating, air source heat pumps and green roofs.

The DPNF intends to submit comments on the development to Camden.  You may wish to consider sending your own comments, which you can do here:
The last date for comments is 11 October 2020. 

19 September 2020


We, the undersigned, strongly believe in the benefit to the community of the Star Pub, at 47 Chester Road N19 5DF, and the vital role it plays in ensuring a thriving and vibrant neighbourhood hub.

We value the role the Star has played and can continue to play as a venue that brings people together across backgrounds, age and social class. It adds to and complements the other facilities in the area: the Chester Balmore shops, the Highgate Library, the Highgate Newtown Community Centre, Brookfield School, and Konstam Nursery.

The long-term closure of the pub including its upstairs function room would be a huge loss to the area.

We support its registration as an asset of community value (ACV), in order save it from closure for redevelopment for another use and loss of its community function.

The facts:

  • The Star pub at 47 Chester Road is part of the earlier development of the Chester Road/Croftdown Road/St Albans Road Homes for Heroes development. It began its life as “The Holly Lodge” established in 1883, and subsequently, became the Totnes Castle. It also had a pivotal place in the later 1970s concept of Highgate Newtown with its neighbourhood centre on Chester Road.
  • It’s at the meeting point between different parts of the Ward, from Swains Lane to Highgate Newtown. By being on Chester Road, in a highly visible location, and near various other facilities, it is inviting and accessible to all.
  • It is in a relatively high-density part of the Ward where community space is really important. Until its recent closure, it played a vital role in furthering the social well-being of the area by hosting community events and activities as well as being a meeting space in the area for residents.

This petition has been set up by the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum (DPNF). By way of example, the listing of the Dartmouth Arms as an ACV by the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum was a crucial factor in it being saved for the community from closure for redevelopment.
Residents in the area are encouraged to sign the petition and show their support.
Many thanks
Yours sincerely
Maya De Souza – DPNF Chair
Please click on for the petition –

19 August 2020

The Kentish Town Planning Framework was adopted by Camden Council on 17th July 2020. The planning framework will influence and guide development that comes forward in the area. More information about the framework including the document and consultation summaries can be viewed on Camden Council’s website –
The area covered by the Kentish Town Planning Framework includes the Murphy’s Yard development site located on Highgate Road, London NW5 1TN. Below is a description of the proposed development.
Redevelopment of Murphy’s Yard site (excluding Murphy’s headquarters and the O2 Forum Kentish Town) with partial retention of the existing central railway sheds, and erection of 17 buildings ranging in height from 3 to 18 storeys to provide a mixed use development including: Circa 40,000sqm of industrial uses (including light industry as well as general industry and storage), 750 residential units (targeting 35% affordable housing), as well as circa 31,000sqm of offices, circa 9,000sqm of healthcare, circa 4,000sqm leisure/retail/cultural space.
The distribution of uses provides a residential-led neighbourhood in the northern part of the site and an industrial/commercial neighbourhood centred on light-industrial uses to the south with variety of unit sizes and including affordable workspace. A new, landscaped public route (for pedestrian and cycle access) between Kentish Town and Hampstead Heath (“the Heath Line”) is proposed alongside wider landscaping and public realm improvements and access routes into and across the site.
Primary vehicular access is proposed from the existing entrance on Sanderson Place and a reconfigured access on Gordon House Road.
Camden has set up a remote Development Management (DM) Forum on the Murphy’s Yard site to gain feedback from residents and businesses on what the development should provide. This is an important opportunity for the community to influence the development of this prominent site.
The DM Forum will be held on 8th September at 7:00pm.
The Council has set up a dedicated website on the Murphy’s Yard development – 
On this website you can see a description and site map for the proposals and register for the DM Forum.
You can also visit the applicant’s website –
The community can already submit questions in writing:
J. Murphy & Sons Limited
Hiview House
Highgate Road, London
From the 26th August you will be able to ask questions via video:

14 August 2020


  • Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum undertook a survey of local people and businesses to test the water on the community’s views on traffic and travel in our area.
  • The Government is actively encouraging local measures to reduce traffic in residential areas, including implementing ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ (LTNs), which are springing up across London.  We wanted to know what our neighbours thought about the principle of an LTN and other measures in Dartmouth Park.
  • The survey took place over 2 weeks in late July 2020 and was completed by 401 people. We are very grateful for this amazing response.
  • Responses were received from a broad range of people:
    • Living on 67 different streets
    • 44% under the age of 50
    • 45% have children under 18 in their household

Regarding issues experienced:

  • 82% think there was too much traffic in Dartmouth Park before lockdown
  • 70% think there was too much traffic on their street before lockdown
  • At least half of respondents say that their immediate local area suffers from:
    • noticeable pollution
    • excessive rat-running
    • excessive speeding
  • 94% appreciated the fall in traffic and improved air quality during lockdown.

Regarding possible interventions, the following number show how many respondents say they are very supportive and quite supportive of each measure:

  • 77% support removing obstructions from pavements for people with disabilities
  • 75% support reducing through traffic
  • 73% support trialling a Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme in Dartmouth Park
  • 71% support cycle lanes on busy roads such as Highgate Road and Gordon House Road
  • 69% support banning through traffic so long as traffic is not displaced onto other local residential streets
  • 68% support restricting through traffic at peak times
  • 64% support pedestrian/zebra crossings across main roads
  • 62% support widening pavements where practical
  • 62% support changing some streets into pedestrian areas
  • 61% support play streets – temporary closure of residential streets to allow children to play
  • 60% support vehicle-activated speed signs
  • 55% support rephasing traffic lights to benefit pedestrians
  • 54% support more cycle parking hangars
  • 50% support removing pavement parking
  • 47% support extending bike hire into Dartmouth Park
  • 46% support more cycle paths on Hampstead Heath
  • 46% support removing parking from Highgate Road to allow more space for cycling
  • 45% support more one way streets
  • 39% support secure parking for cargo bikes
  • 39% support traffic calming such as speed humps
  • 34% support more brightly lit streets

When people were asked what measures they would support to help the businesses and enable safe community interaction in our 4 local centres

  • For York Rise/Chetwynd Road:
    • 66% support more planting and environmental improvements
    • 65% support removing some parking to allow businesses to put out more tables and chairs
    • 65% support closing to traffic at weekends to allow businesses to put tables and chairs in the street
    • 61% support restricting traffic access to improve the environment for pedestrians and outdoor customers
    • 55% support more cycle parking
    • 54% support more places to sit
  • For Swain’s Lane:
    • 78% support more cycle parking
    • 77% support more places to sit
    • 77% support more planting and environmental improvements
    • 76% support new public toilets
    • 74% support closing to traffic at weekends to allow businesses to put tables and chairs in the street
    • 72% support restricting traffic access to improve the environment for pedestrians and outdoor customers
    • 68% support removing some parking to allow businesses to put out more tables and chairs
  • For Highgate Road (around Parliament Hill Medical Centre):
  • 74% support more planting and environmental improvements
  • 70% support more cycle parking
  • 65% support new public toilets
  • 56% support more places to sit
  • For Chester Road:
  • 68% support more planting and environmental improvements
  • 60% support more cycle parking
  • 54% support more places to sit

What now? 

  • We have shared the findings with Camden Council to enable them to decide how to respond to them.
  • Armed with these findings, we will campaign for measures to improve the neighbourhood for residents and businesses.
  • We are seeking funding to explore the issues raised in the survey with the community in more depth.

22 July 2020


Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum’s (DPNF) short survey is designed to test the water on the Dartmouth Park community’s views on traffic and travel in our area in response to the twin emergencies of coronavirus and climate change.
Whilst the past few months have been difficult in numerous ways, many people have appreciated the lack of traffic and the noticeable improvement in air quality.  People are also worried that traffic levels will return worse than before if people are reluctant to use public transport.  And they want to make the trading environment for our local businesses as attractive as possible as the recovery gathers pace.
Communities across London are seeing benefits of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.  These are where through traffic is cut from an area whilst access for residents, visitors, deliveries is freely allowed.   Where they have been implemented in Waltham Forest, streets are safer, air quality has improved, businesses are thriving, and more people are making greener, healthier travel choices.  You can see more information in this very short film:

The Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum’s Neighbourhood Plan passed a local referendum in February with over 1000 votes cast, 88% in favour.  The Plan includes several policies and projects that support walking and cycling, traffic reduction, our local businesses and healthy lifestyles – all of which have become more important since then.

The findings of this survey will be passed to Camden Council to allow them to consider what, if any, interventions they can make on a temporary or trial basis. The survey will close on 31 July.  It should take less than 10 minutes to complete. One respondent will receive a voucher worth £20 to spend in the local shop or business of their choice!

We would love to hear your views on how we can make Dartmouth Park an even better place to live.

Please take the survey here.

19 JUNE 2020


Dear Neighbours

We’d like to invite you to join the Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forum (DPNF) and take part in shaping the place in which we live, work and share. For more information on the DPNF, please visit our website and register your details to receive communications.

DPNF is the 4th in Camden (after Fortune Green and West Hampstead, Kentish Town, Hampstead, Dartmouth Park) to have developed and obtained approval of its Neighbourhood Plan. It was formally adopted on 2 March 2020, after a referendum in which 87.9% of the votes cast were in favour. It will now, along with Camden’s Local Plan, guide decisions on planning applications in the area.

Recently, the DPNF has contributed to a number of key decisions with success.

  • Highgate Newtown Community Centre Demolition Management Plan
    This was submitted by the contractor in March, but plans for community engagement were cancelled because of the COVID -19 lockdown. The DPNF committee submitted a request for an extension of time for the consultation of the plan as well as detailed comments pointing out strong concerns relating to nuisance to neighbours in the lockdown period and safety concerns as to the heavy movement of trucks on Bertram Street, which would result from the proposed plan. Council agreed an extension of the consultation and held a working group meeting. It also agreed to postpone demolition works, which will now take place from August until November 2020. DPNF recognises the new HNCC building will bring important facilities to the community and looks forward to its completion; and also recognise HNCC’s commitment to the community in running a food bank in these troubled times. 
  • Haddo House 5G Mast Application
    DPNF submitted comments opposing the plan to install new equipment on this iconic building with “unusual features that give it distinctiveness and flair”. The proposed equipment would be tall and bulky, affecting the clear lines of the building. Camden Council subsequently refused the application.
  • Dartmouth Arms Asset of Community Value
    DPNF’s application for the Dartmouth Arms registration as an Asset of Community Value to continue has been successful.

A new DPNF committee has been elected – Nick Bradfield, Ben Castell, Maya de Souza,Valerie Doulton, Ellen Gates,Ilona Hay, Jessica Jacobs, Sue King, J-J Lorraine, Kathleen Molnar, Emily O’Mara, Catharine Wells, Eileen Willmott.

The new Chair is Maya de Souza and Deputy Chair is Valerie Doulton.

The DPNF sub committees include:
Planning & Development Sub-Group
Projects Sub-Group

Please contact Kathleen Molnar, DPNF Communications Lead with your queries or for further information.
07973 510 866

Please share your ideas and thoughts with DPNF.

Best wishes,
Maya de Souza, DPNF – Chair
Valerie Doulton, DPNF – Deputy Chair