Minutes of Meetings

There are links to a PDF of the minutes of each meeting beneath the relevant heading.

FORUM COUNCIL - 15th January 2018

TBA

FORUM COUNCIL - 4th December 2017

Minutes 04.12.17

3rd ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - 24TH oCTOBER 2017

Minutes 24.10.17 (Members + Tony Burton CBE)

FORUM COUNCIL - 2ND oCTOBER 2017

Minutes 02.10.17 (Members + LBTH Infrastructure Planning)

FORUM COUNCIL - 4TH sEPTEMBER 2017

Minutes 04.09.17 (Members + Tony Burton CBE + Yasmin Aktar, Citizens UK)

FORUM COUNCIL - 3RD july 2017

Minutes 03.07.17 (Members + Tony Burton CBE)

FORUM COUNCIL - 5TH jUNE 2017

Minutes 05.06.17 (Members + Tony Burton CBE)

forum council - 8th May 2017

Minutes 08.05.17 (Members + Tony Burton CBE + LBTH Strategic Planning)

GENERAL MEETING - 24TH April 2017

Minutes 24.04.17 (Members + Unmesh Desai AM)

forum council - 3rd april 2017

Minutes 03.04.17

forum council - 6th March 2017

Minutes 06.03.17 (Members + Tony Burton CBE)

GENERAL MEETING - 25TH JANUARY 2017

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forum council - 5th December 2016

Minutes 05.12.16

forum council - 7th NOVember 2016

Minutes 07.11.16 (Members + LBTH Business and Town Centres Manager)

GENERAL MEETING - 25TH OCTOBER 2016

Minutes 25.10.16 (Members + Inspector Paul Crosby)

forum council - 5th September 2016

Minutes 05.09.16

2ND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - 12th July 2016


MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE SNPF HELD AT HANBURY HALL ON HANBURY STREET ON 12TH JULY 2016

Present: 

  • Tarik Ahmed Khan (Vice Chairman) (representing SOUL)
  • Toby Brown (representing Old Spitalfields Market)
  • Adriana Cerne
  • Melanie Denyer
  • Silas Denyer (representing The Rag Factory)
  • David Donoghue (Chairman)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Jeremy Freedman
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Joy Godsell
  • Alex Gordon Shute
  • Paul Johnston (Vice Chairman) (representing Johnston Architecture & Design)
  • Damaris McDonald (representing Spitalfields Music)
  • Daniel Mendosa
  • Lindsay Moran (representing Leyden Gallery)
  • Krissie Nicolson (representing East End Trades Guild)
  • Edith Okoth-Awuor (representing Spitalfields Small Business Association)
  • Tim Oliver
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder (representing The Spitalfields Society)
  • Anne Marie Tong
  • John Twomey
  • Mhairi Weir (representing Spitalfields City Farm)
  • Christine Whaite

Observers:           

  • Faye Cattini
  • Alexandra Konoplyanik
  • Cyril Serve
  • Jessica Strange

Apologies:  

  • Chris Dyson                  
  • Heloise Palin
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Rupert Wheeler

1. Chairman's Report

The Chairman of the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum (SNPF) opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to Hanbury Hall. 

The Chairman then reminded Members of some of the events of year, not least our official approval and designation by Tower Hamlets in April, various planning proposals which were occurring in our vicinity and then proceeded to go through the agenda and outline the main business of the meeting, agenda items and speakers.

2. Secretary's Report

The Secretary reported that the Forum now has 105 members of which 66 are residents, 11 represent local organizations, 26 are business representatives and two are local councilors. There has been a turnover with some members leaving (usually due to moving away but there have also been several deaths) but more people joining which overall has resulted in around seven more members than last year. Among the new intake are Second Home, East End Trades Guild, Spitalfields Music, Spitalfields Small Business Association and The Museum of Immigration and Diversity (on Princelet Street).

Over the past year we have had three General Meetings, one of which was a Special General Meeting. At these meetings a Consultation Strategy was adopted, the historic entirety of Christ Church Gardens were recognised as Public Open Space, we adopted a logo, we endorsed the change of our area to a business neighbourhood, we made changes to our Constitution and endorsed minor boundary changes made by Tower Hamlets upon Business Neighbourhood Area designation on April 5th 2016.

On 6th June the Committee of the Forum met in the old Parish Vestry with a representative of the Local Planning Authority and began discussing the Service Agreement between them and us. In total the Committee of the Forum has met seven times between the 2015 AGM and today.

3. Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer reported that since the last AGM we had received a total of £1000.00 in donations split equally between the Spitalfields Society and the Spitalfields Community Group on top of a starting balance carried over from the previous year.

This money had been mainly spent on venue hire (£760.00), training (£238.80) and printing costs (£160.62). This meant that as of June this year we had a balance of £372.75.

The Treasurer told the Meeting that he believed we should seek much larger donations from local organizations such as the Spitalfields Society and Spitalfields Community Group which both have very healthy bank balances at the moment. He noted that almost all of the money those organisations receive is in filming fees via the local authority meant for the general benefit of people in this area. This approach would need to be agreed by the Committee and then negotiated with the various groups.  

4. Principal Planner's Report

Santokh Kaulder reported that he had attended a training session run by the Royal Town Planning Institute in May which had been very useful. It had shown that case law was in our favour so far as what neighbourhood plans can and cannot do. He and other members of the Committee had attended workshops organised by LBTH and had been in discussion with them recently about open spaces.

He reported that funding was an issue and it was important when applying for funds from Locality (DCLG) that we were quite sure what we wanted it spent on because there were strict limitations regarding when it could be spent. He and Heloise Palin, who had both been working on this, regarded it as sensible we establish where we needed to buy in expertise and what we could do ‘in house’. SK had been in touch with a company called Plan Projects and we will continue to engage with them. He had also been in touch with University College London regarding their Neighbourhood Planning Masters Module and the prospect of us providing opportunities for their students to help us and work on our plan (gathering and quantifying data, etc) pro bono in return for us enabling them to fulfill the requirements of their course. These talks will continue.

4. Main Business

a)      Constitutional Amendments

i.            Article 8

The Chairman proposed an amendment to our Constitution whereby the Committee of the Forum would be renamed the Forum Council. He and the Secretary outlined the numerous and persuasive reasons why this would be helpful.

It is proposed that the word ‘Committee’ is replaced with the term ‘Forum Council’ in Article 8 and elsewhere in the Constitution.

Proposer:         D. Donoghue

Seconder:         A. Gordon Shute

PASSED with twenty-three votes FOR and one vote AGAINST.

ii.            Article 6

The Secretary proposed another amendment to our Constitution whereby the Forum Council (formerly known as the Committee) could confer “Associate Membership” to persons they thought deserving and appropriate. There were numerous examples of people who either lived just outside out bounds or who had lived here a long time and had moved away and were worthy of such recognition. It would be inclusive and positive for us to do this. Associate Membership would have key differences to full membership and would be ineligibile for elections and would have no voting rights; we have confirmed with LBTH at NP workshops that this was legal. The necessary change would require the insertion of a new clause under Article 6, viz:

6. j)  The Forum Council may confer Associate Membership on any person whom they deem appropriate. Associate Members shall be invited to meetings of the Forum and may participate in them but may not exercise a vote or become a member of the Forum Council.

Proposer:         J. Frankcom

Seconder:        P. Johnston

PASSED unanimously.

Both the Constitutional Amendments (i and ii) were then signed by the Chairman and added to the records and are effective immediately.

b)  Meeting Dates

Date of General Meetings will be set as: 25 October 2016, 25 January 2017 and 24 July 2017.

The next AGM would be deferred until 24 October 2017. This change abridges the Constitution and needs explicit endorsement. We are seeking this change to avoid our main meeting clashing with other important local meetings held here in July and late June.

It is proposed that we hold General Meetings on 25 October 2016, 25 January 2017 and 24 July 2017. It is proposed that the date of our next Annual General Meeting be held on 24 October 2017 in fifteen months time.

Proposer:    D. Donoghue

Seconder:    S. Kaulder

PASSED unanimously.

c)      Proposal to make an application for Town Green Status for Allen Gardens

The Secretary outlined the extra protection under the law a town green or village green has and expanded on the desirability of such status given the shortage of open space in our neighbourhood and the past examples of areas of public open space not receiving the protection they deserve. He read out s.15 of the Commons Act 2006 and explained how this legislation could be applied to Allen Gardens. He proposed that the Forum Council (formerly the Committee) be empowered by the Forum to proceed with making such an application for Allen Gardens using the 2006 Act. J. Zeloof spoke to the Forum and said that there may be peripheral parts of those gardens where some form of development may be desirable. T. Brown made a similar appoint about special surfaces for game playing in particular areas. S. Kaulder confirmed that such active surfaces would constitute ‘development’ and be subject to the 2006 Act. A form or words was agreed.

It is proposed that the Forum Council make an application for Town Green Status for Allen Gardens (all or in part) using the Commons Act 2006. The precise delineation of Allen Gardens will be confirmed by the Forum Council in the application they shall duly make in the exercise of s.15 of that Act.

Proposer:    J. Frankcom

Seconder:    C. Whaite

PASSED unanimously.

5. Any Other Business

There were no items.

6. Election of the Forum Council 2016-2017

The following persons were elected:

a)      Resident Members

  • Melanie Denyer
  • David Donoghue
  • James Frankcom
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Joy Godsell
  • Heloise Palin
  • Alex Gordon Shute
  • Jon Shapiro

b)     Business Operators

  • Toby Brown (Old Spitalfields Market)
  • Paul Johnston (Paul Johnston Architecture & Design)
  • Mhairi Weir (Spitalfields City Farm)
  •  Jason Zeloof (Old Truman Brewery / Zeloof Partners)

c)      Representatives of Local Organisations

  • Tarik Ahmed Khan (SOUL)
  • Edith Okoth-Awuar (Spitalfields Small Business Association)
  • Tania Shaikh (Attlee Youth & Community Centre / Attlee Foundation)
  • Santokh Singh Kaulder (The Spitalfields Society)

7. Guest Speaker: Krissie Nicolson, organiser, East End Trades Guild

Krissie Nicolson addressed the Members and spoke about how the East End Trades Guild (which is an organisation Member of the Forum) began. She had read an article written in Spitalfields Life by the Gentle Author regarding the market sundries shop on Commercial Street which has been run by the same family since the 19th Century. She was concerned about how it may be forced to close by rent increases. She had a masters degree in community organizing and felt she should put this to use. Ultimately the shop was saved and the EETG was born which has over twenty members within the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Area. She invited our members to a barbeque event hosted by EETG at Spitalfields City Farm on 7th August from 5pm to 9pm.

Krissie Nicolson was thanked for her speech and the meeting closed at 20:30.

 

MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE SNPF HELD AT HANBURY HALL ON HANBURY STREET ON 26TH APRIL 2016

Present:                

  • Tarik Ahmed Khan (Vice Chairman) (representing SOUL)
  • Mohammed Al-Hussaini (representing Portsoken Community Trust)
  • Jonathan Boyle (representing State Studio Ltd.)
  • Fay Cattini (representing The Spitalfields Society)
  • Charlie de Wet
  • David Donoghue (Chairman)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Jeremy Freedman
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Joy Godsell
  • Alex Gordon Shute
  • Paul Johnston (Vice Chairman) (representing Johnston Architecture & Design)
  • Daniel Mendosa
  • Edith Okoth-Awuor (representing Spitalfields Small Business Association)
  • Tim Oliver
  • Heloise Palin
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder (representing Spitalfields Community Group)
  • Matthew Smith
  • Justine Stevens
  • Mhairi Weir (representing Spitalfields City Farm)
  • Rupert Wheeler                       

Observers:            

  • Cllr. Rachel Blake (LBTH Cabinet Member for Strategic Development)    
  • Aziz Choudhury (from SSBA)
  • Bertie Palin (a minor)

1. Philip Vracas

The Chairman informed the meeting about the sudden and untimely death of Philip Vracas last night. Philip was a founding member of the Forum and as well as being a Member of our organization was involved in many local groups, was a great friend to many local people and will be deeply missed. Before the business of the meeting began there was a moments silence to remember him.  

2. Welcome and Chairman’s Report

The Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum then opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to Hanbury Hall.

The Secretary then confirmed there was the necessary quorum to proceed and that apologies had been received from Lindsay Moran, Tania Shaikh and Jason Zeloof.

The Chairman then went through the agenda and outlined the main purposes of the meeting; to amend our Constitution, to hear about our designation progress and other findings; and in any other business to hear a presentation from the Huguenots of Spitalfields trustee Charlie de Wet.

3. Matters Arising

a)      Designation Update

The Secretary told the meeting of the great news of the official designation of our Neighbourhood Planning Area and the approval of our Neighbourhood Planning Forum. The Secretary (James Frankcom) as well as the Vice Chairman (Tarik Ahmed Khan), and other Committee members Santokh Singh Kaulder, Tania Shaikh and Joy Godsall attended the LBTH Cabinet Meeting at Mulberry Place on 5th April 2016. The Secretary spoke at the meeting representing the Forum and outlined the strong grounds for designation of our area and approval of our Forum. Jason Zeloof, who is also a Committee member, spoke out against the designation of the Forum and recommended Cabinet approve an alternative area which excluded the Old Truman Brewery site; of which he is a shareholder in the owning company of that site. Ultimately the Mayor of Tower Hamlets decided to accept the recommendations of his officers outlined in the determination reports of Aman Dalvi.

The Secretary explained how the area we had originally applied for designation for differs in size and scope from the area which was designated.

The area differs in size by the inclusion of small additional areas to the south and east:

  • Goulston Street; including the north side of New Goulston Street and the whole block south of that bordered by New Goulston Street (north), Middlesex Street (west) and Goulston Street (south and east).
  • Old Castle Street; including both sides of that street broadly speaking so far south as Pomell Way to incorporate Jacobson House, Herbert House and a playground on the west side of Old Castle Street, and East End Community School, Evershed House and Bradley House on the east side, as well as another playground between Bradley House and Denning Point.
  • Buxton Street; a small section between the street and Spitalfields City Farm that consists of a pair of tennis courts part of the grounds of Thomas Buxton Primary School.

The area differs in scope because it has, as we had expected, been designated as a Neighbourhood Business Planning Area.

It is worth emphasizing that our official name is Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum and that and the short form Spitalfields Forum will be the names we will be going by from now on.

b)     Constitutional Amendments

The Secretary advised the Forum that we were obliged to make some changes to our Constitution to reflect the changes made to our neighbourhood area boundaries. He also advised the Forum that the Committee had determined that this was a good opportunity and a sensible time to make some further changes to the Constitution which we thought would make the Committee work better and be more inclusive.

The proposed Constitutional Amendments were as follows:

i.      Change the term “SNPF” to the term “the Forum” throughout the Constitution

ii.      Insert a preamble [corresponding to the official ‘designation and approval statement’ issued by LBTH] which reads: “Tower Hamlets Council, in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) and pursuant to a decision made on 5th April 2016 by the Mayor in Cabinet, designated the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Area as a Neighbourhood Business Planning Area and approved the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum as the Neighbourhood Planning Forum for the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Area.”

iii.      Amend Article 1 to read: (a) The long-form name is “Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum” or “SNPF”; (b) The short-form name is “Spitalfields Forum”.

iv.      Amend Article 2 so that after the words “the area of the Forum is” insert the words “the neighbourhood business planning area designated by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets as the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Area” and insert a copy of the official Tower Hamlets map of the designated area in the Appendix.

v.      Amend Article 3 to (a) insert the word “, heritage” into Objective A between the words “economic” and “and environmental well-being” and (b) to add a new Objective E which reads, “to promote economic growth and investment.” 

vi.      Amend Article 7 sub-clauses in particular to (a) amend 7(d)vii to increase the number of Committee members in thebusiness category from three to four and to increase the number of members in the voluntary and community groups category also from three to four, (b) to change the wording of 7(d)viii to remove the condition “fail to attend more than three consecutive meetings of the Committee shall be deemed to have lapsed” and replace with the condition “resign or otherwise leave the Committee before the end of their term, then” [essentially this change removed the clause which compelled a Committee member to resign if they missed three or more meetings and made the resignation of a Committee member and process to be followed thereafter a little clearer] and, (c) to add a new sub-clause 7(d)x which reads, “The Chairman may exercise a second, casting vote after any vote on the Committee when there is a deadlock due to a tie.”

vii.      Amend Article 8 to increase the maximum number of Committee members from thirteen to sixteen.

J. Shapiro and other Forum members recommended that the wording of v(b) be changed because the wording appeared too vague and might result in unintended consequences.

MOTION: It is proposed that the wording of v(b) above is amended to read: v.(b) “To promote local prosperity through neighbourhood-based economic growth and investment.”

Proposer:         J. Shapiro

Seconder:        A. Gordon Shute

Passed unanimously.

The Forum then moved to consider the whole package of Constitutional Amendments outlined in the main motion.

MAIN MOTION: It is proposed that the Forum approve all these changes (as amended) to the Constitution.

Proposer:         J. Frankcom

Seconder:        S. Singh Kaulder

Passed unanimously.

The Constitutional Amendments were then signed and became immediately effective.

c)      Update on work on our Consultation Framework: Trade & Commerce

S. Kaulder and J. Frankcom presented to the Meeting the work the Committee had been doing as it drafted a Consultation Framework that would be used by the Working Groups. They explained how we had already outlined to the Forum the findings our committee members had made in the areas of Heritage, Streets, Open Spaces and Community Assets. We were now planning to outline existing local planning policy in the area of Trade and Commerce.

The point of us doing this is to understand what loop holes we can fill and also to gain knowledge of how the Council view the area strategically and the aims and objectives they want achieved. We will then be able to “champion” the interests of local people in areas where there is already a sufficiently robust policy as well as looking for areas where we could make a difference and “fine tune” to suit Spitalfields.

As a general rule we can embellish the Local Plan (also known as the “Core Strategy”) but we cannot contradict it - the gaps we can fill should not be contrary to the “direction” of the Local Plan.

As a point of information, LBTH have said they are reviewing their local plan. We have considered three options:

  1. “Wait and see” – do nothing until the Local Plan is re-written, but this is a problem because we have only five years and we wish to maintain momentum
  2.  “Hope for the best” – go ahead regardless - but this is risky because we might end up drafting a neighbourhood plan which ends up not conforming to the new local plan and then struck down
  3. “Hand in hand” – this way we could initiate our own consultations but use our consultations to help the LPA draft their local plan and satisfy their own consultation requirements. We could potentially get greater support from the LPA with our own plan making and could also have a greater say on the policies of local plan they are developing. We think this option is the best bet.

At this point a consensus at the meeting was gauged which indicated clear support for Option 3.

J. Zeloof and J. Shapiro had reviewed the existing Trade and Commerce policies in the Local Plan in February. Their key findings were: 

CORE STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

The Core Strategy policy wishes to refocus on Town Centres (in our case, Brick Lane District Centre) in Tower Hamlets with the following “Strategic Objectives”:

Strategic Objective SO4

To have a hierarchy of interconnected, vibrant and inclusive town centres that are mixed use hubs for retail, commercial, leisure, civic and residential uses. The purpose of each town centre will differ according to its role and function.

Strategic Objective SO5

To promote mixed-use at the edges and main streets of town centres.

Strategic Objective SO6

To promote areas outside of town centres for primarily residential and supporting uses that do not need as high level of accessibility as town centres. 

CORE STRATEGY POLICIES (to achieve objectives)

 NB. The Core Strategy Policies are fine-tuned in the Managing Development Document, in particular for the Brick Lane District Centre. The MDD is part of the implementation of the Core Strategy.

 Policy on “Area Hierarchy” (SP01.1)

 There is a planning hierarchy of areas and town centres as follows (in descending order from large to small):

1.          Central Activity Zone (“CAZ”) [All of SNPF is in the CAZ except the Farm)

2.          Tower Hamlets Activity Area (“THAA”) [All of SNPF is in that)

3.          Major Centres [SNPF is not a Major Centre]

4.          District Town Centres [Brick Lane (this is Brick Lane plus the OTB site)

5.          Neighbourhood Town Centres (what brick Lane DC was until 2010)

Brick Lane was re-classified upwards from a Neighbourhood Centre to a District Centre in 2010. The BLDC is limited to the properties on both sides of Brick Lane from Osborn Street to Bethnal Green Road and includes the whole Old Truman Brewery Site. It also includes some properties on the north side of Hanbury Street and on Cheshire Street.

 Policy on Scale and Type of Uses within the BLDC

 Policy SP01.2 sets out broad guidance to ensure that the scale and type of use in Brick Lane District Centre reflect these points: 

  •  Town centres should be active, well used and safe both in the day and night
  • Night time economy use should be encouraged in a town centre for vibrancy and economic vitality, ensuring it is not over-concentrated, balanced and complimentary to existing uses
  • Town centres should be mixed use with a variety of unit sizes and types
  • Culture and leisure should be promoted. 

Policy on Good Design in Town Centres

Town centres should be “well designed with a well-integrated spatial layout”.

Policy on Town Centre Activity/Retail

Maintain, focus and increase the supply of town centre activity and retail space to meet demand and support town centres as vibrant economic hubs by:

  • Encouraging 16,600 sqm net floor-space of comparison retail in stated town centres, including Brick Lane District Centres [Policy SP01.4(a)] This basically means increasing the number of shops.
  • Promoting and focusing street markets in town centres [Policy SP01.4(c)] Making it easy to run a market stall

Policy on Promoting areas outside Town Centres – this applies to our whole Neighbourhood Area beyond the BLDC.

Promote areas outside of town centres and on the edge of town centres as places that support and assist in the creation of sustainable communities (this means a nice place to live), by:

  • Promoting mixed use development (shops, offices and houses) at edges and main streets of town centres
  • Promoting residential and supporting uses in areas outside of town centres.

So this is the “broad brush” of the local plan and in a sentence it basically says: in the middle there will be lots of shops and market stalls and around the edge is mainly people’s homes but with a few shops to make life convenient.

MANAGING DEVELOPMENT DOCUMENT

MDD Policy DM1 – Development in town centre hierarchy

[Policy DM1.3] Promote town centre vitality: The vitality and viability of the borough's major, district (such as Brick Lane) and neighbourhood centres will be promoted by:

a)      A shop cannot be changed into anything else unless it can be demonstrated that:

                     i.            the loss of this shop would not undermine the town centre's position within the town centre hierarchy

                   ii.         the loss of this shop would not result in the overall number of shops falling below 50% of the total number of within the town centre –

NOTE: Presumably, when this policy was created in 2010 an estimation of the total number of ground floor units in the BLDC was made and this number is the original "100%"

                  iii.            the shop has been vacant for over 12 months and marketed

                 iv.            the new use supports the town centre. 

NOTE: It was noted by the Committee that no permission was needed to ‘degrade’ a use from A5 down through A4, A3 and A2 to A1. However it is currently forbidden to ‘upgrade’ any existing A1 premises unless it meets the requirements (i-iv) shown above. The problem the Committee identified with this was that a curry house (or other restaurant in A3) could be converted into a shop (A1) but once it was an A1 it was MUCH HARDER to bring it back into use as a restaurant – BECAUSE IT MUST BE JUSTIFIED.

NOTE: We do not know what the total number of shops (A1) there are in the area being surveyed by the council and so we do not know how close we are to the 50% mentioned in a) ii.

b)      ensuring development does not result in over-concentration of non-A1 use

c)       supporting development that strengthens the mix and diversity of town centre uses (including employment and social/community uses).

[Policy DM1.4] New A3, A4 & A5 units in town centres (such as Brick Lane District Centre): To support the vitality and viability of town centres, restaurants (Use Class A3), pubs and bars (Use Class A4) and hot food takeaways (Use Class A5) will be supported in town centres provided that:

a)      they do not result in an over-concentration of such uses [see DM1.6] ; and

b)      there are at least two non-A3, A4 and A5 units between every new A3, A4 and A5 unit. 

NOTE: It was noted by the Committee that this “enforced sterilization” of properties might have unforeseen consequences. It only applies to new restaurants but potentially means four properties are “sterilized” and prevented from becoming restaurants (etc).

NOTE: The meeting was also advised that this is a matter of planning policy and not licensing policy. The “Brick Lane Saturation Zone” introduced in 2013 is a matter of Licensing policy and beyond our remit. A building could have planning permission to be a pub (A4 use) but be refused a license to sell alcohol under these contrasting policies.

[Policy DM1.5] New A5 units in town centres (such as Brick Lane District Centre). New hot food takeaways (A5 use) are supported in town centres, provided:

a)      in district centres the total percentage of A5 units does not exceed 5% of total units;

b)      proximity to the proposed new A5 unit of school and local authority leisure centres is considered – this means it is harder to open a chicken shop near Christ Church Primary now than it was.

[Policy DM1.6] No over-concentration of new A3, A4 & A5 units in Brick Lane District Centre: In the Brick Lane District Centre new A3, A4 and A5 units in Brick Lane district centre will be supported where they do not exceed 25% of the total number of units.

  a)    The evening and night-time economy (A3, A4 and A5 uses) contribute to ensure a vibrant and economically viable town centre. Policy DM1.6 manages over-concentration in specifically for Brick Lane District Centre in recognition of its additional functions as a tourist and leisure destination.

 b)   The vision this document has is that minimum 50% of the ground floor units are shops. And a maximum of 20% are restaurants, pubs and bars, maximum of 5% takeaways and the remaining 25%+ would presumably be offices (like estate agents, travel agents etc) and residential) – but new uses are added to the pre-existing stock when working out the percentage.

NOTE: The meeting was advised of an opportunity we had identified. There is a minimum of 50% of the total for the number of shops but there is no minimum for the number of A3 restaurants. There is a maximum of 25% but no minimum and we could consider establishing a minimum (e.g. 10%) and we could justify this on the basis that we wanted to keep Brick Lane as a “district centre” with its day and night economy. We could have a different policy, perhaps more restrictive, on A4 and A5 use – but it remains to be seen what consultation brings up.

[Policy DM1.7] No adverse effect on Town Centre: Development in a town centre will be supported where it does not have an adverse impact. Considerations:

a)      adequate width and depth of floor-space;

b)      shop-front installed in first phase of works (so streetscape not affected); and

c)       appropriate servicing arrangements. (BRICK LANE HOTEL IS AN EXAMPLE OF THIS IN ACTION)

 MDD Policy DM2 – Protecting local shops outside town centres

In order to protect retail (A1) uses in areas outside of town centres (NB. The rest of SNPF outside of the Brick Lane District Centre), loss of existing A1 units (shops) will only be supportedwhere:

  • The shop is within 300m of alternative local shops
  • The shop has been vacant (and marketed) for more than 12 months
  • There is no viable prospect of retail use in the unit

NOTE: We thought this was an area where neighbourhood planning could have a positive impact if we gave further thought to precisely what sort of local shops “support and assist in the creation of sustainable communities”. Perhaps it would be wise to create our own category of “local amenity shop” (e.g. a newsagent) which are needed by local residents as opposed to A1 shops in general catering to visitors to the area.

New retail (A1) uses in areas outside of town centres (NB. Parts of the SNPF are outside of the Brick Lane District Centre), will only be supportedwhere:

  • There is a local need
  • The new unit is of appropriate size for the locality
  • It will not adversely affect local amenity or character – this we identified as a heritage issue.
  • It will not lead to a concentration of uses that would undermine a nearby town centre (ie. will not undermine Brick Lane District Centre)  

Summary of main points to consider and address in our consultations.

  • Whether Commercial Street (all or part) should be designated by LBTH as a new District Centre (or an extension of the existing one) as part of the local plan review – we can take views on this during our consultations
  •  A3 to A1 will result in the loss of an A3 and in order to return to A3 would be difficult
  •  Matters relate a lot to economy and LBTH may address this in the revised Local Plan (LP)
  • A1 units outside the town centre have to be justified – we could further define this.
  • Loss of A1 units outside the town centre also have to be justified – could we provide a definition for Local Amenity Shop and give additional support?
  • Change of use from A1 within the BLDC has to be justified A5 units should not exceed 5% of total units within BLDC
  • A3, A4 and A5 will be supported in the BLDC if they do not exceed 25% of the total number of units.
  • There are at least two non-A3, A4 and A5 units between every new A3, A4 and A5 - concentration issues - not clustered – but this sterilization may bring unintended consequences and is rather unfair to potential businesses that may be very reasonable.
  • As the MDD addresses many issues raised in relation to Trade and commerce, it may be worthwhile for the community/forum to suggest these to LBTH as part of their consultation for the review of the Local Plan
  • This means instead of the forum drafting policies for this section we suggest our recommendations and gaps, highlighted above, found in the LP and MDD for LBTH to include in the revised LP.

There was at this stage some questions from Members.

T. Oliver recommended the Forum consider devising our own rating system for local restaurants. He noted that all the curry houses on Brick Lane say they are in one way or another “the best” and this is unsightly and confusing to visitors – could we have a system of our own. J. Frankcom responded saying that this was not an issue of “neighbourhood planning policy” but it could be something the Forum did in its capacity as a “champion of local interests”. Our Constitution’s objective to encourage civic pride would enable us to do this in time.

F. Cattini asked about the future of the former Seven Stars public house and whether it could have some sort of site allocation applied to it, considering it was vacant. There was a general feeling that this was a good idea and would be something suggested to the consultative working groups in due course.

J. Godsall raised the issue of the ongoing redevelopment of the former London Fruit and Wool Exchange site and how we should be prepared for the greater number of visitors to the area it is likely to bring.

4.      Any Other Business

 The items on the agenda under Any Other Business were deferred to the AGM.

5.      Guest Speaker: Charlie de Wet, trustee, Huguenots of Spitalfields.

Charlie de Wet addressed the Forum and gave an informative speech on the work the Huguenots of Spitalfields organization have been undertaking as they prepare to host The Immigrants of Spitalfields Festival which will celebrate the lives and heritage of multi-cultural Spitalfields on 19-21 June 2016. This festival was a joint initiative between the Huguenots of Spitalfields, the Swadhinata Trust and Sandys Row Synagogue. Charlie spoke about the great contribution various waves of immigrants have made to the area; in particular the quality of Huguenot silk and the campaign Bengalis have championed in support of their language rights world-wide.

As there was no further business, the Chairman reminded Members that the Annual General Meeting of the Forum would be held at Hanbury Hall on Tuesday 12 July 2016 and the meeting ended at 20:30.

MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE SNPF HELD AT THE ATTLEE CENTRE ON THRAWL STREET ON 4th April 2016

Present:

  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Joy Godsall
  • Paul Johnston (Vice Chair)
  • Tarik Khan (Acting Chair)
  • Heloise Palin
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:

  • David Donoghue
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Chris Dyson
  • Mhairi Weir
  • Jason Zeloof

1.   Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Approval of the minutes of the previous Committee Meeting held at the Attlee Centre on Monday 7th March 2016 was deferred until the next meeting.

2. Matters Arising

a)      Designation Update

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets (the LPA) and his Cabinet are due to make a decision on our Neighbourhood Area and Neighbourhood Forum designation on 5th April 2016. In advance of that decision the Strategic Planning Department has published two determination documents; one for the proposed area and one for the prospective forum. 

 i.  Determination of Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Area

This document has been declared “urgent” by the Mayor. In a preamble the determination states that the item “should not be delayed in order to positively support local communities prepare Neighbourhhood Development Plans without further delay.” We regard these instructions to be helpful and supportive. The document refers to the numerous representations made by Zeloof LLP and Truman Estates Limited. It also refers to the pro-forma letters and the petition submitted by those two companies. JF intends to respond to this in the Cabinet Meeting and explain how the pro-forma and the petition are an unreliable expression of local opinion. The document refers to our BNA submission as “unsolicited” which we accept it was given that we sent it in after the end of the LPA Consultation period. The document considers the area we have applied for to be “appropriate” in every aspect; the borders are based on historic boundaries, it has a suitable and genuine catchment area, it is the place where numerous community groups operate, it is of an appropriate size, and “it shows an understanding of spatial designations, key local assets and business assets, movement corridors within the area and its surroundings, borough and ward boundaries”. (s6.27-6.31) The document rejects the idea that the Old Truman Brewery estate should be excluded from the Neighbourhood Area on the bases that it is a local landmark which is “integrated with the north south axis of Brick Lane” and is “physically, socially and economically intrinsic to the character and function of the area of Spitalfields.” (s6.43)

The document rejects the “alternate area” proposed by Zeloof LLP etc because it is “not considered to reflect the character or function of Spitalfields as it is residential led and is not reflective of the vibrant and mixed use character of Spitalfields.” (s6.35)

The document recommends that the Area we have applied for be designated as a Business Neighbourhood Area because the area is predominantly business in nature with minor amendments to our bounds to extend the area along the southern boundary to include the other buildings of the Holland Estate which had remained outside the Area we had proposed. There are two small additional areas which they propose be incorporated into our Area; they are an area between our southern boundary and Pommel Way which includes Denning Point, Evershed House, Bradbury House, Jacobson House and Herbert House; and a second smaller area between New Goulston Street and Goulston Street containing ground floor shops and flats above. (s6.37)

On this point the Committee resolved to recommend at the next AGM (or a SGM called for this particular purpose) that Members approve and endorse the amendments made to our boundaries as described above which are proposed by the LPA in their determination of our Neighbourhood Area. 

Overall the determination document says that they have “come to a decision on the overall appropriateness of the specified area” (s6.49) which is “considered acceptable as a neighbourhood planning business area” (s.6.61) because “it meets the relevant legislative requirements and accords with the Government’s PPG guidance” which “represents a coherent spatial and physical understanding of the character and function of Spitalfields.”

The officers recommend approval with amendments as a BNA.

ii. Determination of Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum

This document has been declared “urgent” by the Mayor. In a preamble the determination states that the item “should not be delayed in order to positively support local communities prepare Neighbourhhood Development Plans without further delay.” We regard these instructions to be helpful and supportive.

The document affirms that the Membership of the Forum “is open to everyone who lives, works or represents the Area as an elected member.” (s.6.19 – 6.20)

It was noted by TS that according to our Constitution we had the option of refusing the membership or terminating the membership of opponents of our Forum, such as JZ, but we did not do so because we have always wanted (and have demonstrated a commitment) to be as inclusive as possible - this should be to our credit.

The document notes how we “have taken reasonable steps to secure…members through work initiated in 2012”. (s.6.26) The document notes how we have secured membership from different places in the Area. (s.6.27) The document notes how our membership “represents different community groups including businesses, young people and heritage interests.” (6.28) and notes how the Forum’s purpose reflects the character of the Area (6.29). The document concludes by stating how we have “demonstrated that [our] application to become a Neighbourhood Planning Forum meets the relevant requirements to be designated as the neighbourhood forum for Spitalfields Neighbourhood Area” and “as such the Council is satisfied that the proposed forum meets the conditions and provisions within the Town & Country Planning Act (1990), the 2012 Neighbourhood Planning Regulations, the Planning Policy Guidance and the Tower Hamlets Neighbourhood Planning Guidance Note.” (s.6.33)

The officers recommend the designation of the prospective Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum as the Neighbourhood Planning Forum for the Spitalfields Business Neighbourhood Area. (s.6.34)

b)      Review of LPA planning policy on Housing

This agenda item was deferred until the next meeting.

c)      Assets of Community Value

The Committee resolved to pursue the registration of local community assets as Assets of Community Value (ACV) with the LPA. JF had prepared the paperwork to do this and the Committee agreed it would be sensible to register such assets as the existing Public Houses, the Attlee Youth and Community Centre and the Spitalfields City Farm. JF agreed to send out guidance notes and the partially-completed paper work in advance of the next meeting so that Committee Members might begin this process of gathering the necessary information.

3.   Any Other Business

Santokh Kaulder now represents The Spitalfields Society on the Committee as an Organisation Member of the Forum. Jon Shapiro is now a Resident Member of the Forum.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 8pm.

 

MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE SNPF HELD AT the attlee centre on thrawl STREET ON 7TH march 2016

Present:

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Joy Godsall
  • Paul Johnston
  • Heloise Palin
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Mhairi Weir
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:

  • Chris Dyson
  • Joy Godsall
  • Tarik Khan
  • Heloise Palin
  • Jon Shapiro

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous Committee Meeting held at the Attlee Centre on Monday 7th December 2015 were read through and approved without amendment.

2. Matters Arising

a)      Appraisal of the General Meeting held on 26th January

Eighteen members came to the General Meeting where much business was done. The meeting was deemed a great success. Cllr. Rachel Blake, who came as a guest speaker, was impressive and the Committee extend their thanks to her for attending and agreeing to speak to our members. The Forum had asked Cllr. Blake to make enquiries about the disused public toilets on Wentworth Street and the proliferation of Jack the Ripper tours in the same area. Cllr. Blake has made members enquiries and the results of those enquiries have been forwarded on to our member who made the principal request. In essence, the toilets were abandoned in 2008 due to costs. The LPA has no records of the running costs (because they closed more than seven years ago and that time exceeds the statutory time they should retain such records) and the council has no intention or plan to reopen them. As regards the Jack the Ripper tours; according to the council there are three such tour operators of whom they are aware and the last complaint about any one of them was over two years ago. The issue of social housing provision was raised as well and Cllr. Blake advised the meeting that the LPA would be building more social housing.

It was agreed that having guest speakers is a very good thing and we should aim to do it at each meeting. CG recommended we invite our new member Charlie de Wet to talk at the next meeting. Ms. de Wet is a leading member of the Huguenots of Spitalfields and is currently organizing an event/s which will include the Christ Church, the Jamme Masjid and Sandy’s Row Synagogue – this suggestion had strong support among Committee members.

Other new members since our last Committee meeting include:

  • Duke of Wellington P.H.
  • Old Spitalfields Market (represented by the new manager, Mr. Toby Brown)
  • Second Home
  • Spitalfields Small Business Association

A particular issue pertinent to the Duke of Wellington is its recent registration as an asset of community value. It was suggested that other local assets like the Attlee Youth and Community Centre and Spitalfields City Farm should be similarly registered.

b)      Designation Update 

We have had no news since the General Meeting on this matter. SK will contact the LPA and seek a timetable.

c)      Recommended Constitutional Amendments

It was recommended by JF that we recommend some minor changes to our Constitution. In particular, one of our members who represents a business in the area has recommended we add to the Forum’s stated Aims and Objectives (Article 3 of our Constitution) to include an additional aim which fits with our being a prospective Business Neighbourhood Planning Forum. It is also suggested that we take this opportunity to recommend formally changing our name in Article 1. 

i.                    The Committee resolves to recommend that the Forum amend Article 1 of our Constitution to read as follows:

            1.         NAME 

  1. The long form name of the group is “Spitalfields Business Neighbourhood Planning Forum” referred to elsewhere in this Constitution as the “Forum”
  2. The short form name of the group is “Spitalfields Forum”.

ii.                  The Committee resolves to recommend that the Forum insert an additional item to Article 3 (Aims and Objectives) of our Constitution as                    follows:

   e)      To promote economic growth and investment.

iii.                The Committee resolves to recommend that the Forum change all examples of the old acronym “SNPF” found in our Constitution to                            the “Forum”.

Other suggested amendments to the Constitution may also be made before the AGM.

 

d)      Treasurer’s Report

CG reported that our current balance was £965.47. We have recently received a donation of £500 from the Spitalfields Society and another donation also of £500 from the Spitalfields Community Group. Charles indicated he would be going to a meeting of the Spitalfields trustees tomorrow (8th March) and would approach them for a donation too.

Action: Chairman to write to the SCG and the SpitSoc to thank them for their donations. Chairman to write similarly to SHBT in due course.

 

e)      Review of LPA planning policy on Housing

This agenda item will be postponed until the next meeting.

 

f)     Review of LPA planning policy on Trade and Commerce

JZ presented to the Meeting the work he and JS had done in the areas of Trade and Commerce.

LBTH seeks to encourage the following (including gaps they have identified):

BACKGROUND

The (i) Core Strategy (2010) and (ii) Managing Development Document (2013) are both adopted Tower Hamlets Planning Policy documents.

•    The Core Strategy is a higher level general policy document for the whole borough. As seen below, Core Strategy policy wording is relatively broad brush.

•    The Managing Development Document (“MDD”) provides more specific and focussed policies. In relation to the SNPF the MDD most specifically provides policy specific to the “Brick Lane District Centre”.   

•    Brick Lane was upgraded to a “district centre” in 2010.

CORE STRATEGY OBJECTIVES

Core Strategy policy wishes to refocus on Town Centres in Tower Hamlets with the following “Strategic     Objectives”:

•    Strategic Objective SO4

To have a hierarchy of interconnected, vibrant and inclusive town centres that are mixed use hubs         for retail, commercial, leisure, civic and residential uses. The purpose of each town centre will differ         according to its role and function. 

•    Strategic Objective SO5

To promote mixed-use at the edges and main streets of town centres.

•    Strategic Objective SO6

To promote areas outside of town centres for primarily residential and supporting uses that do not need as high level of accessibility as town centres. 

CORE STRATEGY POLICIES (to achieve objectives)

NB. The Core Strategy Policies are fine-tuned in the Managing Development Document, in particular for           the Brick Lane District Centre. The MDD is part of the implementation of the Core Strategy.

Core Strategy Spatial Policy SP01.1 – Area Hierarchy

 There is a planning hierarchy of areas and town centres as follows (in descending order from large to small):

1.       Central Activity Zone (“CAZ”) [Most parts of SNPF are within the CAZ]

2.       Tower Hamlets Activity Area (“THAA”) [SNPF is within the THAA]

3.       Major Centres [SNPF is not a Major Centre]

4.       District Town Centres [Brick Lane (most of which is which is in the SNPF) is a District Town Centre]

5.       Neighbourhood Town Centres

There are two types of Town Centres:

·         District Town Centre

·         Neighbourhood Town Centre

Brick Lane was re-classified upwards from a Neighbourhood Centre to a District Centre. A map of Brick Lane District Centre is attached enclosed.  

Core Strategy Spatial Policy SP01.2 – Scale and Type of Uses within Town Centres

Policy SP01.2 sets out broad guidance to ensure that the scale and type of use in a town centre (such as Brick Lane District Centre) is consistent with that town centre’s hierarchy: 

·         Town centres should be active, well used and safe both in the day and night.

·        Night time economy use should be encouraged in a town centre for vibrancy and economic vitality, ensuring it is not over-concentrated, balanced and complimentary to existing uses.

·         Town centres should be mixed use with a variety of unit sizes and types.

·         Culture and leisure should be promoted.

NB. It should be noted that not all of the SNPF is part of a town centre (see attached map).

Core Strategy Spatial Policy SP01.3 – Good Design in Town Centres

Town centres should be well designed with a well-integrated spacial layout.

Core Strategy Spatial Policy SP01.4 – Town Centre Activity/Retail

Maintain, focus and increase the supply of town centre activity and retail space to meet demand and support town centres as vibrant economic hubs by:

·         encouraging 16,600 sqm net floor-space of comparison retail in stated town centres, including Brick Lane District Centres [Policy SP01.4(a)]

·         promoting and focusing street markets in town centres [Policy SP01.4(c)]

Core Strategy Spatial Policy SP01.5 – promote areas outside Town Centres

Promote areas outside of town centres and on the edge of town centres as places that support and assist in the creation of sustainable communities, by:

·         Promoting mixed use development at edges and main streets of town centres

·         Promoting residential and supporting uses in areas outside of town centres

MANAGING DEVELOPMENT DOCUMENT

MDD Policy DM1 – Development in town centre hierarchy

·         [Policy DM1.3] Promote town centre vitality: The vitality and viability of the borough's major, district (such as Brick Lane) and neighbourhood centres will be promoted by:

a)      An existing A1 use (shops and markets) cannot be changed into anything else unless it can be demonstrated that:

                     i.            the loss of A1 would not undermine the town centre's position within the town centre hierarchy

                   ii.            the loss of A1 would not result in the overall number of A1 retail units falling below 50% within the town centre

                  iii.            the shop has been vacant for over 12 months and marketed

                 iv.            the new use supports the town centre

NOTE: It was noted by the Committee that no permission was needed to ‘degrade’ a use from A5 down through A4, A3 and A2 to A1. However it is currently forbidden to ‘upgrade’ any existing A1 premises unless it meets the requirements (i-iv) shown above. The problem the Committee identified with this was that a curry house (or other restaurant in A3) could be converted into a shop (A1) but once it was an A1 it was almost impossible to bring it back into use as a restaurant – vis-à-vis the restaurant is “lost forever”.
NOTE: We do not know what the total number of planning units there are in the area being surveyed by the council and so we do not know how close we are to the 50% mentioned in a) ii.

b)      ensuring development does not result in over-concentration of non-A1 use

c)      supporting development that strengthens the mix and diversity of town centre uses (including employment and social/community uses).

·         [Policy DM1.4] New A3, A4 & A5 units in town centres (such as Brick Lane District Centre): To support the vitality and viability of town centres, restaurants (Use Class A3), pubs and bars (Use Class A4) and hot food takeaways (Use Class A5) will be supported in town centres provided that:

a)      they do not result in an over-concentration of such uses [see DM1.6] ; and

b)      there are at least two non-A3, A4 and A5 units between every new A3, A4 and A5 unit.

NOTE: It was noted by the Committee that this “enforced sterilization” of properties might have unforeseen consequences. It only applies to new restaurants but potentially means four properties are “sterilized” and prevented from becoming restaurants (etc).

·         [Policy DM1.5] New A5 units in town centres (such as Brick Lane District Centre). New hot food takeaways (A5 use) are supported in town centres, provided:

a)      in district centres the total percentage of A5 units does not exceed 5% of total units;

b)      proximity to the proposed new A5 unit of school and local authority leisure centres is considered

·         [Policy DM1.6] No over-concentration of new A3, A4 & A5 units in Brick Lane District Centre: In the Brick Lane District Centre new A3, A4 and A5 units in Brick Lane district centre will be supported where they do not exceed 25% of the total number of units

       NOTE: Is this for current buildings or for new buildings?

·         [Policy DM1.7] No adverse effect on Town Centre: Development in a town centre will be supported where it does not have an adverse impact. Considerations:

a)      adequate width and depth of floor-space;

b)      shop-front installed in first phase of works (so streetscape not affected); and

c)       appropriate servicing arrangements.

MDD Policy DM2 – Protecting local shops outside town centres

·         In order to protect retail (A1) uses in areas outside of town centres (NB. Parts of the SNPF are outside of the Brick Lane District Centre), loss of A1 units will only be supportedwhere:

  • The shop is within 300m of alternative local shops
  • The shop has been vacant (and marketed) for more than 12 months
  • There is no viable prospect of retail use in the unit

·         New retail (A1) uses in areas outside of town centres (NB. Parts of the SNPF are outside of the Brick Lane District Centre), will only be supportedwhere:

  • There is a local need
  • The new unit is of appropriate size for the locality
  • It will not adversely affect local amenity or character
  • It will not lead to a concentration of uses that would undermine a nearby town centre (ie. will not undermine Brick Lane District Centre)  

·         The evening and night-time economy (A3, A4 and A5 uses) contribute to ensure a vibrant and economically viable town centre. Policy DM1.6 manages over-concentration in specifically for Brick Lane District Centre in recognition of its additional functions as a tourist and leisure destination.

ACTION: SK will consider the London [regional] Plan and the streets designated therein as “main thoroughfares” and see how these designations in that document ‘impact’ on any designation of a district centre or town centre. For example, could Commercial Street be designated as a District Centre  in the Local Plan when it is designated as a “main thoroughfare” in the London Plan?

3.   Any Other Business

MW informed the meeting that she had heard about a £25,000 fund for local groups being organized by the developers of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 9pm.

 

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING OF THE SNPF HELD AT HANBURY HALL ON HANBURY STREET ON 26TH JANUARY 2016

Present:                

  • Jonathan Boyle (representing State Studio Ltd.)
  • Toby Brown (representing Old Spitalfields Market)
  • Yolanda de los Bueis
  • Fay Cattini (representing The Spitalfields Society)
  • Charlie de Wet
  • David Donoghue (Chairman)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Joy Godsell
  • Alex Gordon Shute
  • Paul Johnston (representing Johnston Architecture & Design Ltd.)
  • Damaris MacDonald (representing Spitalfields Music)
  • Daniel Mendosa
  • Lindsay Moran (representing Leyden Gallery)
  • Dame Siân Phillips CBE
  • Cllr. John Pierce
  • Jarrod Sanderson
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Justine Stevens
  • Jason Zeloof (representing Old Truman Brewery / Zeloof LLP)

Non-Member Observers:           

  • Adriana Cerne
  • Chris Weaver
  •  Cllr. Rachel Blake (LBTH Cabinet Member for Strategic Development)

1.   Welcome and Chairman’s Report

The Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to Hanbury Hall.

The Secretary then confirmed there was the necessary quorum to proceed and that apologies had been received from Cllr. Abdul Mukit, Jon Shapiro, Charles Gledhill, Tarik Khan, Heloise Palin, Chris Dyson, Tania Shaikh, Mhairi Weir and Azmal Hussain Mert. He also welcomed three new Members who had joined this evening and were in attendance (Toby Brown for Old Spitalfields Market, Charlie de Wet, resident, and Damaris McDonald for Spitalfields Music).

The Chairman asked Members to review the minutes of the previous General Meeting held on 27 October 2015 at the Attlee Centre. The minutes were subsequently approved as an accurate representation of that meeting by a show of hands.

The Chairman then went through the agenda and outlined the main purposes of the meeting; to hear about our progress and findings in matters arising; and in any other business to approve certain measures brought forwards by the Officers and participate in a question and answer session with our guest speaker.

2. Matters Arising

a)      Update on our designation status

The Secretary briefly outlined the activities of the Forum since the General Meeting held on 27 October 2015. These activities included attending a designation hearing held by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets and his cabinet and corresponding on this matter with the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Planning Officers had recently notified us that a final decision by the Mayor and Cabinet would be made on 1st December 2015.

We attended this meeting and the Spitalfields Forum and Area applications we submitted were supported by the Mayor but a final decision on the applications was deferred to allow clarification on consultation based matters. This was because a letter was received by the authority on the morning of the meeting and due to an obligation for the authority to consider its contents a decision on our designation would be postponed until due consideration had been given. We have been assured that this length of time would be as short as practicable.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has subsequently stated on the LBTH website:

“Neighbourhood Planning Forums are an important way for residents to have a say over what their communities look like. I’m happy to support these initiatives, and have agreed Limehouse’s forum already, while looking forward to ironing out the issues to ensure that the Isle of Dogs and Spitalfields forums are operational as soon as is viable.”  John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets

The Secretary added that the Officers of the Forum are very confident that we will be designated soon and are pleased to enjoy the continued support of our Members in our activities as we seek designation.

b)      Update on work on our Consultation Framework

S. Kaulder and J. Frankcom presented to the Meeting the work the Committee had been doing as it drafted a Consultation Framework that would be used by the Working Groups. They explained the findings our committee members had made in the areas of Heritage, Streets, Open Spaces and Community Assets.

The point of us doing this is to understand what loop holes we can fill and also to gain knowledge of how the Council view the area strategically and the aims and objectives they want achieved. We will then be able to “champion” the interests of local people in areas where there is already a sufficiently robust policy as well as looking for areas where we could make a difference and “fine tune” to suit Spitalfields.

As a general rule we can embellish the Local Plan (also known as the “Core Strategy”) but we cannot contradict it - the gaps we can fill should not be contrary to the “direction” of the Local Plan.

H. Palin and C. Gledhill had reviewed the existing Heritage and Streets policies in the Local Plan in November. Their key findings in this area are listed below.

LBTH seeks to encourage the following (including gaps we have identified):

•    The policy on “attractive and safe streets” identifies Commercial Street as a “main street”

•    “Public realm improvement area” includes the Holland Estate where they want to make it more connected - widen footpaths, improve street scene

•    Encourage car free development - Zipcar, cycle schemes

•    The policy on “distinct and durable places” seeks to protect local views – the proposed re-development of Tenter Ground is an example of where this policy might be locum and the view of Brushfield Street affected by the retained façade of the former Fruit and Wool Exchange is another example

•    They want to “reinvent the hamlet” which we have interpreted to mean encouraging local identities such as ours in Spitalfields by helping to conserve its local character and “fine urban grain”

•    Protecting areas of established character – we could further define this character

•    Promote existing use of old buildings – we could be more specific about what use

•    LBTH do list local buildings and we could do this further and identify and keep as heritage assets

•    Encourage walking and cycling

•    Improving the public realm – enable the removal of street furniture for example

•    Shop fronts - relate to character of buildings - any new application has to present a design and access statement. We could further define this by enforcing the demand for a “heritage statement” in specific sectors as defined in our strategy

•    Guidance on advertising - should not be intrusive or excessive - we could if we wanted to produce a document which is a design guide for advertisements

•    Street furniture specifications

•    Building design should be sensitive to local character - not only a plan but champion the local area and be aware of these policies on peoples’ behalf and hold the Council to account

•    Brick Lane is a type of “town centre” defined in the Local Plan as a “district centre” where buildings can be higher than the surrounding parts of the neighbourhood - a neighbourhood plan could be more specific and define a maximum height - so long as it was still higher than the buildings around it

•    Intent to keep existing use whereby buildings are converted to employment rather than housing. Our plan could promote employment hubs within existing buildings and prevent change of use to luxury housing. It could also help local employment opportunities - specify which use class / arts/trades/crafts/self start ups instead of offices.

J. Frankcom and M. Weir had reviewed the existing Community Infrastructure and Open Spaces policies in the Local Plan also in November. Their key findings in this area are listed below.

LBTH seeks to encourage the following (including gaps we have identified):

•    The Local Plan has identified and includes various community facilitates used by the public such as: Health E1 Medical Centre, leisure facilities and Community assets. There are opportunities to add more to this list. For example, the basket ball court at Wheler House and the tennis courts behind Christ Church school may be added. The policy also cites Public Houses as “community assets” which is interesting and helpful

•    Any redevelopment that threatens existing use of the aforementioned assets must ensure re-provision with no unacceptable disadvantage to users - and the replaced has to be better -EG the late Gun P.H. on Brushfield Street has had to be replaced with another pub which is better or equivalent to the old one

•    Duke of Wellington P.H. on Toynbee Street is constantly threatened – if we ever lost it, it would have to be replaced in kind as part of the redevelopment – a proposal which was pulled from the LBTH Planning Committee did include the retention of the ground floor pub use but the redevelopment proposal threatened the continued operation of the pub by making it unviable. This was an example of this policy in action and perhaps we could go further in this area

•    Any replacement community facilities should be placed at the edge of town centre – Brick Lane is a town/district centre according to this policy – we could be more precise about these locations

•    Re-provision should ideally be on the same site

•    We could designate more places as assets of community value, e.g. galleries

•    We could also specify sites for new health facilities and leisure facilities where we think they are needed

•    Air quality – the council seeks to implement “greening” such as green roofs, plants etc – we could implement further enhancements - existing and new developemt could be obliged to enhance greening in particular places - encourage window farms, vines, community gardens etc.

•    Development on areas of open space only allowed in exceptional circumstances: such as if it provides “essential facilities” to ensure the function of the open space (e.g. a changing room)

•    Any loss is offset with a net increase in open space and a higher quality outcome is achieved

•    If an alternative provision of open space is not possible then a “contribution” must be made to the community infrastructure levy (CIL) – if we passed a plan we could be entitled to receive a substantial portion of this CIL

•    New developments are encouraged to consolidate any lost open space fragments into new unitary open space provision – the onus is therefore on us to designate any small fragments here and there as “open space” so should they be lost the neighbourhood forum could be compensated for their loss through the CIL. This money could be used by us to implement certain local works and improvements envisaged in our plan

•    There are open spaces currently designated by LBTH but they are limited to Allen Gardens, Christ Church Gardens, The Ghat (Chicksand Street Playground), Mallon Gardens – we can and should seriously consider going further and designating further parks (e.g. Elder Gardens) and open spaces like Bishop’s Square and patches of grass “amenity land” around condominium blocks like Brune House to keep them in the public realm.

There was at this stage some questions from Members.

P. Johnston asked about what the definition of “open space” actually was and whether ownership was locum. James Frankcom responded saying “open space” is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as “land laid out as a public garden, or used for the purposes of public recreation, or land which is a disused burial ground.” There is nothing in the law about the relevance of ownership of the land. We understand this to mean that so long as the area conforms to this description it can be designated as Public Open Space by the Local Authority or defined by us as such in a Neighbourhood Plan. Bishop’s Square, for example, is clearly “used for the purposes of public recreation”. Some parks are closed at night, such as Christ Church Gardens, but they are still regarded as “public” and if they are then logically so also are Elder Gardens regardless of whether the land is owned by the Church of England or a private owner.

J. Godsall made the point that an annual “bloom” award (perhaps connected to the Royal Horticultural Society) might enable us to gain access to funds which we could use to accelerate the council’s green grid (greening) policy. People thought this was a sensible idea.

L. Moran raised the issue of public toilets (now closed) and whether they were community assets. The answer was that they could be designated as such and that would, theoretically, keep their existing use even though they remained closed. Whether or not funds could be raised or obtained from the LPA to operate the toilets in such a way that antisocial behaviour could be avoided was another issue.

J. Frankcom and S. Kaulder reiterated that this ongoing research would enable the Committee to draft an informed Consultation Framework for each Working Group in each Neighbourhood Sector that would prompt each group to consider the whole range of options pertinent to their sector.

3.   Any Other Business

a)  Guest Speaker

Cllr. Rachel Blake, the Cabinet Member for Strategic Development at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets addressed the Members

She said LBTH was reviewing and updating the Local Plan (aka the Core Strategy) because it was timely to do so. It was based on evidence from over ten years ago and Tower Hamlets is entering a “key moment of change” so a broad view should be taken about our future planning policies. There is increasing demand for more affordable housing, more open spaces and more work places. Her role is to talk to us (e.g. SBNPF) about what our objectives are; we can help with this by taking part in the consultations the planning department is organising.

She said LBTH is very supportive of neighbourhood forums in general and she has visited East Shoreditch NPF and seen the positive impact their analysis of additional areas for development (housing) have been. A decision on Spitalfields designation is being taken after LBTH has had a chance for its legal team to consider certain matters. It is important that their final decision is sound and secure.

There were then questions from the floor:

D. Donoghue asked about the public toilets near Wentworth Street which were brought up previously by Lindsay Moran. Specifically, would/could the toilets be brought back into public use because of the prolific public urination problems caused by the lack of public conveniences? Rachel was not familiar with these particular abandoned toilets but promised to look into this matter.

A. Gordon Shute asked about how the LBTH Local Plan meshed with the GLA London Plan. Rachel said that the Local Plan must be in conformity with the London Plan and supplementary planning documents (SPDs) such as the City Fringe Opportunity Area Planning Framework (which is applicable to most of Spitalfields) is an example of when regional planning policy meets local planning policy. She said she was not entirely sure about the weight an OAPF has in comparison with the Local Plan but would be happy to seek clarification about this on our behalf.

J. Frankcom asked whether LBTH could influence a new London Plan if/when it is revised. Rachel said that we are expecting change whoever the new Mayor of London will be and there is likely to be a new London Plan then. Whereas the London Plan is more strategic the Local Plan is more “granular”. She added that Spitalfields being next to the City is a particular area with particular characteristics wherein London would seek to manage/influence development; we have our own objectives which might be different to theirs. Nevertheless, the GLA does seek the views of LBTH and LBTH would potentially request changes to the London Plan if they thought there was a good case.

T. Brown asked about social housing. Rachel said that LBTH does have a small programme to build more social housing as well as “affordable” housing. They have also launched a fund for housing associations to build more.

D. Donoghue asked about Conservation Areas (CAs) and what appeared to be a lack of consistency in the respect they were given; when do CA rules apply? Paul Johnston added to this point by raising the issue of 66 Bell Lane and a very unpopular proposal to demolish a locally listed building in the Artillery Lane Conservation Area. Rachel said she would look into it.

Another issue which was raised by several Members was the “undemocratic” nature of the Mayor of London’s “autocratic” decisions to “call in” local planning applications and approve them over the heads of LBTH; this was an affront to local people. Rachel said she shared these concerns.

J. Frankcom sought further clarification about the timetable of SNBPF designation. Rachel said LBTH were trying to go as quickly as possible but did not want to get it wrong and have a decision they made challengeable later on.

S. Kaulder asked whether she thought it wise for us to continue to analyse the current Local Plan even though a new Local Plan was being considered. Rachel said she thought it was sensible for us to be doing this and continue to reflect on local policies because it aids you in getting an awareness of the pre-existing framework and it will also aid us because we can ask your views and you will be better informed. She added that LBTH would continue to work closely with SNBPF after designation.

L. Moran raised a concern shared by others about the proliferation of “Jack the Ripper Tours” and said the crowds they brought were both distasteful and a nuisance. Rachel said LBTH had been opposed to the Jack the Ripper Museum but ultimately the LPA had little authority to prevent one from opening. In terms of the tours, she said she was keen to know more. The utility of creating new bylaws to manage the tours and regulate them in some way was suggested by James Frankcom. Rachel recommended Members forward their concerns to the Chairman (David Donoghue) who could then forward those views on to her.

Paul Johnston raised the issue of people making dormer extensions to their properties in the Conservation Areas. Rachel said that Mayor was considering responses.

b)      Motion to change the date of the Annual General Meeting

It is proposed that the Forum amend the date of the AGM and bring it forward to Tuesday 12 July 2016.

Proposer:         J. Frankcom

Seconder:        S. Kaulder

Passed unanimously

c)      Motion to adopt an official logo to represent the Spitalfields Business-Neighbourhood Forum which is to be used by us on our documents and elsewhere

It was proposed that a visual device be adopted by the Forum for use on its documents and paperwork as an official logo. The particular device recommended is already in use by us unofficially and is of a drawing made by persons unknown that was published in the book The Saving of Spitalfields by Mark Girouard et al. The image has no copyright ramifications and is not owned by Mr. Girouard – who has been contacted by the Secretary. The author confirmed via his daughter that it was an anonymous drawing he had discovered and reproduced.

 The Market Warden's Mace

The Market Warden's Mace

The image is of the top of a ceremonial mace or stave of office which, according to Mr. Girouard, was made in about 1690 when Spitalfields was still a hamlet. The silver mace-end is believed to show a representation of the former "Market House" which had once existed on the site we know today as Old Spitalfields Market but before the current Horner Building was constructed. The records suggest this mace was originally used by the Market Warden who supervised the market for the hamlet authorities. In 1729 Spitalfields became a parish and a vestry took over the duties of the hamlet. The mace was gifted to the new vestry by the last Market Warden which indicates its origins were civic rather than spiritual.  F. Cattini confirmed that the current Church Wardens still use ceremonial maces although she has never seen this particular item herself. The Secretary said he had contacted the Rector of Christ Church about the existence of this particular item and he had graciously confirmed that it was still in existence and presently located in a Church of England safe.

At this point the Members were asked whether they thought this image was a suitable logo to represent Spitalfields and they agreed that it was. They were then asked to approve the motion:

It is proposed that the Forum adopts the ‘Market Warden’s Mace’ device as its official logo.

Proposer:         J. Frankcom

Seconder:        P. Johnston

Passed unanimously

As there was no further business, the Chairman reminded Members that the next General Meeting of the Forum would be held at Hanbury Hall on Tuesday 26 April 2016 and the meeting ended at 20:46.

MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE SNPF HELD AT 74 COMMERCIAL STREET STREET ON 7TH DECEMBER 2015

Present:

  • David Donoghue
  • James Frankcom
  • Joy Godsall
  • Paul Johnston
  • Tarik Khan
  • Heloise Palin
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Mhairi Weir

Apologies:

  • Chris Dyson
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Jason Zeloof

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous Committee Meeting held at the Attlee Centre on 5th October were read through and approved.

2. Matters Arising 

a)      Cabinet Decision on Designation Deferred

It was noted that the expected decision on our designation by the Mayor and Cabinet at LBTH was deferred following an eleventh hour representation by the OTB owners. The content of their objections was broadly the same as in previous representations except that in this letter the letter alleged that the Council would be acting unlawfully if it designated the neighbourhood area their own officers have recommended after fourteen-months of consideration and numerous representations by OTB.

The Committee (albeit in the absence of J. Zeloof) unanimously and passionately disagreed with all the points made in the OTB letter about our Business Neighbourhood Area application.

There was then a discussion on the strategy we should pursue as we move forwards and the Secretary and Chairman were instructed to continue to make our case with members of the Forum who are Members of Tower Hamlets Council as well as with the Officers, Councilors and Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

b)     Timetable for review of LPA and regional planning policy

It was noted that three groups had met to review existing policy. Two groups were ready to share their findings with the Committee this evening.

It was decided that the timetable envisaged at the AGM for review of existing policy was too ambitious and we should allow more time. We should therefore aim to review just two areas of policy at each Committee Meeting on a new timetable:

7th March 2016           - Housing (Tarik and Paul) and Trade & Commerce (Jon and Jason)

4th April 2016              - Education & Employment (Joy & Tania) and Overview & Scrutiny (David and Santokh)

It was noted that we should send the relevant policy part to Joy Godsall so she could have a look at it as she had not received the previous email.

It was also noted that Chris would henceforth be included in the team reviewing existing Heritage and Streets planning policy if it does further work in that area because this is such a large area it would benefit from additional personnel.

c)      Review of LPA planning policy on Heritage and Streets

Heloise presented to the Meeting the work she and Charles had done in the areas of Heritage and Streets.

LBTH seeks to encourage the following (including gaps they have identified):

•    The policy on “attractive and safe streets” identifies Commercial Street as a “main street”

•    “Public realm improvement area” includes the Holland Estate where they want to make it more connected - widen footpaths, improve street scene

•    Encourage car free development - Zipcar, cycle schemes

•    The policy on “distinct and durable places” seeks to protect local views – the proposed re-development of Tenter Ground is an example of where this policy might be locum and the view of Brushfield Street affected by the retained façade of the former Fruit and Wool Exchange is another example

•    They want to “reinvent the hamlet” which we have interpreted to mean encouraging local identities such as ours in Spitalfields by helping to conserve its local character and “fine urban grain”

•    Protecting areas of established character – we could further define this character

•    Promote existing use of old buildings – we could be more specific about what use

•    LBTH do list local buildings and we could do this further and identify and keep as heritage assets

•    Encourage walking and cycling

•    Improving the public realm – enable the removal of street furniture for example

•    Shop fronts - relate to character of buildings - any new application has to present a design and access statement. We could further define this by enforcing the demand for a “heritage statement” in specific sectors as defined in our strategy

•    Guidance on advertising - should not be intrusive or excessive - we could if we wanted to produce a document which is a design guide for advertisements

•    Street furniture specifications

•    Building design should be sensitive to local character - not only a plan but champion the local area and be aware of these policies on peoples’ behalf and hold the Council to account

•    Brick Lane is a type of “town centre” defined in the Local Plan as a “district centre” where buildings can be higher than the surrounding parts of the neighbourhood - a neighbourhood plan could be more specific and define a maximum height - so long as it was still higher than the buildings around it

•    Intent to keep existing use whereby buildings are converted to employment rather than housing. Our plan could promote employment hubs within existing buildings and prevent change of use to luxury housing. It could also help local employment opportunities - specify which use class / arts/trades/crafts/self start ups instead of offices.

d)      Review of LPA planning policy on Open Spaces and Community Infrastructure

James presented to the Meeting the work he and Mhairi had done in the areas of Open Spaces and Community Infrastructure.

LBTH seeks to encourage the following (including gaps they have identified):

•    The Local Plan has identified and includes various community facilitates used by the public such as: Health E1 Medical Centre, leisure facilities and Community assets. There are opportunities to add more to this list. For example, the basket ball court at Wheler House and the tennis courts behind Christ Church school may be added. The policy also cites Public Houses as “community assets” which is interesting and helpful

•    Any redevelopment that threatens existing use of the aforementioned assets must ensure re-provision with no unacceptable disadvantage to users - and the replaced has to be better -EG the late Gun P.H. on Brushfield Street has had to be replaced with another pub which is better or equivalent to the old one

•    Duke of Wellington P.H. on Toynbee Street is constantly threatened – if we ever lost it, it would have to be replaced in kind as part of the redevelopment – a proposal which was pulled from the LBTH Planning Committee did include the retention of the ground floor pub use but the redevelopment proposal threatened the continued operation of the pub by making it unviable. This was an example of this policy in action and perhaps we could go further in this area

•    Any replacement community facilities should be placed at the edge of town centre – Brick Lane is a town/district centre according to this policy – we could be more precise about these locations

•    Re-provision should ideally be on the same site

•    We could designate more places as assets of community value, e.g. galleries

•    We could also specify sites for new health facilities and leisure facilities where we think they are needed

•    Air quality – the council seeks to implement “greening” such as green roofs, plants etc – we could implement further enhancements - existing and new developemt could be obliged to enhance greening in particular places - encourage window farms, vines, community gardens etc.

•    Development on areas of open space only allowed in exceptional circumstances: such as if it provides “essential facilities” to ensure the function of the open space (e.g. a changing room)

•    Any loss is offset with a net increase in open space and a higher quality outcome is achieved

•    If an alternative provision of open space is not possible then a “contribution” must be made to the community infrastructure levy (CIL) – if we passed a plan we could be entitled to receive a substantial portion of this CIL

•    New developments are encouraged to consolidate any lost open space fragments into new unitary open space provision – the onus is therefore on us to designate any small fragments here and there as “open space” so should they be lost the neighbourhood forum could be compensated for their loss through the CIL. This money could be used by us to implement certain local works and improvements envisaged in our plan

•    There are open spaces currently designated by LBTH but they are limited to Allen Gardens, Christ Church Gardens, The Ghat (Chicksand Street Playground), Mallon Gardens – we can and should seriously consider going further and designating further parks (e.g. Elder Gardens) and open spaces like Bishop’s Square and patches of grass “amenity land” around condominium blocks like Brune House to keep them in the public realm.

3.   Any Other Business

Joy raised the issue of a development in Sector X which is due to be discussed at a planning meeting at Tower Hamlets on 17 January. Tarik said he would liaise with Joy on this.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 9pm.

Minutes of the General Meeting of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 27th October 2015

Present:        

  •         Jonathan Boyle
  •         David Donoghue (Chairman)
  •         Chris Dyson
  •         James Frankcom (Secretary)
  •         Jeremy Freedman
  •         Charles Gledhill
  •         Joy Godsell
  •         Alex Gordon-Shute
  •         Paul Johnston
  •         Daniel Mendoza
  •         Lindsay Moran
  •         Jon Shapiro
  •         Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  •         Tania Shaikh
  •         Justine Stevens
  •         Philip Vracas
  •         Mhairi Weir
  •         Christine Whaite
  •         Jason Zeloof

1.   Welcome and Chairman’s Report

The Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. 

The Secretary then confirmed there was the necessary quorum to proceed.

The Chairman went through the agenda and outlined the main purposes of the meeting; to consider propositions in matters arising; and in any other business approve changes to the Committee.

The Chairman briefly outlined the activities of the Forum since the AGM held on 27th July 2015. These activities included receiving notice from the LPA about the progress of our designation and responding to feedback on our proposals by the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Planning Officers had recently written to us stating that they were recommending the approval of our applications for Forum and Area designation and a final decision by the Council Cabinet would be made on 1st December 2015 or thereabouts. The Planning Officers had also let us know that there would be unspecified changes to the borders of our proposed Neighbourhood Area and said they would advise us about the detail of these changes in due course.

2.   Matters Arising

The Secretary read out a motion which the Committee were recommending for adoption at the General Meeting: 

a)      Consultation Strategy

"The Forum Resolves: To facilitate a consultation strategy which is designed to achieve our Aims and Objectives as defined in the Constitution. Those Aims and Objectives include encouraging the broadest possible range of participation in our neighbourhood planning consultations. In furtherance of these Aims and Objectives, and to optimise local participation, we propose to establish twenty-four Working Groups (as defined in our Constitution) which shall each be focused on specific locations called 'Neighbourhood Sectors' and are defined on a map [see Appendix A] and numbered A-X within our Neighbourhood Planning Area. Each Working Group shall be chaired by a member of the Committee of the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum (SNPF) and shall include any number of persons who live, work or who have a strong interest in that Neighbourhood Sector and may include non-members, experts and Members alike. The business of each Working Group shall be to apply the 'SNPF Consultation Framework' [currently being drafted], and reach out to the people who live, work or who have a strong interest in that Neighbourhood Sector, and seek their views on neighbourhood planning policy and, so far as is reasonably practicable, keep them informed of that Working Group's activities and outcomes. Working Groups shall seek a general consensus and submit their proposals to the Committee of the Forum for scrutiny and approval before being submitted to an Annual General Meeting or General Meeting of the SNPF for endorsement and inclusion as part of a proposed Spitalfields Neighbourhood Plan."

Proposer: J. Frankcom (Resident)

Seconder: S. Kaulder (Resident)

The motion was passed unanimously with one abstention (J. Zeloof)

b)      Update on work towards drafting our ‘Consultation Framework’

S. Kaulder presented to the Meeting the work the Committee had been doing as it drafted a Consultation Framework that would be used by the Working Groups. He and J. Frankcom answered questions arising from his presentation. Questions came from A. Gordon-Shute and L. Moran regarding the order in which the Working Groups would become active (there would be a trial of five to start with which would then roll out beyond that to a maximum of thirteen at any one time) and from J. Shapiro with regards to the learning of planning policy by the Committee (the workload would be divided up, content ‘distilled’ and then shared so each Committee Member would understand all aspects pertinent to their Working Groups).  In due course a formal motion would be put to the forum.

The meeting agreed this course of action in principal without objection.

3.  Any Other Business

a)      Committee Vacancies

The Chairman reported that there had been a vacancy on the Committee since the AGM and that this had been filled on a temporary by Heloise Palin (Resident) under the rules of co-option as defined in our Constitution. The Chairman asked the General Meeting to endorse this decision and to endorse Heloise Palin's continued membership of the Committee until the next AGM.

The co-option of Heloise Palin (Resident) to the Committee until the next AGM was endorsed unanimously.

The Chairman also reported that Junior Mtonga (Resident) has had to resign from the Committee because he had moved away and was no-longer eligible to be a Member of the Forum. Therefore there was now a vacancy on the Committee and nominations to fill it were being sought. It was confirmed that this was a vacancy in the Resident category.

Joy Godsell (Resident) was elected to the Committee unanimously.

b) Christ Church Gardens

Resident Member C. Whaite together with Business Member P. Vracas addressed the General Meeting and proposed the adoption of a motion relating to a long-running dispute regarding Christ Church Gardens. They explained the dispute originated in 1891 when the consecrated burial ground (the churchyard) adjacent to Christ Church ceased being used for burials and became a ‘public garden’. The churchyard was never deconsecrated and remains to this day the final resting place of around 67,000 individuals. Subsequently, in 1949, the church yard became a Public Open Space under s.10 of the Open Spaces Act (1906) and a trust was established for its maintenance and protection under that Act. Between now and then various temporary structures were built on top of the burial ground and it was understood in law that these structures must be temporary to be lawful. The dispute arose because awareness of the 1906 Act by the current trustees (LB Tower Hamlets who 'inherited' their trusteeship when they took over the roles and responsibilities of the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney in 1965) had been found wanting and due to the perennial threat of development it was important, therefore, to reaffirm that the churchyard in its original extent was and remains to be a Public Open Space with all the protection the 1906 Act affords. 

Organisation Member J. Shapiro questioned whether the General Meeting was the appropriate vehicle to make such statement. There was then a discussion on this matter and the wording of a proposed motion was adjusted until everyone was satisfied.

"The Forum Resolves: To recognize the principal that the churchyard of Christ Church, Spitalfields is Public Open Space, and in particular that the western part (including the tennis court) is Public Open Space protected by the 1949 Trust under Section 10 of the Open Spaces Act (1906)."

Proposer:         Chris Dyson (Resident)

Seconder:        Paul Johnston (Business)

The motion was passed unanimously.

The meeting ended at 21:00

APPENDIX A

 Appendix A: Map of the Twenty-Four Neighbourhood Area Sectors as agreed in Motion A (Consultation Strategy)

Appendix A: Map of the Twenty-Four Neighbourhood Area Sectors as agreed in Motion A (Consultation Strategy)

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 5th October 2015

Present:

  • David Donoghue
  • James Frankcom
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Junior Mtonga
  • Heloise Palin
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Mhairi Weir

(David Donoghue left the meeting at 19:30 after which the meeting was chaired by James Frankcom)

Apologies:

  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Chris Dyson
  • Paul Johnston
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Jason Zeloof

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Approved without any amendments.

2. Matters Arising 

a) Committee Vacancy

Heloise Palin (Resident member) be co-opted as a member of the Committee until the next General Meeting.

Proposer: Charles Gledhill

Seconder: Santokh Kaulder

Heloise Palin was co-opted unanimously.

b) Consultation Framework Proposal

Santokh Kaulder reported to the Committee the draft proposals made at a meeting of himself, James Frankcom, Charles Gledhill and Heloise Palin during the previous week. He recommended a timetable for action over the next few meetings of the Committee and its General Meetings. He also identified sections of relevant planning policy applicable to our area which would require study by the Committee Members in advance of their assuming leadership roles in Neighbourhood Sector Working Groups

Timetable

At this meeting it was agreed that the business of the meeting to be held on 7th December would be as follows:

  • The Members of the Committee would be divided into pairs for the purposes of sharing the workload of reviewing and analysing planning policy applicable to our area. These pairs will be decided by the Chairman before the next meeting.

                These pairings have subsequently been determined by Chairman and are reflected in these minutes.

  • The Secretary would disseminate the relevant portions of the LBTH Core Strategy and the LBTH Managing Development Document (2013) as well as applicable parts of the London Plan to those pairs
  • Each pair shall then review and analyse their portions of those documents in advance of the Committee Meeting to be held on 7th December
  • Each pair would produce a short one-page report and will present their key findings to the Committee on 7th December
  • The Committee will collectively assess the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats (SWOT analysis) of the key findings of the Core Strategy, Managing Development Document and London Plan.

At this meeting it was agreed that the business of the meeting to be held on 1st February would be as follows:

  •  The Committee to agree three Core Principles as part of its vision for Spitalfields Business Neighbourhood Planning Area and Forum in conformity with our application for Area and Forum Designation (1st December 2014 and amendments).

At this meeting it was agreed that the business of the meeting to be held on 7th March would be as follows:

  • The Committee to devise X (number to be agreed by Committee following SWOT analysis) Themes stemming from the three Core Principles - the three Core Principles acting as a "golden thread" connecting each Theme.

At this meeting it was agreed that the business of the meeting to be held on 4th April would be as follows:

  • Produce a "Workshop Template" to be used by those who have been nominated to lead the action groups with all the themes agreed on by the Committee
  • Santokh Kaulder to devise and present a Workshop Training Session demonstrating how the document can be used to extract relevant information for each Working Group for named Neighbourhood Sectors.

Policy Areas – division of work between paired Committee Members

1. Overview and Scrutiny (Santokh Kaulder and David Donoghue)

  •  The London Plan
  • Core Strategy, ch. 2, "The Big Spatial Vision" (SO1, SO2, SO3), pp24-33
  • Core Strategy, ch. 7, "Delivering Placemaking" (SO25) pp.88-91
  • Core Strategy, ch. 8, "Delivery and Monitoring" pp.92-97

2. Commerce (Jason Zeloof and Jon Shapiro)

  • Core Strategy, ch. 3, "Refocusing our Town Centres" (SO4, SO5, SO6, SP01) pp34-41
  • DM1 Development within the town centre hierarchy CS3 pp20-23
  • DM2 Protecting local shops CS3 pp24-25

3. Housing (Tarik Ahmed-Khan and Paul Johnston)

  • Core Strategy, ch.4, "Strengthening Neighbourhood Well-Being" (SO7, SO8, SO9, SO10, SO11, SO12, SO13) pp42-59
  • DM3 Delivering Homes CS4 pp26-29
  • DM4 Housing Standards CS4 pp30-31
  • DM5 Specialist Housing CS4 pp32-33
  • DM6 Student Accommodation CS4 p34
  • DM7 Short Stay Accommodation CS4 p35

4. Environment and Sustainability (Mhairi Weir and James Frankcom)

  • DM8 Community Infrastructure, CS4 pp36-7
  • DM9 Improving Air Quality, CS4 pp38-39
  • DM10 Delivering Open Space, CS4 p40
  • DM11 Living Buildings and Biodiversity CS4 p41
  • DM12 Water Spaces CS4 p42
  • DM13 Sustainable Drainage CS4 p43
  • DM14 Managing Waste CS4 p44
  • DM29 Achieving a Zero Carbon Borough and Addressing Climate Change
  • DM30 Contaminated Land

5. Education and Opportunities (Tania Shaikh and Junior Mtonga)

  • Core Strategy, ch.5, "Enabling Prosperous Communities" (SO15, SO16, SO17, SO18) pp60-69
  • DM15 Local Job Creation and Investment
  • DM16 Office Locations
  • DM17 Local Industrial Locations
  • DM18 Delivering Schools and Early Learning
  • DM19 Further and Higher Education

6. Heritage and Transport (Charles Gledhill, Heloise Palin and Chris Dyson)

  • Core Strategy, ch.6, "Designing a High Quality City" (SO19, SO20, SO21, SO22, SO23, SO24) pp70-87
  • DM20 Supporting a Sustainable Transport Network
  • DM21 Sustainable Transporting of Freight
  • DM22 Parking
  • DM23 Streets and the Public Realm
  • DM24 Place Sensitive Design
  • DM25 Amenity
  • DM26 Building Heights
  • DM27 Heritage and the Historic Environment
  • DM28 World Heritage Sites

This programme to be finalised (as reflected above) by Chairman was AGREED.

c) Further attribution of individual leadership of Neighbourhood Sector Working Groups were AGREED as follows:

  • Old Truman Brewery (J. Zeloof)
  • City Farm (M. Weir)
  • Brick Lane South (T. Ahmed-Khan)

3. Any Other Business

a) Pilot Working Groups

It was AGREED that the first Working Groups to begin their work would be Allen Gardens and Fleet Street Hill (C), City Farm (D), Old Truman Brewery (I), Fournier Street (T) and Brick Lane South (S). We would focus our resources on these initial working groups and learn lessons from them before expanding further. Individual Working Group leadership in relation to these working groups remains unchanged.

b) Sector I Amendment

Jason Zeloof had proposed (in writing) that the boundaries of Sector I (which is named 'Old Truman Brewery Estate') be changed slightly to include two small sections of neighbouring sectors that he believes would be better placed in Sector I. The two small areas are a site on Grey Eagle Street and another site on the corner of Spital Street and Hanbury Street; both of these areas abut Sector I. It was AGREED to make these small changes and incorporate both those areas in Sector I.

c) Sector W Amendment

Santokh Kaulder had suggested at the previous meeting that a small portion of Sector W (which is named ‘Heneage Street’) is currently being developed as a hotel (whose main point of access is Brick Lane) be transferred from Sector W to Sector R which is named ‘Brick Lane Central’. It was AGREED to make this small change and incorporate the portion of that hotel currently in Sector W (Heneage Street) to Sector R. 

d) Designation Update

It was NOTED that an email had been sent by the Secretary to our contact in the Strategic Planning Department of LBTH requesting an update and timetable. At the time of the meeting a reply had not been received.

e) Future Committee Meeting Dates

It was AGREED that the next meetings of the Committee would be held on the following dates at the revised starting time of 7pm:

  • Monday 7th December 2015
  • Monday 1st February 2016
  • Monday 7th March 2016
  • Monday 4th April 2016
  • Monday 6th June 2016 
  •  Monday 4th July 201

f) Future Forum Meeting Dates

It was also NOTED that General Meetings of the Forum are scheduled to be held on the following dates from 7pm:

  • Tuesday 27th October 2015
  • Tuesday 26th January 2016
  •  Tuesday 26th April 2016
  • Tuesday 26th July (Annual General Meeting)

It was suggested by Charles Gledhill that Charlie de Wet - a local resident and long-time promoter of the Huguenots of Spitalfields (a voluntary association) - should be invited to address the upcoming General Meeting of the Forum to be held on 27th October. It was AGREED to get further details and then forward an invitation to Charlie.

It was also NOTED that formal notice of the General Meeting of the Forum to be held on 27 October would be sent out to our Members shortly.

The meeting ended at 20:45

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 7th September 2015

Present:

  • David Donoghue
  • Chris Dyson
  • James Frankcom
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Paul Johnston
  • Junior Mtonga
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Jon Shapiro 

Apologies:

  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Mhairi Weir
  • Jason Zeloof

In Attendance: Joy Godsell, local resident observing

1. Matters Arising:

The following members of the Forum were elected as Committee members of the Forum at the Inaugural Forum meeting on 27th July 2015:

  • Tarik Ahmed-Khan (Community Group member)
  • David Donoghue (Resident member)
  • Chris Dyson (Resident member)
  • James Frankcom (Resident member)
  • Charles Gledhill (Resident member)
  • Paul Johnston (Business member)
  • Junior Mtonga (Resident member)
  • Tania Shaikh (Community Group member)
  • Jon Shapiro (Community Group member)
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder (Resident member)
  • Mhairi Weir (Business member)
  • Jason Zeloof (Business member)

All those present introduced themselves.  A draft agenda had been circulated.

It was AGREED that as the main item for the Agenda was election of the officers of the Committee that the Acting Chairman (David Donoghue) would conduct the elections.  No other additional items for the agenda were proposed.

a) Election of Chairman/Chairwoman

Jon Shapiro proposed David Donoghue be re-elected as Chairman to serve a second term.  This was seconded by Paul Johnston.

There were no other nominations for this position. David Donoghue was re-elected unanimously

b) Election of Vice Chairmen/Vice Chairwomen

A proposal was made that this positions continue to be shared by two committee members. The proposal was made by David Donoghue and seconded by James Frankcom.

The proposal was AGREED unanimously.

Paul Johnston was proposed by James Frankcom and seconded by Tania Shaikh

Tarik Ahmed-Khan was proposed in absentia by David Donoghue and seconded by Junior Mtonga

There were no other nominations for these positions. Paul Johnston and Tarik Ahmed-Khan were both re-elected unanimously.

Post Meeting Note: We received written acceptance from Tarik Ahmed-Khan on 8th September.

c) Election of Secretary

Tania Shaikh proposed James Frankcom be re-elected as Secretary. This was seconded by Charles Gledhill.

There were no other nominations for the position. James Frankcom was re-elected unanimously

d) Election of Treasurer

James Frankcom proposed Charles Gledhill be re-elected as Treasurer. This was seconded by Chris Dyson.

There were no other nominations for the position.

Charles Gledhill was re-elected unanimously.

It was NOTED that under Clause 9. c) iv) of the Forum Constitution both James Frankcom and Paul Johnston continue to act as co-signatories to the Forum bank account with the Treasurer.

e) Plan of Action 2015-2016

Proposal to facilitate effective local consultations through a division of the neighbourhood area

Maps of proposals to facilitate local consultation drives led by Working Groups (as defined in Section 11 subsection D of the Constitution) were circulated and their evolution discussed. A proposal was made by James Frankcom to divide the neighbourhood area for the purposes of effective consultation into twenty four “sectors” that were named A to X. There was a general consensus that the proposal was sensible. Charles Gledhill and others including Santokh Singh-Kaulder thought it necessary to agree a framework under which the Working Groups would operate. Santokh Singh-Kaulder proposed a SWAT analysis to start this process. It was AGREED that Charles Gledhill would initiate a discussion via email on the Working Group Framework assisted by Santokh Singh-Kaulder.

It was also AGREED to adopt the map of twenty-four neighbourhood sectors that had been proposed as a basis for a division of the neighbourhood area for planning purposes.

It was also AGREED that Committee members would not nominate themselves for the chairmanship of Working Groups if they lived or worked in a particular sector or had a special interest in it. The chairmen and women would start the process of getting their contacts in that particular sector engaged in a process of consultation and networking to get as broader range of participation as possible from our Forum members and the general public, residents, business operators and interested parties. It was NOTED that under the Constitution the Working Groups may contain any number of Committee members but must include at least one who will act as chairman or woman.

As such the following Neighbourhood Sectors were AGREED to be assigned the following Working Group chairmen and women as follows:

  • Brick Lane North (P. Johnston)
  • Cheshire Street (P. Johnston)
  • Allen Gardens (J. Mtonga)
  • Commercial Street North (J. Frankcom)
  • Norton Folgate (C. Gledhill)
  • Saint George (J. Shapiro)
  •  Fournier Street (C. Gledhill & C. Dyson)
  • Fashion Street (C. Dyson)
  • Flower & Dean (T. Shaikh)
  • Toynbee Estate (T. Shaikh)

Other Committee Members not present at the meeting, including Heloise Palin, would be invited to request to chair and guide particular working groups which are of particular interest to them (See Appendix).

 

2. Any Other Business

a) Future Funding Options

There was a brief discussion about the need to secure funding for our operations moving forwards. Among the proposals were suggestions that enquiries ought to be made as to whether our becoming a registered Charity of one sort or another or a Limited Company would be sensible. The benefits of both arrangements to our operations were discussed and it was AGREED that the Secretary would write to his contacts at the Department for Communities and Local Government and establish whether there is any precedence for this sort of thing, what advice they may have and, indeed, whether or not such arrangements are permitted in the legislation.

It was also AGREED that Tania Shaikh would create a spreadsheet and circulate it among Committee members that could be populated with potential sources of funding and be a central list. Both these actions should be organised before the next meeting.

b) Meetings with representatives of the LPA

David Donoghue reported that he and James Frankcom had recently met with the newly-elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets.  The meeting was requested to discuss local planning matters which were of concern to residents of Spitalfields and did not include discussions on our application for designation. The atmosphere at the meeting was described as friendly and constructive.

James Frankcom reported that he had separately met with a planning officer from Tower Hamlets who had wanted to view the precise delineation of some parts of our southern bounds mainly around Wentworth Street. James accompanied the officer and showed the various walls and alleyways which constitute the precise line on the ground and summarised the discussions he had had with the planning officer regarding our justification and rationale for the precise placements of the boundary here and there.  It was AGREED no further action would be taken by the Committee on this matter unless or until we receive a formal proposal for any adjustment or deviation from the LPA.

c) Committee Vacancy

The Chairman reported that due to an administrative oversight there was a spare seat on the Committee.  Under Section 7 of the Constitution, subsection D, such a vacancy may be filled by a process of co-option from among the ordinary Members of the Forum. Such a replacement Committee member would serve until the next AGM.

Charles Gledhill proposed Heloise Palin be co-opted to the Committee as a Resident member.  He outlined her experience and expertise and suitability for the position. This proposal was seconded by Santokh Singh-Kaulder.

There were no other nominations for this position. Heloise Palin was co-opted unanimously.

d) Future Meetings

It was AGREED that the next meeting of the Committee would be held at the Attlee Centre on Monday 5th October 2015 at the new time of 6.30pm.

It was AGREED that there would not be a Committee Meeting in November because there was due to be a General Meeting of the Forum on 27 October which would negate the need to hold one.

The meeting ended at 20:30.

 

Minutes of the first Annual General Meeting of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 27th July 2015

Present:                                              

  • David Donoghue (Chairman)
  • Yolanda de los Bueis
  • Chris Dyson
  • Tim Elliott
  • James Frankcom
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Mohammed al-Husseini
  • Paul Johnston
  • Nick Morse
  • Junior Mtonga
  • Tim Oliver
  • Heloise Palin
  • Pramila Rajput
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Matthew Smith
  • John Twomey
  • Mhairi Weir
  • Christine Whaite
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:                                          

  • Sarah Dyson
  • Alex Gordon-Shute
  • James Hurlin
  • Azmal Hussain Mert
  • Iqbal Hussain
  • Murselin Islam
  • Tarik Ahmed-Khan
  • Cllr. Abdul Mukit MBE
  • Cllr. John Pierce
  • Ann Shapiro
  • Philip Vracas

1. Welcome

The Chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum opened the meeting by welcoming everyone.

The Secretary then confirmed there was the necessary quorum to proceed and that apologies had been received.

The Chairman went through the agenda and outlined the three main purposes of the meeting; to hear reports from Officers on the activities of the Forum over the past year; to consider propositions in matters arising; and to elect a new Committee for the forthcoming year.

2. Reports

The Chairman outlined the activities of the Forum since the Inaugural Meeting held on 18th August 2014. These activities included submitting an application for designation and responding to feedback on our proposals by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

The Secretary next informed the Meeting that the number of Members had increased and now stood at 90. There are currently sixty resident members, twenty-one business members and nine organization members. The Secretary also outlined the discussions the Committee had been having with the LPA regarding our designation and, in particular, how in April we had responded to questions and requests made by the LPA and, subsequently, had amended our application to apply for designation as a Business Neighbourhood. The key change is that there will be two referenda rather than one; one for local electors and a second for local business-rate payers. It was determined that this would give stronger representation and be “fairer” on local business operators.

The Treasurer explained his Financial Report. The money we received from the Community Development Foundation (CDF) last year was almost entirely spent except for £182 which had to be returned to them in January. Since then we have received £1100 in donations from local groups such as the Spitalfields Community Group (£300), The Spitalfields Society (£300) and the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust (£500). The balance of our account at the time of the AGM stood at £920.

3.   Matters Arising

The Secretary read out two motions which were proposed for adoption at the AGM.

a)     A motion to agree the dates of the three General Meetings and the Annual General Meeting for the forthcoming year

1st General Meeting (Tuesday 27th October 2015)

2nd General Meeting                (Tuesday 26th January 2016)

3rd General Meeting                 (Tuesday 26th April 2016)

2016 AGM                                  (Tuesday 26th July 2016)

Proposer: J. Frankcom

Seconder: S. Kaulder

The motion was passed unanimously.

b)     A motion to set the main business of the three General Meetings and the Annual General Meeting for the forthcoming year.

1st General Meeting – the specific business of this meeting shall be to consider proposals made by the Committee on strategies for organizing consultations effectively and agree funding options for 2016

2nd General Meeting – this meeting shall establish Working Groups or such other groups as may be required in an agreed consultation strategy and allocate resources accordingly

3rd General Meeting – this meeting shall review the work of Working Groups (etc.) and re-allocate resources as appropriate

2016 AGM – this meeting shall review progress so far and consider for inclusion in the draft Neighbourhood Plan any such proposals arising from the work of the Working Group which have been agreed by the Committee. This meeting shall also set down a Plan of Action for the next year.

Proposer: J. Frankcom

Seconder: P. Johnston

The motion was passed unanimously.

4.  Committee of the forum:

The Chairman then reported that notice was given to the Members on 6 July for nominations for membership of the Committee for the forthcoming year. By the end of the notice period we had received twelve nominations. As there were twelve places and twelve nominees and all the constituencies had been filled appropriately there would not need to be any votes for individual places and, instead, it was be proposed the whole group be proposed for adoption in a single motion. Each candidate spoke briefly to introduce themselves. Thanks were also given to Lindy Pyrah who was retiring from the Committee after serving as co-Secretary.

c)     A motion to adopt the following twelve persons as Committee Members for 2015-2016:

 Residents:

  • Donoghue, David
  • Dyson, Chris
  • Frankcom, James
  • Gledhill, Charles
  • Junior Mtonga
  • Singh-Kaulder, Santokh

Business Operators:

  • Johnston, Paul (Johnston Architecture and Design, Cheshire Street)
  • Weir, Mhairi (Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street)
  • Zeloof, Jason (Old Truman Brewery/Zeloof LLP, Brick Lane)

Representatives of Local Organisations:

  • Ahmed-Khan, Tarik (Social Organisation of Unity and Leisure/SOUL FC)
  • Shaikh, Tania (Attlee Youth and Community Centre/The Attlee Foundation)
  • Shapiro, Jon (Spitalfields Regeneration/SPIRE)

Proposer: J. Twomey

Seconder: P. Johnston

The motion was passed unanimously.

5.  Any Other Business

The Chairman welcomed two guest speakers; Eric Leach who is the Chairman of West Ealing Centre Business Neighbourhood Forum (WECBNF); and Amanda Reynolds who is a member of the Management Committee of the East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Planning Forum (ESNPF) which borders our neighbourhood area in the north.

Eric spoke first and described the problems his Forum had faced when making proposals in their plan. He recommended we hire a planner to act as an interface between ourselves and the LPA and said it was crucially important to ensure we demonstrate we have asked local people what they want and show our plans reflect local interests – this was difficult. There were innovative ways of getting to people involved. Regarding the plan itself, you do have a lot of say over new building height, location and density. Eric told the meeting how his Forum had raised around £15,000 in funding from various sources including the National Lottery Awards for All scheme as well as Locality. He also said that 25% of all Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - which will soon replace Section106 – funds raised in the neighbourhood area would have their spending determined by the neighbourhood forum; this could run to many thousands potentially and would be the first time local people got to decide how this money was spent in their neighbourhood on things they wanted.

Amanda spoke next and raised the problems East Shoreditch had had with their trans-borough boundaries – which is a problem Spitalfields does not face. Whilst Tower Hamlets had quickly designated their portion of the East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Area the same was not so for Hackney which had taken about a year and ultimately resulted in only the churchyard of St. Leonard’s Shoreditch being attributed to East Shoreditch and no more. Amanda told the meeting how the focus of ESNPF had been public realm improvements and had been trying to better integrate fragmentary spaces which had different owners; e.g. Tower Hamlets Housing v. LBTH Parks and Gardens. Other points Amanda made included the need for our plan not to contradict existing policies in the Local Plan and to avoid simply repeating everything. ESNPF now has policies on Licensed Premises as well as potential self-building sites. There were also policies being developed on traffic calming measures and the prioritizing of streets based on usage surveys. Amanda recommended we avoid creating policies which had very specific design guidelines and said other tools we had like Site Allocation and Community Right to Build were extremely time consuming and could be easily challenged in court – so we should be cautious.

The Chairman then thanked the speakers for their generosity in coming to the meeting and answering our questions.

Resident Member Christine Whaite reported good news on behalf of the Friends of Christ Church of which she is Chair on an important legal case heard at the Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal which had been won by campaigners hoping to restore the old church yard at Christ Church and see illegal constructions in that place removed; it is not the end of the road but it was a very important step in the right direction.

The meeting ended at 21:00.

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 6th July 2015

Present:                                              

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • Paul Johnston
  •  James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Santokh Kaulder                                                              
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:                                          

  • Iqbal Hussain
  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Steve Paton
  • Lindy Pyrah

The meeting was quorate.

Matters Arising

David noted the success of the political hustings meeting we had held on 5th May in advance of the General Election and said he thought we should try to do more of those sort of things once we are designated because they raise our profile. The Committee agreed with his sentiments.

Tania raised the point that according to the constitution we should have held three General Meetings during 2015 and asked why this had not happened. James responded that the General Meetings do not have specified tasks in the Constitution and as we had not been designated it would have been pointless holding such meetings without them having anything to do. He also stated that we had been expecting to be designated in about April but due to the chaos at the local authority with the mayor being removed from office, which we could not have foreseen, the time the whole process of application and designation had taken very much longer than we could have reasonably expected. The Committee accepted this explanation. Tania recommended that this matter be raised at the AGM and an apology made. The Committee agreed with this approach.

Treasurer’s Report

Charles reported that we had received separate cheques from the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, Spitalfields Society and Spitalfields Community Group totaling £1100. We have had a few small outgoings since then, most notably venue hire costs at the Attlee Centre.

Membership Report

James reported that we have had about 25 new members over the past few months.

Progress of LPA Designation

James reported that he had received very encouraging feedback from planning officers at LBTH and that their legal department had gone through our various submissions and had found no problems with them.

2015 AGM

The date of the AGM was set at Monday 27th July at 19:00. The venue was agreed to be the main hall of the Attlee Centre like last time. A round-robin email was going to be circulated to organise the details such as seating, catering and materials.

Any Other Business

The issue of the “rave car” travelling around Brick Lane was discussed briefly. Jason also raised the issue of Christ Church burial ground and the future of the building that had been built on top of it. James provided some points of fact regarding the legal process the Friends of Christ Church had been taking to have this building removed. Other than that there was no other business and the meeting closed at approximately 19:40

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at Brick House on Brick Lane on 18th May 2015

Present:                                              

  • Paul Johnston (Acting Chair)
  •  James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Santokh Kaulder                                                              
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:                                          

  • David Donoghue
  • Iqbal Hussain
  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Steve Paton
  • Lindy Pyrah
  • Tania Shaikh

The meeting was quorate and began at 19:00

Matters Arising

The SNPF in conjunction with our members the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust hosted an election hustings at the Toynbee Hall. The event was a great success and over 150 local people attended including all the candidates in the upcoming General Election (which Rushanara Ali won and is now our MP representing the Labour Party) as well as John Biggs MLA. We also gained several new members at this meeting.

Progress towards LPA Designation

We have recently received word from the Strategic Planning Department at LBTH that a decision on whether to recommend approval (or not) will be made in the “very near future”.

Committee Vacancy

It was agreed that the vacant Committee place left by the departure of Mike Nicholas will remain unfilled until such time as we are designated by the LPA.

Any Other Business

1.       Treasurers Report

Charles informed the Committee that our bank account is approximately £800 thanks to the generous donations of £500 from the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust and £300 from The Spitalfields Society. We hope to receive some money which had been pledged by the Spitalfields Community Group in due course.

2.       It was noted that local resident John MacKenzie Nicholson had recently been elected to Parliament representing a constituency in Glasgow for the Scottish National Party. The Committee welcomed this development and sent their congratulations.

3.       It was agreed that the next meeting of this Committee shall be on Monday 6th July 2015. Venue to be confirmed nearer to the date.

The meeting closed at approximately 20:00.

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Committee of the SNPF held at the English Restaurant on Brushfield Street on 2nd March 2015

Present:                                              

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Paul Johnston
  • Steve Paton                      
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:                                          

  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Tarik Khan
  • Lindy Pyrah
  • Tania Shaikh

The meeting was quorate.

Matters Arising

  1. It was noted by the Committee that the areas public houses were under considerable threat; the Gun on Brushfield Street had recently closed and associates acting on behalf of the licensee of the Duke of Wellington (who are members of SNPF) on Toynbee Street had made us aware of a planning application which threatened the continuation of their business. It was agreed that the Committee would liaise with the campaigners hoping to “Save the Duke” to get more information.
  2. It was also noted that British Land had made an application to develop its holdings in Norton Folgate. There is a vigorous campaign led mostly by the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust (who are members of SNPF) and the East End Preservation Society to oppose these plans and protect the historic buildings found mainly on Blossom Street from damage or destruction. Charles advised the Committee about an alternative scheme which promotes optimum viable use of the site.
  3. It was also noted that there are proposals concerning plan to redevelop Attlee House which is a building connected to Toynbee Hall (who are members of SNPF). David would attend the exhibition and report back to the Committee in due course.
  4. The Local Community Ward Forum has made us aware of suggestions to convert Allen Gardens (or part of them) from a park into a football pitch with an artificial surface. This had been uncovered through freedom of information requests. James would seek further information and clarification in his role as a Mayor’s Community Champion Coordinator for the ward.
  5. Finally, it was also noted that there are plans to remove some of the trees on Brushfield Street as a precursor to the redevelopment of the London Fruit and Wool Exchange site. Paul would monitor this.

Progress of LPA Designation

There has been meetings between members of this Committee and Officers at the LPA regarding representations both supporting and opposing our application for area and forum designation.

Future Committee Meetings

The need for a regular venue was discussed. It was agreed to cancel the meetings in April and in June and hold our next meeting in May at the Brick House (courtesy of Jason) and the meeting after that in July at an as yet unspecified venue.

Any Other Business

There was no other business to be had and the meeting closed at approximately 20:00.

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 2nd February 2015

Present:

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Paul Johnston
  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Jason Zeloof

Apologies:

  • Iqbal Hussain
  • Mike Nicholas
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Jon Shapiro

 Matters Arising

 Minutes of the last meeting in November were approved.

Progress of LPA Designation

Our application for area and forum designation was validated by planning officers at Tower Hamlets on 15 December and they have since begun their statutory period of public consultation on our proposals. The LPA public consultation period ends on 16th February. Nothing can be done at the moment.  

Any Other Business

  1. What to do in the interim period – we could be thinking about – the venue of our meetings which needs to be thought about due to financial situations, so the choices are we can look at other venues which are free, not have meetings or do a bit of fund-raising with the SS and SCG and maybe the Spitalfields Trust.  Once we get designated then we can claim more money from Locality.  Not many expenses are being occurred.
  2. Fundraising – Charles to contact the Spitalfields Community Group to get the agreed money, for the Spitalfields Society we will do a letter which we will hand delivered.  Suggesting of having matching contribution of £300 per group.  David and James to suggest the letter and send by email. 
  3. Venue – if get funding then we can continue meeting at the Attlee but the committee suggested a more convivial atmosphere, e.g. the English Restaurant on Brushfield Street which is owned by a member of SCG and often used for their meetings which has a suitable upstairs room with a big table.  Hanbury Hall may become available in April but we do not know about the payment/condition of the room as it is still under development. Paul to see if we can have the next meeting held at the English restaurant.
  4. Next meetings – 2 March, 13 April, 11 May due to bank holidays
  5. Mike Nicholas, hasn’t attended three consecutive meeting, and has not responded to our letters. Agreed to write to him to explain his membership has lapsed but if he wants to join the committee at a later date then for him to notify us and attend the next meeting.

The meeting ended at approximately 20:30.

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 24th November 2014

Present:

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary)
  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Paul Johnston
  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Steve Paton
  • Jason Zeloof
  • Lorraine Hart

Apologies:

Charles Gledhill

Iqbal Hussain

Mike Nicholas

Lindy Pyrah

Matters Arising

Minutes delayed until next meeting (Monday 2nd February 2015)

Approval of LPA Designation Documents

Question 1 was read by Santokh Kaulder

Question 1a:      Approved with amendments suggested by Jason Zeloof

Question 1b:      Approved without amendments

Question 1c:       Approved with amendments suggested by James Frankcom

Question 2 was read out by James Frankcom and was approved with amendments suggested by Jon Shapiro.

Question 3 was read out by James Frankcom and was approved with a number of amendments made by several members

Question 4 was read out by James Frankcom and was subject to discussion. Numerous amendments and alterations were proposed by Jason Zeloof, Jon Shapiro and others. Advice about wording was taken from Lorraine Hart and an agreed formula was approved. Jason Zeloof wished it to be known that he had made it clear that he had stood to be a member of the Committee “as a sceptic” and he wanted it to be on record that he did not agree with the boundaries we are proposed to be designated and still does not for the reasons he set out in his letters to the LPA in August. David Donoghue and James Frankcom both spoke out in favour of local residents and the representatives of the Old Truman Brewery working together constructively on the Forum. The Committee resolved to respond to the content of Jason Zeloof’s letter by representations of their own to LBTH on behalf of the supporters of area designation on this committee separately to the designation application we are making today. Jason Zeloof and Steve Paton both supported this proposal.

Any Other Business

There was no other business to be had and the meeting closed at 21:47. Minutes of this meeting were circulated and approved by email 26.11.2014

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on Thrawl Street on 3rd November 2014

Present:

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • James Frankcom (Secretary) 
  • Tarik Ahmed-Khan
  • Paul Johnston
  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Iqbal Hussain
  • Jon Shapiro

Apologies:

  • Charles Gledhill
  • Steve Paton
  • Lindy Pyrah
  • Jason Zeloof                   

Minutes of the last meeting

David welcomed everyone, read through minutes of the last meeting in October which were approved subject to a few small amendments.

Matters Arising

No items

Treasurers Report

Nothing to report

Application Working Group

The AWG established at the last meeting is due to meet at on 17 November and finalise the draft application statements for approval at a full meeting of this Committee on 24 November. The members of the AWG are confirmed as follows:

  • Tania Shaikh
  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Lindy Pyrah
  • James Frankcom

Santokh has written a draft answer to Q1 on the designation application form. A few amendments were suggested to make reference to articles in our Constitution. Tania has written a draft answer to Q2 which requires some additional specific information. Both will be completed at the AWG meeting.

Communications Working Group

A ‘Communications Working Group’ (CWG) will be set up as a sub-Committee according to the Constitution after designation. It shall be tasked with maintaining a continuous level of public consultation with the local community. The members are as follows:

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Tarik Khan
  • Iqbal Hussain

Other members of this Committee not present will be invited to join this group.

Planning Working Group

A ‘Planning Working Group’ (PWG) will be set up as a sub-Committee according to the Constitution after designation. It shall be tasked with preparing a range of planning policy aims and establishing parameters for the Committee to consider. The members are as follows:

  • Paul Johnston (Chair)
  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Tarik Khan
  • Charles Gledhill

All members of the SNPF will be invited to join this working group as full members. 

Membership Report

It was agreed to write to all current members of the SNPF and provide them with an update of our activities so far and the upcoming designation process.

There are a number of membership applications received which are invalid. It was agreed that we should write to these persons and invite them to submit new applications should they so wish.

Any Other Business

The minutes of the Inaugural General Meeting of the SNPF (18 August) which had only recently been completed were read through and approved with some amendments.

Meeting ended at approximate 20:45

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on 6th October 2014

Present: 

  • PaulJohnston (Chair)
  • Jason Zeloof
  • Lorraine Hart
  • James Frankcom
  • Tarik Ahmed Khan
  • Santokh Kaulder
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Tania Shaikh

Apologies: 

  • Jon Shapiro
  • David Donoghue
  • Mike Nicholas
  • Iqbal Hussain
  • Steve Paton                                    

1.  Minutes of the last meeting

 Paul welcomed everyone, read through last minutes of the last meeting which were approved.

2.  Workplan and timetable for designation

Lorraine went through the timetable and work plans previously circulated: LBTH has a lot of detail in terms of submitting information to satisfy their requirements for completing the guidance and application forms – namely, the area map, rationale and constitution.

We have to agree who will be the public contact whose name and address would be made public and the names and addresses of twenty-one members whose names and addresses would not be made public.  We can also add how many members we have if it exceeds 21.

We also have to agree what we are going to put on a formal statement but have to bear in mind that we have to adhere to the Mayors priorities and the community plan; it is important we familiarise ourselves with these documents as they set out the timeline and framework for us to work with.  Important to think how we can accommodate what we want at neighbourhood level – the documents help to give strategic focus.   We need to look at conservation area appraisals, what is covered by existing policy and what is not.

The Community Plan is currently being refreshed at the moment although we do not need to refer to it in detail due to time constraints.

We have to agree the members of an Application Preparation Working Group (a sub-committee) tasked to meet the application deadlines and we will need an additional meeting of the full committee of the SNPF to finalise the application this sub-committee drafts and formally sign it off.  We have to make sure that everyone is involved, not just the core group.  Deadline is 1st December.  Part draft should be able to be circulated by November 3rd meeting.

A Dropbox account is to be set up so the group can easily share the documents and people can check progress.  The team discussed how best the tasks should be split, it is important that we take something on and have a lead person.  Jason told the group that he may not be the best person to have in a group as he was opposed to the Old Truman Brewery being included in the Neighbourhood Plan, however he was very happy to look over any documents and include any comments and observations.

2. (a) Tasks:

It was agreed that Santokh, assisted by Lorraine, will answer section 1 (questions a-c) - How will the Forum, viz:

  1. Promote economic, social and environmental well-being
  2. Embed local authority priorities, LBTH Core Strategy and Managing development document and Diversity and Equalities in its activities
  3. Engage with other local groups including the Local Community Ward Forum (LCWF)

The preparation of information to support Question 2 on consultation for the Neighbourhood area and Forum prior to the application being submitted: Tania and Lorraine to lead

It was agreed that our chairman David Donoghue will be the main public contact

The Area Supporting statement will be based on James’s original draft but which will be adapted; Lorraine will send this out after looking at the original.

Lindy to do the typing on the application form online

2. (b) Designation Application Timetable:

3 November – SNPF Committee meeting, also use this to agree final answers to Q1

17 November – Meeting of the Application Preparation Group

24 November - SNPF Committee to review the application in full.

3. Finance report

Charles passed around a document outlining the report – everything paid by cheque and have apportioned it to the agreed category – haven’t overspent and a bit of money coming in, another 10% of the funds due.  The group discussed the best way to spend the rest of the funds if needed in any one of the other categories.  A possible postal note to update or put it on the website, or include a press release in East End Life so the public are aware.

The group agreed the monitoring report to CDF to show money spent to date, it included explanatory notes for any under-spend/over-spend. 

4. Consultation with the Old Truman Brewery tenants/business community

The team discussed with Jason the best way for us to consult with the businesses based at the Old Truman Brewery following the concerns raised at the inaugural meeting. A communication working group should be established; to be discussed at the next meeting. 

Lorraine set out the overall plan of work and discussed the importance of using existing established links, it all needs to be transparent and level headed.  Jason agreed to come back with the best way to do this with the Old Truman Brewery tenants.

It was also agreed that we could use the website and any other email lists that we have.  A standard email to be drafted by Charles and sent with the info@spitalfieldsforum.org.uk email address cc’ed so we can track businesses consulted and capture any replies.

Recommended draft by Lorraine: 

“The Neighbourhood area, forum and its constitution has been agreed after local consultation. A committee has been formed which will making an application to the LBTH by 1 December to become the body to lead the process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan with the people and workers of Spitalfields applying for designation application.  We will keep you informed and please keep checking the website, there will be chance get involved after 1st December once application submitted”

5. Planning Aims for the Neighbourhood Area

The broad Planning “Aims” for the Neighbourhood Area must be gathered, Jason’s input would be valuable for Brick Lane as we need to get a feel for this.  It will be an opportunity to gather feedback from new residents as there is lots of information out there.

The group also agreed it had to think about policies etc, balance of uses, building heights to be focussed on certain things and ask people for their ideas.  Designate zones within the area – there is no set of hard rules.

It is important to look at other Neighbourhood Plans, Lorraine to send out some information for us to look at. A “Planning Consultative Sub-Committee” will be required to lead this initiative; to be discussed at the next meeting.

6.  AOB

Agenda next time: establishing communications working group, planning consultative groups to be agreed; plus membership of the forum in general to be discussed – we ought to be actively recruiting still.

Meeting was declared closed. 

 

Minutes of the Committee of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on 27th August 2014 at 18:45.

Present:

  • Mike Nicholas
  • David Donoghue
  • Tania Sheikh
  • Jason Zeloof
  • Paul Johnston
  • Jon Shapiro
  • James Frankcom
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Tarik Ahmed-Khan

Apologies:

  • Lindy Pyrah
  • Steve Paton
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder
  • Iqbal Hussain

In Attendance:

  • Lorraine Hart Locality NP Advisor

1.    Welcome and Introductions

The following members of the Forum had been elected as Committee members of the Forum at the Inaugural Forum meeting on 18th August 2014:

  • Tarik Ahmed-Khan (Community Group Member)
  • David Donoghue (Resident member)
  • James Frankcom (Resident Member)
  • Charles Gledhill (Resident Member)
  • Iqbal Hussain (Resident Member)
  • Paul Johnston (Business Member)
  • Mike Nicholas (Community Group Member)
  • Steve Paton (Business Member
  • Lindy Pyrah (Resident Member)
  • Tania Shaikh (Community Group Member)
  • Jon Shapiro (Resident Member)
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder (Resident Member)
  • Jason Zeloof (Business Member)

All those present introduced themselves.  A draft agenda had been circulated as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Election of chairman/woman
  3. Election of vice-chairman/woman
  4. Election of secretary
  5. Election of treasurer
  6. Any other business

It was AGREED that as the main item for the Agenda was election of the officers of the Committee that Lorraine Hart would conduct the elections.  No other additional items for the agenda were proposed.

2.    Election of Chairman/Chairwoman

Jon Shapiro proposed David Donoghue as Chair.  This was seconded by Jason Zeloof.

There were no other nominations for this position.

David Donoghue was ELECTED unanimously.

3. Election of Vice Chairman/Woman

A proposal was made that this position be shared by two committee members. 

The proposal was made by David Donoghue and seconded by Tarik Ahmed Khan.

The proposal was AGREED unanimously.

Tarik Ahmed Khan was proposed by David Donoghue and seconded by Mike Nicholas.

Paul Johnston was proposed by James Frankcom and seconded by Jason Zeloof.

There were no other nominations for this position.

Tarik Ahmed Khan and Paul Johnston were both ELECTED unanimously.

4.    Election of Secretary

A proposal was made that this position be shared by two committee members and that their responsibilities be split in accordance with Clause 9d) (i) and (ii) in the Constitution of the Forum.

Post meeting clarification Clause 9.d) reads:

9. d) The Secretary shall be responsible for:

i. Organizing meetings, taking and circulating the minutes and making them available to members within 10 (ten) working days of the previous meeting.

ii. Maintaining a register of members of the SNPF and the SNPF Constitution for inspection by members of the public and SNPF Members.

The proposal was made by James Frankcom and seconded by David Donoghue

The proposal was AGREED unanimously.

Lindy Pyrah (who had sent apologies but had e mailed her acceptance of a nomination as Secretary) was proposed by James Frankcom and seconded by Tarik Ahmed-Khan

James Frankcom was proposed by Tania Shaikh and seconded by Paul Johnston.

There were no other nominations for the position.

Lindy Pyrah and James Frankcom were both ELECTED unanimously

5. Election of Treasurer

Charles Gledhill was nominated as Treasurer by Paul Johnston and seconded by James Frankcom.

There were no other nominations for the position.

Charles Gledhill was elected unanimously.

It was AGREED that in compliance with Clause 9. c) iv) of the Forum constitution that James Frankcom and Paul Johnston would act as co-signatories to the Forum bank account with the Treasurer.

6.    Any Other Business

With elections complete David Donoghue chaired the meeting from this point and proposed the following additional business:

a) Agenda for the next Committee Meeting

It was AGREED at the next Meeting that the Committee would consider:

  • A Work plan and timetable for applying to LBTH for designation to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan

Action: Lorraine Hart to prepare a proposal for discussion

  • A Finance Report to consider spending to date of the grant received by the Forum and consideration of how to use the remaining grant.

Action : Charles Gledhill and James Frankcom to prepare a Finance Report for discussion

  • Consideration of wider consultation on the application for designation and working arrangements for development of the neighbourhood plan, particularly using social media.

Action: Jon Shapiro to bring all remaining copies of the “Roadmap” for a Neighbourhood Plan to the next meeting

Action: Lorraine Hart to provide information on ways in which this has been done in other areas and examples of other neighbourhood Plans.

b)    Date of the next Committee Meeting(s)

  • It was AGREED that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Monday 6th October 2014 at 7pm.
  • It was AGREED that thereafter Committee meeting would be held on the first Monday of every month, unless agreed at Committee to change the date.

Action: Tania Sheikh agreed to book a room at the Attlee Centre for the next meeting.

With all business concluded the meeting ended at 20:30.

 

Minutes of the Inaugural General Meeting (the first AGM) of the SNPF held at the Attlee Centre on 18th August 2014

 Present:

  • Kate Aspinall, resident
  • Tim Barrett, resident
  • Fay Cattini, The Spitalfields Society
  • Adina Cazacu, Cafe 1001
  • Sara Crofts, Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings
  • David Donoghue, resident (Acting Chair of Meeting)
  • James Frankcom, resident
  • Jeremy Freedman, resident
  • Charles Gledhill, resident
  • Geena Hamo, resident
  • Iqbal Hussain, resident
  • Paul Johnston, Johnston Architecture Ltd.
  • Tarik Khan, SOUL
  • Martin Lane, resident
  • Ivaylo Manev, 93 Feet East
  • Mike Myers, resident
  • Mike Nicholas, Friends of Mallon Gardens
  • Brian Noone, resident
  • Tim Oliver, resident
  • Pia Ovalle, Corbet Place
  • Heloise Palin, resident
  • Steve Paton, Truman Estates Ltd.
  • Josephine Pletts, Brown & Pletts LLP
  • Vee Power, The Boiler House Food Hall
  • Lindy Pyrah, resident
  • Sassoon Raymond, Truman Estates Ltd.
  • Alphonso Rock, OTB Ltd.
  • Jon Shapiro, resident
  • Santokh Singh-Kaulder, resident
  • Jordon Taylor, Truman Markets
  • Andrew Turf, Old Spitalfields Market
  • Christine Whaite, Friends of Christ Church Spitalfields
  • Jason Zeloof, Zeloof LLP

1.   Welcome

The retiring chair of the Interim Steering Group (David Donoghue) opened the meeting by welcoming everyone. He went through the agenda explaining why items had been included.  

The three purposes of the meeting were outlined; to agree and adopt a Neighbourhood area; agree and adopt a constitution, and; elect a Committee.

2.   Adoption of the Neighbourhood Area

The attendees were invited to view maps of the proposed Neighbourhood Area boundary which were placed around the room.

James Frankcom, an ISG member, explained how the proposed boundary map put before them for approval tonight was the outcome of a consultation process that had involved members of the public and local stakeholders over the summer of 2014. James described how an initial set of potential boundaries (which were slightly different to the proposals displayed tonight) had been developed through a process of engagement with local community and amenity groups during 2013. This early proposal had subsequently been discussed with planning officers at the London Borough of Tower Hamlet and deemed viable.  The ISG then moved to subject these bounds to scrutiny at two public consultation meetings held over the summer of 2014.

James told the meeting how at both the public consultation meetings (21 July and 4 August) various independent and unconnected persons had recommended the bounds be amended so as to include the Spitalfields City Farm. No other proposals were made for amending the Neighbourhood Area bounds at either of the public consultation meetings. 

After the Consultation process was over the ISG met again on 12 August and considered the feedback on the boundaries it had received. 

The ISG regarded the proposal made at the public consultation meeting to include the farm to have merit on the basis that the farm is a public venue used extensively by local people and on a purely planning basis it is a local ‘asset’ within the scope of neighbourhood planning that future policies might enhance and protect. It was also noted that it is positioned immediately adjacent to Allen Gardens which are a core component of our proposed Neighbourhood Area and as a virtual extension of that park it would seem totally logical to amend the bounds to include the farm.  It was noted that no further suggestions had been made to amend the boundaries at either of the public consultation meetings.  

The ISG did note that a member of the public had written to the chairman and suggested that the Victoria Cottages on Deal Street be included within the envisaged Neighbourhood Area. The reasons given by that person were that the cottages had recently become part of an extension of the Brick Lane Conservation Area and persons living within those cottages considered themselves to be living “in Spitalfields”. The ISG gave this suggestion serious consideration but ultimately determined that this proposal was without merit. The basis for this was that these cottages were clearly detached from the rest of the Neighbourhood Area and to amend the boundaries so radically so as to include this person’s abode would be illogical on planning terms. The ISG regards Spelman Street to be a very sensible eastern boundary that clearly divides two areas with significantly differing planning landscapes and urban grain; one side to the west being a mix of commercial and residential and the other (to the east) being wholly or almost wholly residential. The logic of our eastern boundary had not been questioned at our public meetings. Finally, it was also noted that the bounds we are proposing are not a definition or re-definition of where Spitalfields is; they are simply the delineation of a coherent area which we think sensible to be covered by policies part of a single Neighbourhood Plan. 

This was explained to the meeting and there was a consensus in support of the ISG position.

James then told how a written objection had been received in writing from the owners of the Old Truman Brewery (OTB) three days ago. He then handed over to David Donoghue who said that the ISG had agreed to let the OTB owners propose an amendment to the boundaries we recommend.

Jason Zeloof from Zeloof LLP (the owners of the OTB) introduced himself to the audience and handed out leaflets.  Jason said he welcomes the formation of a Neighbourhood Planning Forum but objects to the OTB being included in the current boundary because OTB is of a different character to the rest of the proposed neighbourhood forum.

He proposed that bounds be redrawn so that the entire OTB area be removed. He also criticized the whole notion of a Spitalfields neighbourhood saying there are a number of different areas within the boundaries proposed which are distinctive and have a different character and the communities in each area will have too many different views to make it possible to have a cohesive planning agreement which encapsulates everyone.

Jason also raised concerns he has about people who work at the OTB and who had written to support his objections being contacted directly by a member of the ISG who had “pressurized them” and “had attempted to persuade them to change their minds”. He also said false claims had been made in these phone calls.  

He then said the main concern he has is that his tenants and staff in the OTB had not received any invitations to the public consultation meetings and only heard about the proposed Neighbourhood Forum by word of mouth which resulted in the opinion of the OTB and the businesses therein had not been fully involved and it was therefore not a valid consultation process.

Jon Shapiro, a member of the ISG, then stated that about fifty leaflets inviting people to come to the consultation meetings had been put in the reception of the OTB in mid July. In addition, he said, Jason Zeloof had been made fully aware of the process and the proposals some time prior to that. 

David Donoghue stated that he accepted the consultation meeting process “was not perfect” but the ISG was manned by local volunteers who had a limited time and had done their best to ensure that leaflets were distributed to every household and business within the proposed boundary. He added that the OTB could not claim to have not been consulted when their representatives had been personally present at the consultation meetings and asked for their views.

Lorraine Hart then addressed some of the issues raised: the neighbourhood plan can be split in different zones with differing policies to look after individual issues but within the neighbourhood area.  The forum must be made up of different businesses and residents in a specified area and that it was in OTB’s interests to be fully involved – which they couldn’t be if they were outside the area.  

There was then an energetic discussion about the local area and how important it is to embrace its diversity and for residents and business to work with each other. A number of persons in attendance expressed the view that the Old Truman Brewery was the very core of this neighbourhood and that it was unthinkable for any neighbourhood planning policy not to include it. One local businessman said he sympathized with Jason Zeloof’s concerns about an additional layer of bureaucracy “but you cannot stand against what the local community wants.” Others said that the point of the SNPF was to enable discussion and this was the planning process and the way the Neighbourhood Forum would influence future planning issues within Spitalfields. One member of the public called on Jason Zeloof to say how many of the people he had brought with him were his employees.

Jason Zeloof then proposed that the vote on the Neighbourhood Area be delayed until some future time. Other persons at the meeting proposed the contrary and after some further discussion Jon Shapiro proposed that there be a vote on whether to hold a vote on the boundary tonight or not and that this vote be held immediately. The chair then asked for persons in attendance to vote on that proposition.

Proposition 1:     That there will be a vote on the Neighbourhood Area boundary tonight

Yes:     19    The motion was carried

No:       11

It was then decided to hold a vote on whether to accept the amendment to the boundary of the Neighbourhood Area which Jason Zeloof had proposed.

Proposition 2:    That the boundary of the Neighbourhood Area be amended so to remove the Old Truman Brewery site

Yes:    11
No:     19    The motion failed

Proposition 3:    That the boundary of the Neighbourhood Area proposed by the ISG which includes the farm but does not include Victoria Cottages and without any further amendments be adopted

Yes:    19    The motion was carried
No:      11

As a result of this vote, the Neighbourhood Area was formally adopted by the Neighbourhood Planning Forum. 

3.   Constitution

There was next a vote on adopting the Constitution which had been written by the ISG and consulted upon at the consultation meetings.

Proposition 4:    That the Constitution of the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum proposed by the ISG be adopted

Yes:    19    The motion was carried without objection

As a result of this vote, the Constitution was formally adopted by the Neighbourhood Forum.

4.  Committee of the forum:

At this point the ISG ceased to manage the meeting and the meeting was chaired henceforth by Lorraine Hart, an independent neighbourhood planning consultant. There was an explanation of the role of the Committee and the process required under the Constitution to elect its members. 

As a result 14 people at the meeting indicated that they wanted to stand for election for Committee membership in the following constituencies:

Residents:                                          7
Business Operators:                         4
Organisation Representatives:        3

According to the Constitution there can only be three business operator members of the Committee and as there were too many business members who wanted to be members of the Committee and they were not eligible to stand for election in another constituency a vote was required to select the top three.

The results of the election in the Business Operators constituency were as follows:

Business operators:

Zeloof, Jason                  26   Elected
Paton, Steve                   20   Elected
Johnston, Paul                19    Elected
Sassoon, Raymond        10    Not Elected

All other nominees in the other two constituencies were elected unopposed and all seats were filled on the committee, they are:

Residents:
    
Donoghue, David            Elected Un-Opposed
Frankcom, James            Elected Un-Opposed
Gledhill, Charles              Elected Un-Opposed
Hussein, Iqbal                  Elected Un-Opposed
Pyrah, Lindy                     Elected Un-Opposed
Shapiro, Jon                     Elected Un-Opposed
Singh-Kaulder, Santokh  Elected Un-Opposed

Representatives of Local Organisations:    

Khan, Tarik                       Elected Un-Opposed
Nicholas, Mike                 Elected Un-Opposed
Shaikh, Tania                   Elected Un-Opposed

It was then agreed by the elected members of the Committee that their first meeting would be held on Wednesday 27 August at the Attlee Centre.

The meeting ended at 21:30

 

Minutes of the Public Consultation Meeting held at the Attlee Centre on 4th August 2014

Present:

  • Sara Bainbridge, Cloisters Residents' Association
  • Donna DeWick, The Spitalfields Society
  • David Donoghue, The Spitalfields Society (Chair of Meeting)
  • Tim Elliott
  • Peter Farnham, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • James Frankcom, Mayor's Community Champion Coordinator / Local Community Ward Forum
  • Jazelle Francis, London Lifestyle Lounge
  • Sophie Hall-Thompson, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Karen Hart, Toynbee Hall
  • Lorraine Hart, Community Land Use
  • Nora Heard
  • Murselin Islam, Spitalfields Housing Association
  • Paul Johnston, Spitalfields Community Group
  • Krissie Nicolson
  • Yoann Personne
  • Josephine Pletts, Brown and Pletts LLP
  • Lindy Pyrah, The Spitalfields Society
  • Luisa Robbez Masson
  • Sue Rowland
  • Assia Schuhmann
  • Tania Shaikh, Attlee Youth & Community Centre
  • Jon Shapiro, SPIRE, Tower Hamlets Police & Safety Board
  • Santokh Singh Kaulder
  • Philip Vracas, Parish Clerk, Christ Church Spitalfields
  • Mhairi Weir, Spitalfields City Farm
  • Charlie de Wet, Huguenots of Spitalfields
  • Cllr. Andrew Wood, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

1.  Introduction by David Donoghue, Chair of the Interim Steering Group Committee

David introduced the meeting and explained why we were are doing this; we are a diverse group of voices of local community, and a Neighbourhood Forum lets people and the community come closer to the decision making.

David then went through the agenda for the meeting, its purpose is establishing what, why, what a Neighbourhood Forum can do.  Throughout the process we have been helped by Lorrraine Hart, an independent planning consultation employed by Locality to help establish Neighbourhood Forums.  We have also been advised by other Neighbourhood Forums in the area with the idea of trying to match up common objectives.  We will also look specifically at the proposed borders for the Neighbourhood Forum which has been done by James Frankcom, and why we came up with these.

David then introduced Lorraine and asked the audience to mark the 18th August in their diary as it is the inaugural meeting of the Neighbourhood Forum and it is important that they play a role.

2.  Lorraine Hart – Neighbourhood Forums and their relevance to Spitalfields

Neighbourhood Forums are relatively a new thing, part of a bundle of community rights which were provided under the Locality Act.  It gives communities the right to challenge, bid and take control of their local area.  A thousand neighbourhood plans are under development, 80 have already been produced and some have been passed by referendum.  It is a democratically rooted process.

Neighbourhood Plans are important as it focuses on the local area, specifically focusing on the lower level of policies which control planning of buildings.  It is very similar to what a local plan can do and agree things which are very specific to an area – eg pedestrian access – although it cannot do anything which clashes with the borough plan.  Although the some sites might be stipulated as strategic sites so cannot be interfered with.

There are lots of things that a Neighbourhood Forum can do: create things and support development, take account that areas change over time but that local heritage is kept; it is striking the right balance of what we protect and bringing in the new. It is important to designate an area and produce rules which are set down in the regulations but they also have to be open and inclusive and to make sense to local people and give an opportunity to look at the fine grain.

3.  James Frankcom – the proposed Neighbourhood area

The aim of defining the Neighbourhood area was to create an optimum area for planning which covered the area we recognize as Spitalfields.  There are a lot of conflicting interests in Spitalfields with business, heritage and tourists, and it creates a real mix and the proposed boundaries need to reflect this, they include:

  • Landmarks – church, mosque, Old Truman Brewery, Old Spitalfields Market
  • Street markets – Brick Lane and Wentworth St (Petticoat market)
  • Arterial “high street” routes – Commercial street, Brick lane – very different but interlink the community
  • Other significant commercial areas – Brushfield Street, Hanbury Street and Cheshire Street are intrinsically connected to the two high streets.
  • Conservation areas – heritage, old buildings, bring tourists to the area.  Good that they are all combined in one plan
  • Open Spaces – these are important in a densely populated area – Allen Gardens, Elder Gardens, Mallon Gardens, Christ Church Gardens,  also the Chicksand St playground which is a community facility which needs to be looked after.
  • Amenity Orientation – we have to ask ourselves how do people orientate themselves?  There are existing main routes – Whitechapel High Street is in the middle of Whitechael so it belongs there, Bethnal Green Road is another natural boundary plus Bishopsgate with the City boundary.
  • Past Precedents – we examined the old boundaries of Parish of Spitalfields and found that there were some commonality
  • Restrictions and Limitations: so we have looked at an established core area but what about restrictions?  There are a couple: City of London,  Hackney, Bishopsgate Goodsyard which is a strategic site, also there is the East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Forum which already exists and these areas cannot overlap.
  •  {C}Planning and LicensingWe must take into account the City fringe – Spitalfields is in the middle of core area which have existing plans with the City so we have used that boundary so we have the same existing planning policies applied.  We also consulted the Police map of Brick Lane activity zone which outlines the Eastern edge.
  • The Urban Landscape – we considered the mix of property and building use which makes the area so distinctive and found a distinct difference between our area with its mix of residential, commercial and heritage buildings and areas further east which were almost wholly residential without the same visitor pressures.
  • Our proposed borders:  James then put up a map which incorporated all of the above and showed it to the audience.

David Donoghue then let the audience know that maps available to look at after the meeting finished and invited questions from the audience.

Questions:

  •  Is the Spitalfields Farm included in the proposed boundaries? 

James stated that it had been raised at the last meeting and so clearly it seemed to be a good thing to include and something we will seriously consider including within the final borders.  It’s inclusion does makes sense as it is a key community asset and easily included next to Allen Gardens. 

  • Is there is an optimum size for Neighbourhood Forums?

The West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum is of a very similar size in population terms to us, so it compares well.  The geographic size is driven by the physical attributes of the area – i.e. major roads- plus in rural areas there might be lesser population but a much bigger area,  it purely depends on planning issues and an area which feels right for us.

  • How will you go about writing a plan for Spitalfields?

This will be tricky but as we know there is a lot of expertise in the area who will be keen to take part. It is essential that people living and working the area are consulted and they will hopefully contribute to certain bits; we will then bring it all together for the final document.  The plan would not be uniform and is likely to have quite different policies for different parts of the neighbourhood area.

  • Does a Neighbourhood Forum purely rely on voluntary labour? 

It is a complicated area but yes there is a possibility of more help, the local panning authority does have a statutory duty to help and Tower Hamlets have officers to specifically help.  Putting a sieve on the issues and distilling the key concerns which should be the focus of a Neighbourhood Plan and see what is already in place.  There are also people who will review the Neighbourhood Plan application through Locality. 

It is not that complicated and simpler than you think, the local council does not have a complicated plan for Spitalfields, it is a opportunity for grass root layers rather than relying on existing parameters put down by the council.

4Constitution – Paul Johnston

Paul introduced himself and then explained to the audience about the constitution and how it is run, and what the committee will be doing to support the Neighbourhood Plan.  Paul went through the document and explained in detail about the quorum, the AGM and the Officers of the community. 

The role of committee is to do the plan, the decision making is done through a show of hands.  Individuals raise funds, companies can sponsor their involvement and financial statements are issued every year.  

The constitution is a straight forward and democratic document, it has to pass a referendum so has to be as inclusive as possible; it is as clear as it can be whilst still allowing committee to be of the size to make decisions.  It is important to have a balance so no vested interest filters through from certain community groups – a proper process has to be established and has to be transparent.

The Committee will be elected on 18th August and on the basis of these proposals you are invited to join the forum. Membership forms on chairs. 

A Neighbourhood Forum is a useful tool, it is good for the local community to take a proactive rather than reactive approach.

David Donoghue then invited the audience to stay behind to peruse the maps, fill out the membership forms and ask any questions.  He then requested that they spread the word and get people to join the forum that they thought would make a good contribution. He then thanked everyone for their time and the meeting was declared closed.

End of meeting.

Minutes of the Stakeholders' Consultation Meeting held at the Attlee Centre on 21st July 2014

Present:

  • Kate Aspinall, Cloisters Residents' Association
  • Hilary & Eric Bagshaw, Cloisters Residents' Association
  • Tim Barrett
  • Sgt. Louisa Bradford, Metropolitan Police Service
  • Cat Cox, Burhan Uddin House Tenants' Association
  • Sara Crofts, Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings
  • David Donoghue, The Spitalfields Society (Chair of Meeting)
  • Chris Dyson, The Spitalfields Society
  • James Frankcom, LBTH Mayor's Community Champion Coordinator (SPB-LCWF)
  • Paul Godfrey, East End Preservation Society
  • Paul Johnston, Spitalfields Community Group
  • Fahima Khan, Health E1
  • Naseem Khan, East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Planning Forum
  • Tarik Khan, Soul F.C.
  • Oliver Leigh-Wood, The Spitalfields Trust
  • Michael Myers, Spitalfields Market Residents Group
  • Mike Nicholas, Friends of Mallon Gardens
  • Brian Noone, Cloisters Residents' Association
  • Cllr. John Pierce, LBTH Weavers Ward Councillor
  • Matt Piper, Spitalfields Community Group
  • Lindy Pyrah, The Spitalfields Society
  • Tania Shaikh, Attlee Youth & Community Centre
  • Jon Shapiro, Tower Hamlets Police & Community Safety Board
  • Emma Shavick
  • Christine Whaite, Friends of Christ Church
  • Jason Zeloof, The Old Truman Brewery
  1. Welcome

David Donoghue (Chair): welcomed everyone for attending and introduced the event.  He explained that the Interim Steering Group is a temporary body just to set the process of establishing a Neighbourhood Forum off. Tonight is important as it is the first time it has been presented to the community and is an exciting ride for us all.  The Interim Steering Group is widely represented within the community.  The next meeting is on 4th August which will be another community meeting and an opportunity to ask questions, everybody can ask friends and colleagues along. 

Tonight we will describe why we want to set up a Neighbourhood Forum, where it came from, it’s relevance, what it can and can’t do and why it is important.  It is also important for everyone to sign up to be members of the forum.

On 18th August will be the first AGM of the forum itself with members who sign up for the forum, we then intend to apply for a recognised designation with the council before the end of September.

There was then an introduction of the team of the interim steering group and a short explanation of their functions.

On 4th August, at the public consultation with residents the planning officer Peter Farnham from Tower Hamlets will be there to advise.

David then introduced Lorraine Hart, who was appointed to assist the interim steering group, she has lots of experience in this area and will be staying with the steering group until we get designation.

2.  What neighbourhood planning is and what it can do

Lorraine Hart introduced herself to the group and said she would describe where the concept of a Neighbourhood  Forum came from and what it can and can’t do.

The Localism Act, which received Royal Assent on November 15 2011, introduced new rights and powers to allow local communities to shape new development by coming together to prepare neighbourhood plans.  Neighbourhood forums are community groups that are designated to take forward neighbourhood planning in areas without parishes. This results in the pushing down of powers from Government to the local communities which give community rights.  We are primarily interested in the right to plan your neighbourhood, most urban areas do not have parish councils and neighbourhood forums so we have to establish a forum, so we need to discuss the constitution and the process.

It is up to the local community how detailed and comprehensive they want the Neighbourhood Plan to be, it can be very small or very large, it is up to the local community.  But it can take a lot of work, local frameworks dictate how we do this.  Establishing a local forum is important as we need the mandate to establish a legal Neighbourhood Forum.

A Neighbourhood Forum cannot prevent development which have already been agreed, it cannot do anything in front of the strategic requirements of the local council and cannot do anything which conflicts with EU requirements. It can designate where/what type of development can be approved and develop the policy of new development although needs to provide evidence to substantiate the claim.  It is noted that around Spitalfields there are massive areas to protect.  Lorraine then gave examples of other Neighbourhood Forums.

Spitalfields is in a strong position as we know we want and how we want to protect it for the future, but it is important that everyone gets involved. 

The first steps are to define the area of the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Forum and then have a ‘golden thread’ which tracks all of our decisions and how we have embraced the community opinions.  There are fixed points where we must consult; referendum and then an independent adjudicator considers and scrutinizes the plan to see if it is valid.

Any questions?

  •  At what point do they define when a proposed development cannot be touched? 

Lorraine: when it has been made and registered – this is why it is important to talk to local council to see if there are any pre-application developments being talked about.

  •  Could a Neighbourhood Plan stop a public house being made into flats? 

Lorraine: a Neighbourhood Plancould potentially stop conversions but need all facts and figures to make the case – we need to show what are the impacts are, especially long-term on a shopping parade etc, we can stop planning excesses but not there to stop developments – it is critical that a Neighbourhood Forum needs to develop growth.

  • Can you stipulate affordable housing – for social renting? 

Lorraine: we cannot mess with the London Plan, she then gave examples of communities which are crowd-funding as a method of producing total affordable housing.

Lorraine stressed that a Neighbourhood Forum cannot go against the councils planning policy, however when there is a definite conflictthen we need evidence to state a case of impact.  Local support is key.

3.  Our neighbourhood area

James Frankcom then introduced himself to the group and explained he was here to talk about the proposed area currently being mapped as the defined area of Spitalfields for the purposes of the Neighbourhood Forum.

He explained the process of pulling the area together which was complex and was not about defining or redefining where people live which was often a very subjective concept; rather it was about trying to define the optimum area which would be covered by a neighbourhood planning document. Such an area would have to consider lots of factors such as heritage, current land use etc.

James then gave a PowerPoint presentation of the proposed area which began by identifying the core of the area and key landmarks, viz – Christ Church, Brick Lane Mosque, Truman Brewery , Spitalfields Market.  These places are the heart of Spitalfields, a 'town-centre' that is characterised by historic land marks and busy commercial destinations.

The creation of suitable bounds also took into consideration the markets and 'high streets' – Brick Lane, Wentworth Street (both sides) , the arterial route of Commercial Street and other commercial streets: Cheshire Street, Brushfield Street, Hanbury Street - these places need to be taken into account.

Also to be considered are the conservation areas, the history and heritage assets that tourists come to see.  These are mainly the Brick Lane and Fournier Street Conservation Area so it is sensible for most of this area to be within the Neighbourhood Plan as well as the Elder Street, Wentworth Street and the Artillery Lane Conservation Areas.

Open Spaces were then discussed:  it is incredibly important to local people as gardens very scarce and any green spaces must be the focal point of protections: Allen Gardens, Christ Church Gardens, Elder Gardens, the playground on Chicksand Street.

There are restrictions and limitations which provide constraints:  namely the boundary to the City of London which is very awkward to encroach on this area plus the border of Hackney which would make our Neighbourhood Plan very much more complicated and it would be illogical for planning reasons ot cross either of them so this made our decision to remain wholly within Tower Hamlets. The Bishopsgate Goodsyard site which is a strategic site so cannot be touched at the moment, although we believe that it is connected to Spitalfields and if the status changes then we could seek to change the borders to incorporate this area.

East Shoreditch - the Area of an existing Neighbourhood Planning Forum - already exists so we have to skirt around their boundary; and likewise with Whitechapel – the southern boundary must take into account Whitechapel High Street which is clearly a separate amenity so we skirted around both sides of the market.  The south side of Wentworth Street is the most southern boundary of Spitalfields.  Also, in the North East is St Mathias schools and other places more associated with Bethnal Green Road than with Brick Lane so we have not include them.

Finally, there were existing precedents which are interesting to look at so we consulted the old Parish boundary and saw that while our bounds cover roughly the same area they are in fact an improvement upon them.

So after taking into account all these elements we came up with the boundary that we are proposing the prospective neighbourhood planning forum shall adopt. 

Questions:

  • How can local communities interact with each other across boundaries?

James:  We are lucky we have good working relations with groups such as the East Shoreditch NPF and issues normally cross the communities.  Local councillors also represent the wider community so they hear lots of issues which can be communicated across the different local groups . It’s hard work but worth it for the control that we would gain. 

  • Would Spitalfields Farm be included?

James: It was not included with Allen Gardens because the farm is a business and not a public open space.  However, it is worth considering and this is a consultation so we can incorporate this before the area becomes designated, it is a community asset so we must review.

4. Lorraine Hart: Constitution of the Neighbourhood Forum

Some of the contents of the Neighbourhood Forum are laid down by law, a summary was placed on all chairs so the audience could read through.

Lorraine then went through the key features of the constitution, namely the objectives, forum members, Committee, getting the work done, the decision making process and how any money would be handled.  These key features, which will be formally adopted at the first inaugural meeting of the forum,  must meet the defined criteria.

The forum is an unincorporated association so it is not a separate legal entity and not recognised in law.  The Committee is personally liable forthe affairs of the Neighbourhood Forum.

5.  James Frankcom - Next steps

The next steps are to write the plan, it is also good that local people have representation.  How the plan gets written is up to the Neighbourhood Forum and we couldform working groups full of local experts.  We might need consultants but we can draw upon local talent. These working groups can concentrate on particular areas and we can then stitch them together.  This is key as we need to demonstrate that we are consulting with the local people.

There is no prescribed way and it is one that we think is suitable for this neighbourhood especially as it is so diverse.  We need to be seen to reach out to the local community – disability, old people, ethnic groups – in accordance of equality legislation.

People most start with their overall intent of the plan which gives set of objectives that can be worked on.  This normally unleashes creativity within the community and the themes will then suggest themselves, the experts can then step up to get the evidence together.

Questions:

  • Can we be sent internet links? 

James: Yes, this will be done

  • What is the timetable?

Lorraine then went through the timetable leading up to the incorporation of a Neighbourhood Plan. 

  • Where does the money come from to write a plan?

James: the money is gathered namely through fundraising and grants as the local authority has a duty to support a Neighbourhood Forum, support also comes from local businesses and  voluntary efforts.

  • How many members should there be on the forum?

Lorraine:  There needs to be at least 21 members on the forum in order to submit the designation application to Tower Hamlets.     

There were no more questions and the meeting was declared over at 20:45. People were urged to spread the word and were invited to stay after the meeting to peruse the proposed boundary maps and ask any more questions.

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at the Attlee Centre on 8th July 2014

Present:

David Donoghue (Chair)

Paul Johnston (Vice Chair)

Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)

Charles Gledhill (Treasurer)

James Frankcom

Lorraine Hart

Tania Shaikh

1. Apologies: 

Jon Shapiro, Jennifer Weller 

2.  Minutes of the previous meeting: 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and agreed.

3.  Matters arising from the last meeting

A reminder to thank the Attlee Centre in the consultation meetings for their support and use the opportunity to give an overview of the facilities available.  Leaflets can be distributed before the meeting starts

Minutes approved (with a slight amendment to a name Turf not Turk – Lindy to make the amendment)

4.  Finance

Cheques and invoices were signed – also discussions ref the need for a debit card in case of future needs for social media etc.

5. Constitutional amendments 

James proposed several amendments to the constitution which were discussed at length by the group.  It was agreed that James and Lorraine would agree the final wording – once this was done it would be passed at the next meeting.

6.  21st July – Stakeholders Consultation Meeting

The emails to the groups/organisations have already gone out, we have received 10 RSVPS in addition to the known orgs – total of 20 representatives so far.

The group then discussed the format of the meeting; it was agreed that scene setting was crucial– namely: give a welcome to the crowd, explain what a neighbourhood forum is, why is it important to the community, who we are, why we are here, what the neighbourhood plan can/cant do – with examples, explain the hurdles, why we are doing it, explain that it’s a legal process have to go through the steps, what makes sense.  Give summary of thinking behind it. Constitution / designation Then ask for questions, then objections – who wants to join, then wrap it up. 

Lorraine can explain rationale regarding boundaries.  We will go through it at the next meeting.

7.  4th August – Public Consultation Meeting 

Very similar to 21st July but applying any lessons learnt.  

8.  Leaflet delivery arrangements

James gave out sections of the area map to the group to give out leaflets to the public consultation meeting to business and residential addresses in specified areas.  Delivery to start from mid-July.

9. AOB

None. 

Meeting closed

Next meeting: Tuesday 15 July, 7pm at the Attlee Centre

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at the Attlee Centre on 3rd June 2014

Present: 

David Donoghue (Chair)

Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)

James Frankcom

Charles Gledhill

Lorraine Hart (Consultant)

Paul Johnston (Vice Chair)

Tania Shaikh

Jon Shapiro 

1. ApologiesJennifer Weller, Tania Shaikh

2.  Minutes of the previous meeting

David went through the minutes of the previous meeting, feedback needed for the project plan, it is important and we need to start thinking about it.

3.    Matters arising from last meeting

The Stakeholder Consultation Meeting will be held on 21 July. There is a stakeholder list which has been pulled together with contact names/emails which can be contacted by email - mail merge to be done by Lindy and James. It was determined that the Newlon Housing Trust had been overlooked on the draft list and should be added.  Important that we read through it before it goes out. David asked the group to look at it by Friday. It was suggested that in the invitation we ask if the stakeholders have any suggestions in advance which we can incorporate in the leaflets although after discussion it was concluded that it might be better to ask for suggestions after the consultation meeting and we can put any suggestions on the website.

The Public Consultation Meeting is to be held on 4 August and the local community will be invited to attend it by leaflet through the letterbox and via social media, we can put details on the website.  People who are not affiliated to any local groups will be invited to attend.

There was a discussion about the validity of recruiting new members of the steering group now, we have to be careful that they fit the criteria as they will have full voting rights.  Danger of it being politicised before the neighbourhood forum comes into existence.  It was agreed that it may be better to invite certain individuals to the stakeholder consultation meeting and gauge their interest.

The group then talked about possible grounds for rejection of our neighbourhood forum, it was advised that it was more likely to be rejected for our boundaries although we have approached it transparently and it has received "officer approval" from Tower Hamlets; any refusals have to be given with good reasons and suggested amendments. It's really important to consult with the local community and take on their views.

The dynamic of the consultation meeting was discussed, it is imperative that the audience are given a pen, paper etc, they are not to talk about general local issues, but to question us about the dynamic of the neighbourhood forum. 

The three things to be covered in the consultation meetings are:

  • summary of the key elements of the Constitution
  • ask if the boundaries make sense
  • do they want they want to be involved (ie take up membership).

Also we need to get across why we are doing this and what the community can gain from a neighbourhood plan - clarify that it has statutory force, government endorsed and community led.

3.    Designation documents

Lorraine said the designation documents need a few tweaks. The presentation sent out by Lorraine covers an overview of what a neighbourhood forum is - good idea to have copies of the presentation of handout to give out at the consultation meeting.  Lorraine to do a first draft.  Lorraine also got permission from group to see Peter Farnham (LBTH) ref designation on behalf of the group before putting it in the docs.  Publicity to be discussed at the next meeting, the meeting on 1st July to be about designation.

4.    Finance

Charles confirmed that the bank account is now open; as soon as we have the account details then we can transfer across funds from the Attlee Centre.  James said the budget needed to be re-jigged and the categories expanded so it will incorporate any future expansions. Eg with the maintenance of the website.  The Group approved James’ suggestion of budget amendments to expand website creation to encompass online promotion.

5.    Publicity, website and materials

Comments were received from the group for the website, and discussion followed about the banner at the top - instead of the existing shot of the Georgian houses we should find a suitable alternative. Also, the home page needs to be more snappy; a good website to draw inspiration from is the Bishopsgate Goodsyard, website link to be sent to Jamie by Paul.

Flyers are to be produced and we need to commission something about the Neighbourhood Forum which can be used in future.  Lindy to arrange with Jeremy Freedman and James to have a meeting to discuss.

6.    AOB:

Jon went to the neighbourhood planning in London conference on Wednesday 28 May and distributed materials within the group for discussion.

Input requested by Friday for suggestions for the leaflet.

Next meeting: 7pm, Tuesday 17th June at the Attlee Centre

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at the Attlee Centre on 20th May 2014

Present: 

David Donoghue (Chair and Acting Secretary)

James Frankcom

Charles Gledhill

Lorraine Hart (Consultant)

Paul Johnston (Vice Chair)

Tania Shaikh

Jon Shapiro

1. Apologies:   Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)

2. Minutes of the previous meeting

Minutes of April’s meeting were approved, subject to the following amendments:

‘Jamie’ should read ‘James’

‘Johnstone’ should read ‘Johnston’

Minute of the 18th February Meeting , item 5 to insert the word ‘Planning’.

3. Matters arising

JF reported that the SNPF website was being developed. Further meeting to be had with the developer on Saturday 24th May.

Lorraine said we need to be start recruiting new people to the SNPF ISG who are willing to join the new forum at the inaugural meeting and suggested we increase membership now of the ISG asap to 12.

We need active members who will turn up, but must focus on equality and diversity and show an analysis of equality groups in the area so it demonstrates that we have incorporated the diversity of the local groups.

All civic organisations have to be consulted.

We do need more members, to include the existing groups on the community contact list but also certain people to reflect residential landlords, key community retail outlets and housing associations. We must garner support within these different groups.

It is important to be able to send out quality information to groups and individuals.

Lorraine wants feedback to her email of 19th May covering a ‘blurb’ about Neighbourhood Forums and Neighbourhood Plans; a draft project plan up to designation stage and an interactive tool produced by the Planning Advisory Service.

We must amend/approve the blurb and send to the community contacts list and create the invitation and agenda for the meetings.  Content would be primarily about the boundaries and key issues plus an explanation of the broader context.

We need a minimum of 2 meetings and then an inaugural public meeting. The first meeting should be primarily local organisations, the second the wider public and the third ‘inaugural meeting’, everybody who has applied to be a member of the SNPF at those two consultation meetings.

We should add to invitation letters “If you think of anyone missing, please advise,” to ensure we cover all parts of the community.

As well as a standard explanatory letter and invitation we will need posters, leaflets, email lists and social media activity supported by the website

4. Consultations Contact List

Lorraine suggested an appropriate contact at Toynbee Hall is Graham Fisher.

She also proposed that the SSBA should be added to the contacts list and that the new Spitalfields & Banglatown ward councillors (to be elected on 22nd May) should be invited to be ex-officio members of the SNPF.

Tower Hamlets Community Directory is online and can assist researching contacts, groups etc.

Subsequently the list of "stakeholder" consultees is as follows:

  • SPITALFIELDS MARKET RA
  • ST GEORGE'S RA
  • BURHAN UDDIN HOUSE TRA
  • CLOISTERS RA
  • EXCHANGE BUILDING TRA
  • NORTH BRICK LANE RA
  • WOODSEER & HANBURY STREET RA
  • ELDER STREET RA
  • SPITALFIELDS HA
  • HOLLAND ESTATE MANAGEMENT BOARD (East End Homes)
  • ONE HOUSING HA (Flower & Dean)
  • TOWER HAMLETS HOMES
  • PROVIDENCE ROW
  • THE EAST END PRESERVATION SOCIETY
  • THE SPITALFIELDS TRUST
  • HUGUENOTS OF SPITALFIELDS
  • BAISHAKHI MELA TRUST
  • FRIENDS OF CHRIST CHURCH
  • SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANCIENT BUILDINGS
  • SPITALFIELDS CRYPT TRUST
  • BISHWO SHAHITTO KENDRO
  • ALTERNATIVE LONDON
  • SPITALFIELDS COMMUNITY GROUP
  • THE SPITALFIELDS SOCIETY
  • BANGLADESH WELFARE ASSOCIATION
  • BANGLA TOWN ASSOCIATION
  • KOBI NAZRUL COMMUNITY CENTRE
  • ENGLISH COMMUNITY CARE ASSOCIATION
  • SPITALFIELDS MARKET COMMUNITY TRUST
  • TOYNBEE HALL
  • HEBA WOMENS PROJECT
  • ATTLEE YOUTH & COMMUNITY CENTRE
  • ATTLEE TRUST
  • BRUNE, BERNARD & CARTER COMMUNITY CENTRE
  • FUTUREVERSITY
  • VOLUNTEER CENTRE TOWER HAMLETS
  • THE ALDIS TRUST
  • SYLHET DIVISIONAL WELFARE COUNCIL
  • BANGLA TOWN RESTAURANTS ASSOCIATION
  • SPITALFIELDS SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
  • BRICK LANE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
  • BRICK LANE RESTAURATEURS ASSOCIATION
  • SPITALFIELDS MARKET ESTATE
  • TRUMAN BREWERY
  • BOILERHOUSE FOODHALL & BACKYARD MARKET
  • BRICK LANE MARKET
  • OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET
  • SPITALFIELDS ESTATE
  • EAST END TRADES GUILD
  • TAJ STORES
  • THE VIBE BAR
  • COMMERCIAL TAVERN P.H.
  • TEN BELLS P.H.
  • PRINCESS ALICE P.H.
  • PRIDE OF SPITALFIELDS P.H.
  • WATER POET P.H.
  • DUKE OF WELLINGTON P.H.
  • THE BRICK LANE JAMME MASJID TRUST
  • HEAD IMAM OF THE JAMME MASJID
  • CHRIST CHURCH PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL
  • RECTOR OF CHRIST CHURCH
  • SANDY'S ROW SYNAGOGUE
  • SPITALFIELDS MUSIC
  • CHRIST CHURCH SCHOOL
  • EAST END COMMUNITY SCHOOL
  • HEALTH E1 (HOMELESS MEDICAL CENTRE)
  • COUNCILLOR GULLAM ROBANNI (SPB)
  • COUNCILLOR SULUK AHMED (SPB)
  • COUNCILLOR JOHN PIERCE (WEAVERS)
  • COUNCILLOR ABDUL CHUNU MUKIT (WEAVERS)
  • SPITALFIELDS LIFE
  • HOPETOWN HOSTEL

5. SNPF Meetings Schedule

The following dates were approved:

  • Tuesday 3 June – ISG @ 7pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Tuesday 17 June – ISG @ 7pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Tuesday 1 July - ISG @ 7pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Tuesday 15 July - ISG @ 7pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Monday 21 July – Stakeholder Consultation Meeting @ 6.30pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Monday 4 August – Public Consultation Meeting @ 6.30pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Tuesday 5 August - ISG @ 7pm (Attlee Centre)
  • Monday 18 August –Inaugural Meeting of SNPF - election of Management Committee
  • Monday 1 September – LBTH Forum Designation Deadline

6. Finance

Charles reported that monies are ready to be sent over from the Attlee Centre once the bank account has been finalised and approved by Barclays which involves further meetings, provision of passports etc. Signatures and counter signatures to be Paul, James and Charles for the SNPF.

7. AOB:

Next meeting of the ISG is 3rd June 7pm  2014 at the Attlee Centre.

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at Wilkes Street on 15th April 2014

Present: 

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)
  • James Frankcom
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Tania Shaikh
  • Lorraine Hart

1. Apologies:   

  • Paul Johnston
  • Jennifer Weller

2. Minutes: 

David went through the minutes of the last meeting of the ISG in February. No points were raised and the minutes were agreed.

No meeting of the ISG was held in March due to sickness and other absences.

3. Introduction of the new members: 

Introductions were made through the group for the two new members: Lorraine Hart and Tania Shaikh.  Tania is the Operations Director from the Attlee Centre which has lots of youth community work.  Lorraine has 25 years’ experience in a credit crunch environment organisation, she set up the Brick Lane street festival.  She has lots of varied interests in area, knows politics in the area and knows the area well.  She is also an Independent consultant specialising in community land use and a planner for local groups and individual charities with housing issues.

4.    Constitution

To have the constitution designated will take time.  Tower Hamlets will only do this twice a year with 1st September being next deadline for designation, then the timescale is about 5 months to it becoming official.  We must be clear that we are consulting on the neighbourhood forum within the community. 

The progress from a Neighbourhood Forum to a parish council will need to be part of the constitution, so we are clear about what we are applying for and the future of the group so it doesn’t muddy the water at a future stage.  The community's governance review needs to be looked at and more interrogation locally with the constitution, this is good practice although it is written down anyway.  We will need to work through local community groups and go through the constitution with them so it gives deep understanding and prepare a simple presentation of what the steering group wants to achieve. 

We are working in the dark, but we have to make sure it is agreed in general meetings so everyone is on board – there are various methods to do this as demonstrated by different councils throughout London.  Lorraine’s advice is to simplify the existing constitution so easier to explain.  We must focus on equality and show an analysis of equality groups in the area so it demonstrates that we have incorporated the diversity of the local groups.  It is critical that we understand what a Neighbourhood Plan can do as this is an important point for explaining and bringing on support from local communities. Eg differences between homeowners and renters. 

Jamie talked us through a form he had compiled with questions, boundaries issues and broader questions and an invitation to becoming a member of the Neighbourhood Forum which was distributed at the recent Spitalfields society AGM.  Lorraine stressed that we must make sure we have a written record of  any meetings when the forms get distributed and also to get the addresses from people who want to join. Any civic organisation has to be consulted.

After a lengthy discussion it was recommend the existing draft constitution is amended to remove clause 4g which is in regard to community governance reviews. There then followed a brief discussion about the proposed chairman’s title and other specific historic elements to the Spitalfields area, they are included to ensure historical continuity which dates back to the 18th century. Maybe better to include them with a view that we may have to lose a few but there is lots of history to preserve and protect.

Motion: article 4g - remove. (Passed)

Motion: article 9a, 5 - add short sentence explaining purpose of the chairman’s title. (Passed)

5.   Neighbourhood area

There have been good conversations with Peter Farnham at Tower Hamlets regarding boundaries, with the initial draft he made some clarifications and recommended changes which has resulted in new plan. New boundaries are proposed, capturing smaller areas which results in a more cohesive representation of Spitalfields.  Tania recommended that with regards to the Toynbee area we should either add it all or not at all due to development plans.  Lorraine also recommended that we should ask Peter Farnham for a written justification for his recommendations so we have supporting statements for everything we do and shows their natural relationship to rest of the area.

6.   Neighbourhood forum members

 We do need more members, to Include the existing group but also certain people to reflect residential landlords, key community retail outlets and housing associations. We must garner support within different groups. Concerns regarding timescales were voiced, it is important that we need to up our profile, maybe use the Attlee Centre. The first suggestion is to use the map of the neighbourhood and speak to the community groups and voluntary groups within area. Invitation to consultation groups would be worded by Lorraine but need to make them members first. 

7.  Finances

Bank account forms to be filled in at Barclays on Commercial Street. Monies are ready to be sent over from the Attlee Centre once a bank account has been sorted out. Signatures and counter signatures to be Paul, James and Charles for the Neighbourhood Forum.

Estimations made about amounts needed, for website, hosting etc show receipts and maybe return the rest, it's restricted funding.  This is something which needs to be looked at in detail at next meeting, detailed financial and form to be circulated for comments.

8.    Neighbourhood planning camp

Jon gave feedback relating to the recent neighbourhood planning camp which he attended.  He thought it was very good, it was the last one budgeted and a  good use of time. He received a lot of useful material. Jon gave documents to Lindy for safe keeping.

It is worth noting that Locality has money to allocate before end of this financial year, but capped at £7k for grant but then access to a support grant. We might want to consider upping the amount we want on our application.

9. AOB

There is a walk around of the Spitalfields and the other Shoreditch boundaries, Jamie to attend at 6pm on Friday 25th April.

For the next agenda we must include the project plan which needs more discussion, especially how we go about the process so the plan fit for purpose.  We must absorb what we need to do and diversity must be included. 

Next meeting: 7pm, Tuesday 20th May at the Attlee Centre

 

Communities Development Fund - Grant Application Decision

NP Application Ref: App-00643

Neighbourhood Organisation: Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum

Main Point of Contact: James Frankcom

Total Grant Calculated: £4,650.00

Why grant is needed

We are a prospective neighbourhood forum and we do not have access to any funding and in order to get the initiative of the ground we need these funds.

How it will help to move plan forward:

This will start raising awareness of the prospective neighbourhood forum and allow us to consult with the local community.

VAT registered

No

Supporting Documents

1. Funding to get started on Neighbourhood Plan:

1. Funding to get started on NP

Yes

Funding to get started on NP:

Number / Type of Activity / Amount / Budget Breakdown

1 / Venue hire / £500.00 / 5 meeting venue costs at £100 each

2 / Printing costs / £1,600.00 / 8000 copies of flyer at 20p each

3 / Website construction / £2,000.00 / A website, design and construction using Wordpress

4 / Posters for presentations / £50.00 / 10 posters at £5 each

5 / Sundry refreshments and sandwiches etc for meetings / £500.00 / 5 meetings at £100 each

Sub-Total Grant

£4,650.00

Application Outcome:

Amount Panel Agreed: £4,650.00

Planned Grant Start Date: 01/04/2014

Planned Grant Finish Date: 31/12/2014

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at Wilkes Street on 18th February 2014

Present: 

  • Paul Johnston (Vice-Chair)
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)
  • James Frankcom

Apologies:   

  • David Donoghue
  • Jon Shapiro
  • Jennifer Weller

1. Minutes of the previous meetings

Paul read through the minutes of the previous meetings in December and January which were approved.

2. Matters arising from last meeting

a) A domain name has been registered with email address for members

b) James has applied to Locality for funding.  It is expected that Lorraine Hart, who helped the East Shoreditch Neighbourhood forum, would be appointed and paid a fee from the fund for her expert advice.

c) It was agreed that a slush fund of cash is needed to tide us over until we receive funding for items such as costs of website development, printing/postage.  It was agreed that both the Spitalfields Community Group and the Spitalfields Society would both be approached for £750.

d) The above funding also highlighted the pressing need for a bank account to be opened as soon as possible, although this would require a Constitution to be agreed by members of the ISG.

3. Constitution

James produced a draft constitution which he had produced and went through each section with those present.  He had used the constitution of East Shoreditch as a template; there was discussion which followed regarding memberships of the committee members to avoid concentration of other people’s interests.

Motion: The Constitution was adapted and amended and adopted as a draft. 

4. Census information

Census information had been sent through from Peter Farham of London Borough of Tower Hamlets, this was discussed in relation to any possible changes to the proposed boundaries of the Neighbourhood Forum map.     

James is going to speak at both the Spitalfields Society and the Spitalfields Community Group upcoming AGMs to raise awareness and drum up support.

5. Next Steps

a) Open bank account in the name of the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum, Charles will speak to Jennifer

b) Apply for immediate cash funds from The Spitalfields Society and the Spitalfields Community Group

c) Apply for a grant from Locality                    

d) Undertake the Neighbourhood Area consultations with small community gatherings: first will be the Spitalfields Society AGM and a special meeting could be called later in the year with the Spitalfields Community Group; then other groups will be approached.

Once the above meetings have taken place and more members have been drafted (a minimum of 21) it envisaged that an Inaugural meeting of a Prospective Neighbourhood Forum will take place, this will be minuted – the minutes will be then sent to London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Neighbourhood Forum will be constituted.

6. AOB

Lorraine Hart will hopefully be appointed by Locality before the next meeting and will be able to begin advising us. 

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 4th March at 6.45pm.

 

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at Commercial Street on 14 January 2014

Present:

  • David Donoghue (Chair) 
  • Paul Johnston
  • Charles Gledhill
  • Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)
  • James Frankcom

Apologies:  

  • Jennifer Weller 

Guests:       

  • Eric Leach, Chair, West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum

1.  Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were offset for approval until the next meeting.

2. Neighbourhood Forum discussion

Eric Leach spoke to the ISG about the process the people of West Ealing Centre had undertook to get their prospective Neighbourhood Forum designated.

The Designation Process

The process began in 2011. Eric was in contact with about 100 various local associations ranging from playgroups to residents groups, amenity associations, religious centres etc.

After this a ‘Management Committee’ was formed of twelve people who were made up mainly of representatives of various local residents groups to guide the project forwards.

They found they were able to apply for money from various bodies such as National Lottery (£6000) as well as the DCLG (£20,000) and Locality (£7000). They created a website.

In order to get publicity for the initiative they wrote and performed a play called “West Ealing: Past Present and Future” which was a success and featured songs and acts based on the history of the area as well as a narrative which got people to think about the need for local decision making.  After the play people were invited to write their thoughts about what was important about the local area and what could be changed.  They produced leaflets before the play advertising it. Later they produced further leaflets asking people for their opinion about certain aspects of the local area to help with formulating the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) later on. 

They then began looking for 21+ people who were prepared to sign up to form the Neighbourhood Forum (NF) and who were representative of people and businesses in the area. 

A constitution for the NF was written and an area agreed. The constitution was written by the Management Committee in consultation with governmental advisors. Ericsaid we were free to use any parts of their constitution. 

The Neighbourhood Area (NA) was agreed at a meeting which everyone in the surrounding area was invited to attend. About 40 attended. The meeting presented three proposals for a small, medium and large NA. The meeting voted to adopt the medium area. 

Eric showed the group a map of the West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Area. The group noted that:

  1. The population of West Ealing Central NA is about 3,500 households
  2. JF provided the information based on enquiries made with LBTH that the envisaged area for Spitalfields has about 3,500 electors; so broadly speaking they have similar populations.
  3. In physical terms our area appeared slightly larger but it is hard to tell unless the two areas were compared on maps of the same scale.
  4. Both West Ealing Centre and Spitalfields (as envisaged) are based on a main route and adjacent side streets (ours would be Commercial Street whilst West Ealing Centre is Uxbridge Road)
  5. Both areas were multicultural
  6. Eric advised that if our area has justifiable borders then it is perfectly satisfactory, in his opinion, to consult based on those borders and gauge opinion on them.

Throughout the whole pre-designation process WECNF had the advice of a consultant, namely Tony Burton. JF added that ESNPF also has a consultant assisting them.

The chronological process undertaken by WECNF was as follows:

  •  A self selected group gets together to do some Neighbourhood Planning (NP).
  • It calls itself West Ealing Centre Neighbourhood Forum (WECNF) Interim Committee. The Interim met monthly from May 2012 to May 2013.
  • The Interim Group maps out some Neighbourhood Area (NA) boundary options and calls a public meeting to discuss these spatial options.
  • The Interim adopts the chosen NA and drafts a Constitution.
  • The Interim finds 21 people, whose roles in the NA are representative of the NA, to sign up to the NP project and the Constitution.
  • The Interim drafts and submits an application to the Local Planning Authority for NA designation and NF designation.
  • The LPA designates the NA.
  • The Interim builds the ‘Evidence Base’.
  • The LPA eventually designates the NF in March 2013. As part of this designation dialogue the LPA suggests additions to our Constitution and we apply much of the feedback.
  • The Interim creates the white information leaflet inviting local stakeholders to public meeting on 21 June 2013. 70 attend this meeting and elect the WECNF Management Committee (MC).
  • The MC decides to write and perform a play about the NA’s history as a means of community engagement.
  • The play is performed three times in September 2013 and 180 people attend the performances. Around 100 attendees give us detailed feedback on their aspirations for the future of the centre of our town.
  • We now have 200 WECNF members and feedback from almost all of them.
  • We are now setting up planning policy sub-committees and arguing about the vision and aims of the plan.
  • The play was then performed in September 2013 and was about community engagement.
  • Once the application for designation has been made (the constitution, forum members and area) it is submitted to the CEO of the local authority, on our case LBTH. Once there some questions may be asked about aspects of the application. For example, it is known that LBTH has asked ESNPF for further details on the members of the Neighbourhood Forum.
  • The prospective NP application then goes to four External Examiners for their views. 
  • The final stage is a referendum. If the referendum fails the local authority must be pay the costs. If the referendum passes then the costs are reimbursed by the DCLG.
  • There are 74 designated Neighbourhood Forums in Greater London.
  • It is recommended that we co-opt some local councillors as members of the forum.

Powers and interests of a Neighbourhood Planning Forum

The WECNF has taken an interest in the following areas:

  1. Housing
  2. Licensing
  3. Parking
  4. Traffic management
  5. Law & Order
  6. Healthcare

This is because all these things need buildings and sites and this falls within the remit of a Neighbourhood Plan. 

The Neighbourhood Forum should undertake surveys and consultations with local people to gauge their views. Once this is complete the “visions and aims” of the NF can be declared and a Neighbourhood Plan can start being developed. 

The group was very interested to note that a Neighbourhood Plan can determine parking zones.

The Neighbourhood Plan can “do anything” so long as it does not contradict a pre-existing Local Plan, Core Strategy, the London Plan or National Planning Policy.

The following three organisations are there to give us assistance:

  1. Planning Exchange Foundation
  2. Royal Town Planning Institute: Planning Aid England
  3. Locality 

The meeting closed at about 21:30 and thanked Eric Leach for his advice. 

3. AOB

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 18 February at Wilkes Street.

Minutes of a Meeting of the Interim Steering Group held at Commercial Street on 17 December 2013

Present: 

  • David Donoghue (Chair)
  • Paul Johnston
  • Lindy Pyrah (Secretary)
  • James Frankcom

Apologies:

  • Charles Gledhill
  • Jennifer Weller 

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

David read through the minutes of the previous meeting which were approved.

2. Boundaries of the Neighbourhood Area

Lindy would contact Peter Farnham at LBTH to inform him of the intentions of our intention to establish the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Forum and to submit the map of our draft proposed boundaries.  James would help in drafting something along with sending through a copy of the map which he showed the group, it clearly identifies the core area of Spitalfields and the surrounding periphery. 

3. Expanding members

Eventually there will be two groups: the core Steering group plus the prospective Neighbourhood Forum which must consist of over 21 people.  The plan is to build up the membership from a number of people who have expressed an interest although it will have to be from a diverse section of the community.  A code of conduct would have to be establish which would be a useful device to expel members who act in an extreme manner which the other members of the Group find unacceptable.

Jon Shapiro would be invited to join the Steering Group as he has great connections, wisdom and expertise.  James would orchestrate this. 

4. Constitution

We have received permission from Amanda Reynolds of the East Shoreditch Neighbourhood Forum to use their constitution as a starting point, these are public documents which can be used and doctored by prospective local steering groups.

5. Application

We agreed not to make the application until in a position to do so as it needs a lot of thought to be applied before submission and to be looked at by the entire Group.  We agreed to invite the champion of local Neighbourhood Forums, Eric Leech, to the next meeting so he can help and advise. 

6. Neighbourhood Planning Worksheet 1

The group then looked at the a worksheet which is provided to prospective Neighbourhood Forum sterring Groups to help them consider key points, we went through them individually:

Consider different routes to achieving your ambitions for your neighbourhood

Both the Spitalfields Community Group and the Spitalfields Society have used these before but have have historical difficulties trying to achieve these.  There have been some successes though, notably SPIRE which deals with the anti-social issues which are on top of most people’s agenda.

Identify the opportunities and benefits of producing a Neighbourhood Plan

This was discussed by the Group and it was agreed that the Neighbourhood Forum would give strength to our opinions and puts power into our hands.

Consult a range of local people, partners and stakeholders to assess level of interest

Lots of interest from both the Spitalfields Society and the Spitalfields Community Group but there was still a need to consult more.

Review existing local policy to identify how well it covers community concerns and aspirations

Practically, despite concerns voiced from the local community, planning and licensing applications are approved due to personal interest of the local politicians.  This is a reality which is realised within the community.  The current existing policy is a local development framework which is affected by the London Plan and other GLA stipulations.  In essence, we know to go by the planning rules and adgere to guidance supplied by other bodies eg English Heritage.

Consider alternatives for the boundary of the neighbourhood area, for which a plan could be prepared

This has already been actioned

Estimate resource implications (time and money) of producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

There is a wealth of expertise which we could draw on especially with local architects and government bodies to help and advise.  Time is not an issue and it was agreed that we need to get our application right before applying for funds.

Meet the local authority to clarify the support it can offer under its duty to support

Peter Farnham is to be approached as he would be a great assest to take the Neighbourhood Forum forward.

Based on the above, make the decision on whether to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Steering Group needs to produce this and there is a process to adhere to: we need to draft a Neighbourhood Plan and make-up for the designation of the Neighbourhood Planning Forum, we would gather prospective members which approves the area where the Plan applies and this would then go to a Referendum (local authority) for final decision.

We then had a lengthy discussion regarding all of the above points, once we had evaluated all of the criteria we decided we need to complete the application and send it off once agreed and finalised.

7. Map

The proposed boundary map was approved by the group. We must be ready to justify our decisions at future public meetings.

8. AOB

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th January at 76 Commercial Street at 7pm.