Burns + Nice were appointed in 2017 to assist the Hampstead Village BID in the instigation of the public realm related projects set out in its Business Plan and contribute to realising the full potential of this historic area and bring long-term benefits to business and property owners as well as the wider community in the Hampstead Village area.
The scope of the appointment is to establish and understand the issues relating to the quality of the existing public realm and the opportunities for its improvement through research, site visits and consultation with local community groups, key businesses, local councillors and other stakeholders as agreed with the BID.
Organisations that have been consulted in preparing this report include:
Hampstead is one of London’s most important historic urban villages. A range of factors and attributes come together to create Hampstead’s special character: its topography; the Heath; the range, excellence and mix of buildings; the street pattern and Hampstead’s historical association with clean water and fresh air. It is an area of great appeal and diverse historic character, which local people have long campaigned to preserve for all to enjoy.
The special quality of the Village can be threatened by unsympathetic developments and/or planning applications as well as the introduction of inappropriate infrastructure within the streets and spaces.
These include street furniture with integrated advertising, neon advertising on individual shopfronts, poor or unnecessary signage and inconsistent paving materials. Local community groups including the Heath & Hampstead Society, Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum and Hampstead Village BID have an important scrutiny role within the Village in maintaining the high quality character and heritage. A review of the public realm has been undertaken for the streets located with the Hampstead Village area.
Information has been assimilated via site visits, consultations and discussions with local organisations and a review of work previously undertaken including in particular the evidence base for the Hampstead Neighbour Plan and the Hampstead Conservation Area Streetscape Audit.