Six weeks ago, we were facing a planning process with huge momentum and would very likely by now be putting dates in our diaries for the planning committee meetings to consider the applications. Instead thanks to the public meeting we now have a clearly expressed view from the Highgate community asking the School to think again. We have also got in principle agreement on a process for meaningful local consultations and are close to an agreement on the specifics. We will keep readers updated.
In more detail:
Following the public meeting on 8th June, the Society has been taking the lead with the School to discuss and agree details for the workshops. We expect these to be attended by Haringey planning officers, the School and its architects, the Highgate Society and other local resident groups and their advisors.
We believe the workshops require an independent facilitator, and discussions on this and the terms of reference are continuing with the School. The facilitator would aim – where possible to do so – to steer the conversation forward and would not simply be hearing the objections being restated. We see a good facilitator as being able to develop and help focus on areas of agreement rather than those of disagreement and this would obviously be helpful.
The Haringey planning committee, based on the advice from the officers, will ultimately be the decision makers on the applications, following any changes that the School wishes to make . For this reason it will be useful to have a Haringey planning officer in attendance at each workshop to hear the discussions, so that they can make more informed decisions.