News & Views

FPSGNF Meeting 2023-03-23 Minutes


Linda Royles (Chair), Hugh White (Vice- Chair), Elizabeth Lowe, Susie Barson, Adam Hardy, Lawrence Singha (Membership Secretary), Dorothy Newton, Susan Lowenthal, Angela Koch, James Holmes, Anne Lavery, Mark Douglass, Paul Kavanagh, Clare Potter (Ward Councillor L. B. Hackney), Geraldine Timlin, Anna Solberg, Rona Topaz, Paul Simpson, Helen Cordell, Colin Bannon. Apologies Edward Farleigh

Election of Forum Officers and Steering Group members

All officers and Steering Group members were re-elected, and Colin Bannon, an urban regeneration professional was co-opted to the Steering Group.. There now remains a single vacancy for an additional Steering Group member from L.B. Haringey.


The proposed amendments to the constitution which had been circulated to all members were put to the meeting. These include:

  • The capacity to allow Forum officers to renew the continuity and existence of the Forum for the purposes of preparing a neighbourhood plan.
  • A clause had been added to allow student members who were engaged for at least 8 hours a week at an accredited organisation;
  • A clause to allow an associate membership for someone who has moved out of the area, but not far and who still has an interest in the work of the Forum and wishes to keep in touch. This person would not have voting rights.
  • The term of service of the Forum officers has been increased from 18 months to 3 years
  • All officers can also be members of the Steering Group but will not have voting rights (or is the change that they can now have voting rights?)
  • The Chair and Vice Chair can represent the Forum externally
  • The new figure of 30 Forum Members to make a meeting quorate. A member suggested that the proposal for 30 members should be reduced to 20 members. This should be achievable.

The changes were then put to the vote. The majority of those present voted in favour of all the changes, with 4 abstentions.

The Vice Chair Hugh White said that some late amendments had been received after the proposals had been circulated. These were largely typographical. A copy of the Constitution with the accepted changes and late received typographical changes would be circulated to all members for final comment.

Design Codes Project

Hugh White, then introduced the Pathfinders/Design Codes project. He explained that we had had some funding from Locality for Angela Koch and her team from Imagine Places to work on the Design Codes for the Finsbury Park ‘station quarter’ area and the site allocations therein.

The station quarter is loosely speaking the area around the station on all sides but it does not currently align with any political ward or local authority designated boundaries such as TownCentre or District Centre; it is simply a working definition for the Finsbury Park Design Codes area for the Finsbury Park and Stroud Green neighbourhood forum.

Angela explained that once the Steering Group had commented on her draft document and she has produced a final version (around 6 weeks), that this would be publicised. This would include an in-person workshop for stakeholders, residents, business owners etc, and an online survey. The final deadline for the document is the 31 st May 2023.

The Design Codes for the station quarter area would then become part of the neighbourhood plan, and as such would be part of the policy for the area in relation to each of the local authority Local Plans. If a landowner comes forward with a proposal for development, the councils will have to take in to account the Design Codes when considering the planning application.

The Design Codes do not just refer to buildings but green infrastructure, pavements, through-routes etc. Angela and her team are working overtime on this piece of work, pro bono, and for this she was thanked by the Vice Chair on behalf of the Forum.

Angela then gave a Powerpoint presentation on her work. She focused on the site allocations in the Station Quarter area, including Rowan’s; the triangle site adjacent to the north next to the railway line; the Morris Place site and the Seven Sisters Road group of terraced houses on the north side which includes Muslim Welfare House. She answered a few questions, such as on disabled access to the park, but the longer, more inclusive consultation will be carried out over the summer, once the final draft is complete. Another walkabout with Angela may be scheduled in too, as part of the consultation process, as well as a Design Codes seminar with stakeholders, landowners, Tfl and Network Rail in May.

My Place

Project leaders Zimmie Sutcliffe and Rico Prince summarised the work that their ‘young pioneers’ had carried out in gathering views of local people in Finsbury Park area. Their findings are a valuable addition to the evidence we will use to draft our neighbourhood plan. My Place have secured funding for another 6 months and will present their documentary film to the London Festival of Place, as well as being part of a panel at that event. They will be producing the accompanying report on the ‘theory of change’ in July. A new project is starting up based at Woodberry Down in partnership with Notting Hill Genesis and Berkeley Homes, who are providing the funding. This is still in the planning stage. Zimmie reported that some of the ‘young pioneers’ would like to continue to be involved, and have influence, in the Finsbury Park area, so the Steering Group will think about how best this can be accomplished.

Francesco Mollino reported that meetings with the councils had been held and feedback had been good. Looking ahead, another part of the work of the Neighbourhood Forum will be to identify projects to benefit from the allocation of CIL and other funding.

Date of next meeting

The next Forum date is Thursday 20th July at the FPT office, 7pm – 9pm.

The Forum is looking for volunteers – interested?

Please get in touch via the contact form below.

Full Forum Agenda for Meeting 2023-03-23

FORUM MEETING : 23rd March 2023 7pm

Online (Zoom): please see your email for Zoom link




    • The list of candidates was in the email sent 21st March.
    • Candidate statements/biographic notes are on the website.
  2. Vote on Proposed changes to the Forum Constitution
    • the constitution with proposed changes has been available to members in emails of 7th and 21st March and can be found here.
  3. Presentation: DESIGN CODES for the STATION QUARTER
    • An introduction to the draft codes from Angela Koch (ImaginePlaces)
    • Questions/discussion – the next steps
  4. Comment on Green Infrastructure
  5. Breathe London Air Quality Monitor
    • update
  6. MyPlace Pioneers
    • An update on the work done
  7. Progress on the Neighbourhood Plan & the next steps
  8. Forum Redesignation with LB Islington, Haringey, Hackney
  9. Discussion/AoB

Date of Next Meeting: Thursday 20th July 7pm to be confirmed – In person at Finsbury Park Trust

Personal Statements for Officer & Steering Group Election Candidates 2023-03-23

FP&SG NF Officer & Steering Group Elections 23 March 2023


Linda Royles
Haringey Resident
Nominated by Dorothy Newton 

I am a former Chief Executive with over 12 years board room experience and over 15 years chairing meetings. I am experienced at managing and working with audiences large and small. My work included  lobbying on behalf of the creative industries, preparing position papers and statements on behalf of over 500 companies to parliament and ministers. I was awarded for my contribution to industry
I have lived and worked in N4 for over 15 years. I have run a small community interest company in Finsbury Park for over ten years, working with local community groups across London. We specialises in working with special educational needs and outdoor education, including tackling food literacy 
I also work as a public speaking coach and horticultural therapist for SEN (special educational needs) groups and a youth charity. I have experience working with and for community, supporting SME and not for profits I am an active member of my local community. I set up our neighbourhood watch scheme in 2017 (with a growing membership of 51 people) we have made great inroads on working to tackle local crime, grime and grow a sense of community on our street and in our area. I set up our a local action committee in response to S20 Major Works and support and advocate on behalf of leaseholders.

Vice Chair / Secretary

Hugh White
Hackney Resident 
Nominated by Susan Lowenthal 

I have lived in Finsbury Park for nearly 35 years and in Hackney for 45 years. I have been involved with Wilberforce Gardeners and the Save Wilberforce Road Campaign (opposing demolition of 13 houses).
Before retirement I lectured in biochemistry and had experience in running undergraduate admissions for both my department and then faculty. I was treasurer of a college society for 21 years and for a couple of years secretary of the AUT (now UCU) branch. 

Membership Secretary

Lawrence Singha
Haringey Resident (a resident of Stroud Green for 23 years)
Nominated by Hugh White )

I would like to submit that I am very keen to be appointed as membership secretary and I consider myself apt for this important position because I am more than willing to contribute my time and efforts to bring structure and streamlined flow to the group.
I am equipped with a competent skill set of information technology, website & social media management, IT network speciality, administrative abilities and will comply with data and privacy security.
I shall strive to bring purpose to my role with a hand-on approach coupled with my people friendly nature.


Dominic Sweetman (Hackney Resident)

Nominated by Dorothy Newton

I’ve lived in the Finsbury Park corner of Hackney since 1994, and with luck will stay here for many years more.  I’ve been active in the Wilberforce Gardeners group (treasurer & cakes) and the “Save Wilberforce Road” planning campaign (website etc).
I am currently membership secretary and contact person for a fairly large choir (North Camden Chorus, c. 90 singers registered).  I have been on their committee for many years, and used to run the web site too.
From 1983-2007 I was managing director of a small and egalitarian computer company, with a turnover of £0.5-1M.  A colleague acted as treasurer, but we divided responsibility for financial planning.
I have a good working knowledge of small-organisation IT and IT management, too.
The role of treasurer will change significantly if the Forum incorporates, and from that time will depend a lot on what form that incorporation takes.  I’m open to the challenge…

Election of Steering Group

HACKNEY Residents

Susie Barson nominated by Elizabeth Lowe

I have lived in Finsbury Park Road (L.B. Hackney) for ten years; before that I lived in Stroud Green. I am an Architectural Investigator with Historic England.

Heritage, architecture and the built environment are my passion, and I would like to be in the group which looks at planning and development within the boundary area. Although much has been already determined in the three local authority Local Plans, I believe there is scope to identify sites and areas where tangible improvements can be made for the benefit of the local community. Together we can put forward ideas and proposals, many garnered during the boundary survey talks, to make Finsbury Park and Stroud Green a better place to live, work and interact socially and culturally.

Mandeep Dhanoa nominated by Dominic Sweetman

I have lived in and around the Finsbury Park area for the last 13 years. In my career prior to becoming a property developer, I have obtained planning permission for the Olympia Exhibition Centre redevelopment. This was a huge place-making exercise to install two hotels, music venue, theatre, office and food court into the area of an extremely sensitive English Heritage building. Prior to that I underwrote acquisitions deals for numerous properties in London ranging from 6,000 home developments to 30 storey office buildings in the City of London. I understand how the new plans for Finsbury Park will be priced and viewed by developers and what compromises can be eked out for the betterment of the local community. 

I believe that capital and land are fundamental in directing of how Finsbury Park will develop. I want to explore ideas such a Local Community Wealth Fund, obtaining area to use for non-profit organizations from new developments and incentivising independent commercial retail through policy or rates.

I want to make Finsbury Park a socially and economically enriched area to give an opportunity for the next generation to live and work in a more prosperous place than they grew up in. I think my set of skills can assist paving a way for this future.

Elizabeth Lowe nominated by Susan Lowenthal

I have lived in the Brownswood Ward (Hackney) for over 40 years and worked in a number of community initiatives. I have been involved with the FPSG Neighbourhood Forum from the very start in 2015. I believe that the Forum and the Neighbourhood Plan are essential to ensure that all 3 councils work together for the benefit of those of us who live or work within the area.

As a solicitor within private practice, major charity, industry and government I have experience engaging and working with a wide cross section of the community.

My aim is the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan that will shape and develop the living and working environment within the Neighbourhood Forum area and make it a green, sustainable, safe and great place to be.

Francesco Mellino nominated by Hugh White

I work at C40 Cities, an organisation supporting mayors in delivering the urgent action needed to confront the climate crisis

I have sat on the Steering Committee for the Neighbourhood Forum since 2020.

Since first moving to the area in 2015, I have lived in the Tollington ward (Islington), Stroud Green ward (Haringey) and Brownswood ward (Hackney), where I currently reside.

HARINGEY Residents

James Holmes nominated by Lawrence Singha

I am a master’s student studying spatial planning at UCL, and have lived in Stroud Green (LB Haringey) for six months. I haven’t been living in the area for long, but value this opportunity to get more involved in the local community while learning about neighbourhood planning in the process. I don’t have particular goals or agendas for the neighbourhood, but I am keen to see that development is of a high-quality and sustainable in both environmental and social terms. As a young adult living in a nine-person rented HMO (house share), I should be able to represent a section of the community that is under-represented in the steering group and in the planning process in general.  

Anne Lavery nominated by Linda Royles

My partner and I run a business on Stroud Green Rd and are active members of the local Stroud Green Traders organisation. Previous to this I was a teacher and journalist. I have now been living on the Haringey side of Stroud Green for the past 10 years. I am passionate about building a better local community and, as a disabled person, have a particular interest in accessibility and inclusivity. A long-time volunteer, I served two terms as Chair of Pedal Power, a cycling club within Finsbury Park for people with learning and physical disabilities. I am currently a Trustee of the national charity Ehlers Danlos Support UK.

Two vacancies remain for Haringey Steering Group members


Adam Hardy nominated by Jonathan Ward

I’d like to be on the FPSG NF steering group because I think there’s a huge need for more environmental and ecological commitment from our three councils, and our NF steering group definitely needs to concentrate on such issues, e.g. climate change adaptation, air quality, natural resources, green space – things that will make our area cleaner, healthier and even beautiful. I have an MSc in environmental technology and experience in campaigning and volunteering on green issues. I live with my partner and school-age children in the Islington Finsbury Park ward.

Edward Farleigh nominated by Hugh White

I am a local resident and architect with extensive experience in residential neighbourhood design in London. Having worked at a number of high-profile practices, including Karakusevic Carson, Alison Brooks and David Chipperfield, I recently founded my own practice with the aim of focussing on community led projects. Over of the years my work has required me to produce design-guides and parameters for emerging neighbourhoods as well as designing within various Plan’s, giving me ample experience of the effectiveness of local planning policies.

I believe that London can address the housing crisis without resorting to tower construction or widespread demolition. By working at the local scale and by thinking carefully about how we ensure development is targeted at those who plan to live and work locally we can densify neighbourhoods sustainably. I hope that working as a member of the Steering Group will allow me to contribute to the sustainable development of my own neighbourhood.

Susan Lowenthal nominated by Elizabeth Lowe

I have been involved with the working group for the Finsbury Park & Stroud Green Neighbourhood Plan since its inception, after the 2015 Finsbury Park Regeneration Conference. I have lived in the area for 35 years and brought my family up here.
What I would really like to see is a greener, safer environment for everyone who lives and works in the area. As a Chartered Landscape Architect, I have a depth of professional knowledge, including experience of Planning matters. I work for a leading engineering professional services company on urban realm and infrastructure projects, but I worked for Hackney Council for 16 years and was later seconded to Islington Council. 
It would be a great achievement for the FPSGNP area to become a healthy place where our whole community has decent housing, great local shops, cleaner air, green streets and parks, feels safe, and is proud to live/ work and spend leisure time.

Dorothy Newton nominated by Hugh White

I have been part of the group working towards setting up a Forum since it began.

I have lived in Finsbury Park for 50 years. My three children were born here and went to school locally. I am committed to our area and to developing planning measures which will enhance life and health for all our wonderful mix of people – using the Forum’s powers to stand up for our area within the three councils and other authorities, encouraging better working together on issues which affect us all – including air quality, the state of our streets and green spaces – as well as the built environment.

I am retired from paid work. I’m involved with various other local groups and activities, which will, I hope, as things develop, help to engage more local people in the work towards a Plan.


Note: we did not ask elected official candidates for personal statements.

HACKNEY Elected Official Member

nominee: Cllr Clare Potter Brownswood Ward

nominated by: Dominic Sweetman

HARINGEY Elected Official Member

nominee: Cllr Eldridge Culverwell Stroud Green Ward

nominated by: Lawrence Singha

ISLINGTON Elected Official Member

nominee: Cllr Asima Shaikh Finsbury Park Ward

nominated by: Susan Lowenthal

Co-opted Members of Sub-Groups (for information: not elected)

The Steering Group has the power to co-opt people to sub-groups. Such co-opted members provide invaluable expertise as well as a great deal of work.

Co-opted at present are:

Jonathan Ward (Islington Resident)

I am a local resident, primary school governor, building engineer and sustainability consultant. I would be pleased to help shape our local planning policy to improve our local environment for all, while reducing our impact on the global environment. I am particularly interested in greening our public realm, improving the efficiency of our buildings, and helping to strengthen our local communities.

Full Forum Meeting & Elections 23rd March 7pm (online) 

This important meeting will feature the election/re-election of Forum Officers and Steering Group Members.

Please get in touch via email if you wish to stand for an Officer post or to become a Steering Group Member. We especially need Steering Group Members resident in Haringey!!

This meeting will also vote upon proposed changes to the Forum Constitution. There will also be an update on our progress with the Design Codes for the Station Quarter and progress on the Neighbourhood Plan.

New National Statistics Census 2021 for our Area

NEW! check out our National Statistics – Census 2021 for Finsbury Park + Stroud Green Neighbourhood Forum Area (HERE)

First Design Day for the Neighbourhood Plan

As part of our work writing a design code for the area around Finsbury Park Station we are holding a Design Day on 8th October. This is an all day (from 10:00 to 17:00) workshop that will look at ways to improve the area. Our consultants, ImaginePlaces, will provide models and maps for discussion. 

Numbers are limited and it is important that you book (contact us here) by 30th September.

We have been seeking the views and ideas from the public around the station. More of these sessions are planned and we welcome assistance from members! The information from the public engagements and from the online questionnaire will guide the discussions on the design day.

Finsbury Park & Stroud Green Neighbourhood Forum is a voluntary group of residents and people who work in the area that started in 2015. In 2018 Hackney, Haringey and Islington Council officially recognised us and we are developing a Neighbourhood Plan with statutory planning policies for the area. Our aim is to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan that after several rounds of consultation and a resident vote/ a referendum will become part of the planning policy for the area in all three boroughs. Please visit our website where you can find out more, join us and do follow us on Twitter!

We are also developing design rules / codes for the area around the station as significant new development is likely to occur there over the next decade or so. The Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities announced a pilot programme for groups across England interested in design codes. We applied and are one of 25 groups chosen for the pilot (only four Neighbourhood Forums were selected). Our design code will be for the area around the station. Funding for the pilot has enabled the Forum to commission ImaginePlaces and her team to help us.

A design code specifies rules that are expected to be followed in a planning application for development. It can also deal with many things in the public realm. We aim to align well with TfL’s and Network Rail’s aims around improved user experiences. We hope our design code will eventually make the Station Quarter a much more pleasant, vibrant and healthy place for residents, businesses, bus users, cyclists and visitors alike.

As part of the programme, we have been asking members of the public for their views and ideas for the Station Quarter. These ideas will feed into creation of the design code. The design workshop will build models and mapping to explore possibilities for the area.

Places are limited to 40 so booking is essential. Those unable to attend are most welcome to join us on Zoom on 19 th October. The 8 th October workshop is on the second floor of 113-115 Fonthill Road. There is a lift at the rear of the building. Please let us know if you wish to use it and we will send details of how to find it. (There will be signs posted.) The workshop will involve a walkabout to see some of the area. We will provide coffee/tea and a light lunch suitable for vegans. We are very grateful to Space4/Outlandish for use of the room and facilities. We look forward to meeting you.

Finsbury Park & Stroud Green Neighbourhood Forum and ImaginePlaces

Please help an MSc student by doing planning survey

My name is Jake Bexley and I am currently completing my dissertation for my postgraduate degree in Spatial Planning and Development at the University of Reading.

My thesis project focuses on urban design impacts on mental health and wellbeing – specifically urban design features including public/private green space, water features, accessibility, building heights and street design for motorised traffic. On top of this, I’m also researching the extent to which social cohesion, income inequality, and other personal factors influence mental health of residents, workers and visitors of Islington.

I would appreciate if you could complete my research questionnaire. The questionnaire is completely anonymous and takes just 10 minutes to complete. Participants are also able to indicate their interest in a follow-up interview about the same subjects covered in the questionnaire.

Being Design Code Pathfinders

Our selection as a “Design Code Pathfinder” brings with it £30,000. Not much as such things go but a help. A design code is probably most use where there is new development expected as it can specify many aspects of what is to be built. The Steering Group spent a lot of time considering what have the most impact in our Neighbourhood Area and what was doable with the resources available.

The London Plan picks out Finsbury Park as an area where housing development is desirable and Islington and Haringey have “site allocations” in the area around the transport hub. (A site allocation is planning-speak for a site where the planning department feel a particular development is desirable/likely to be approved. It does not mean that anything will happen unless a developer comes forward.)

The Steering Group decided that we would attempt a Design Code for the area around the station (see our Project Plan as submitted to Department for Levelling Up, Homes and Communities (DLUHC)). It would be part of the eventual Neighbourhood Plan that will cover our whole Neighbourhood Area.

Our design code may specify provision of green spaces, shop fronts, aspects of pedestrian, cyclist, and traffic movement – the public realm in other words. We cannot prevent tall buildings but can influence the layout perhaps. The new spaces around City North are not inspired with uninteresting facades, dead frontages and something of a wind tunnel. We would hope that our design code will make future developments pleasanter and better contributions to the area.

We are employing Imagine Places ( as our consultants for the preparation of the design code. They are very experienced with neighbourhood planning and design codes.

A good design code has to reflect what the community wants. Similarly a neighbourhood plan must arise from local views and opinions. This means lots of engagement. We have already had an online general questionnaire (thanks to the 142 people who have filled it in! – we are now analysing and summarising the replies). More specific questions will lead to further rounds of consultation.

On 29th July (later this month) we will have a stand outside the Station Forecourt (Station Place) in the afternoon and will start getting people’s opinions about the station area. We have noted a number of responses to the questionnaire highlight how unpleasant the area around the station and particularly under the railway bridges is.

This session will be followed by workshops for 50-100 people to allow a detailed discussion of our thoughts for the area around the station. A central, affordable and accessible venue is important. We have a couple of ideas and welcome suggestions.

The DLUHC see design codes as being a central part of a revised planning system. A code sets out rules that must be followed. They ran an initial pilot in 2021 involving 14 planning projects. The pathfinders is a second pilot with 25 participants: of these 21 are local authorities and 4 are neighbourhood forums (we are the only central London one: South Woodford are a bit further out). DLUHC are not used to dealing with voluntary organisations where members are not available during office hours as they have jobs. They are gradually getting more flexible.

We hope that being part of a National pilot programme will give us a bit more clout to get more co-operation from agencies like TfL and Network Rail that have an important involvement with our area.

Seeking helpers for the Finsbury Park & Stroud Green neighbourhood engagement events

The Steering Group needs help from members. We need people prepared to spend an hour or two/an afternoon or a day now and then helping with public engagement events. Some of these will be outdoors – say at the station – with posters and flyers and some will be workshops indoors.
We will brief those helping in advance and there will be members of the Steering Group and sometimes people from Imagine Places present so volunteers will always have help available.
Frankly the Steering Group members are hard pressed and feeling the strain! We need help!
Apart from volunteers to help with public consultation sessions we welcome people with design skills. We need posters, images, photographs and displays.
If you would like to help please contact us