Calling in the Gilston Area applications?

Eastwick and Gilston

We’re writing with a short message to update you on the latest important developments in the Gilston Area Villages 1-7 scheme.

We’re disappointed to report that the Village 7 application for 1,500 new homes was rubber stamped at East Herts Council’s committee meeting last night.

This was despite very strong representations from us here at the NPG, local councillors and local residents.

On your behalf, we highlighted that current Village 7 proposals go against the principles that originally secured the release of Green Belt land and are a premature and unnecessary addition to the whole Gilston project. We had said the same at the earlier Village 1-6 committee meeting, which was also waived through.

While stretching our NHS to breaking point, failing to deliver on affordable housing targets and resulting in inevitable traffic gridlock, these plans will add up to 4,700 homes in our area, 50% more than the target set out in the East Herts District Plan.

Nevertheless, it was waved through when Conservative Party councillors on the committee voted to pass it by 8-4 – something you may want to bear in mind when it comes to local elections on May 4 of this year.

In the first instance, we’ve written to our local MP Julie Marson and also directly to housing secretary Michael Gove, urging him to make good on promises to listen to local voices and “call-in” this decision.

That would mean the Secretary of State would refer the whole development of 10,000 houses to a public enquiry headed by a planning Inspector to make this decision of regional and national importance, and take it away from the local East Herts councillors who have simply waved through application after application.

We’ll keep pushing on your behalf to do everything we can to make sure our voice is heard and the developers and East Herts Council deliver on the serious promises made and responsibilities to local residents.