A fresh start and alternative vision for Gilston? Have your say!

Plume of Feathers in Gilston

Join us at 10.30am on Saturday, July 1 at The Plume of Feathers in Gilston

The Neighbourhood Plan Group is making a vital attempt to improve and change the proposed new housing developments by asking the Government to “call in” the planning application for review.

If this happens we need to give a real example of what we think “good” looks like

Whatever the outcome of the Call-in, a community-backed alternative plan should feed key inputs into the developers’ masterplanning for the project.

This event is being facilitated by planning and design experts Create Streets.

Why are we doing this now?

The recent change in the makeup of East Herts Council offers a real chance to get our voices heard.

It’s no secret that a driving reason for the electoral shift is your dissatisfaction with the planning process and outcomes for local developments, especially those planned in Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston.

Residents had no choice but to accept the District Plan, which provided for the release of Green Belt land for 10,000 homes, with the promise of a development of exceptional quality and 1,000 acres of community-owned space in return.

In the years since this decision was made, the developers have been allowed to go back on their promises when it comes to affordable housing, the mitigation of impacts on existing communities, and the timely provision of adequate infrastructure to new and existing residents.

Despite this the previous Planning Committee of the council waved through the Outline Planning Applications, overruling the Neighbourhood Plan that you voted for by an overwhelming majority.

Can we really change anything?

Your Neighbourhood Plan Group has petitioned the Secretary of State to “call-in” this decision, as we’ve not been happy with how the council has approached it. We’ll keep on pushing on your behalf for this to happen and let you know the results of these efforts.

The District Plan can’t be overturned, and it’s still much more likely than not that the development will go ahead in some form – but the shifting political landscape on both a national and local level has opened the door for a fresh look at the project.

We’ve been approached by the Create Streets research institute, who want to help us come up with and develop our thinking for what might be within a future Masterplan – as one that chimes with the Neighbourhood Plan policies, and one that actually delivers on those promises of seven distinct villages that respond to the Hertfordshire landscape, rather than a road-led suburban sprawl.

With your help, we want to develop this Masterplan – one that comes from you, the residents – to present to the new East Herts Council and, possibly, the Secretary of State to show that another way is possible.

Please come along, and bring your neighbours and local friends and family.

 – Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group