Our Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan received a massive endorsement from local residents on May 27, 2021 with a powerful 98% of the vote, in a very high turnout at the referendum on it.
It also won the awards for Plan-Making and cross-category Editor’s prize at the Planning Awards 2021 and the Excellence in Landscape Planning and Assessment Award at the Landscape Institute Awards 2021.
We would like to thank you all for your incredible support over these last two years, and for coming out to vote for the policies in the Plan.
This overwhelming vote gives you a voice to shape and influence the development of the Garden Villages, which we know are destined for this area and imposed by others against the will of the majority of the people who live here.
You can download and read the full Neighbourhood Plan here:
The Giston Area Neighbourhood Plan underwent and passed independent examination by Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC between October 2020 and February 2021.
It was accepted by East Herts Council soon after before winning the endoresment of the public at referendum.
You can watch a video telling the story of our Neighbourhood Plan below
Following his independent examination, Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC said:
“I find the NP is based on extensive community engagement, well researched supporting evidence, and – subject to matters set out in the Report – provides an appropriate set of local policies.”
A virtual hearing took place on 19 November 2020. You can watch it in full below:
You can download and read the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan in full above, and consult our full evidence base here.
Phase Nine – Referendum
- Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan – Referendum Draft (16 April 2021)
- GANP General Information (16 April 2021)
- GANP Consultation Responses Summary (16 April 2021)
- GANP – Decision Statement (16 April 2021)
- GANP – Referendum Information (16 April 2021)
Phase Eight – Independent Examination
- Note to Sponsor Parish Councils (21 February 2021)
- Note to Adjoining Parish Councils (21 February 2021)
- Examiner’s Final Report (16 February 2021)
- Examiner’s Final Report Summary (16 February 2021)
- NPG response to Examiner’s Note 3 (5 January 2021)
- Notice of Public Consultation (29 December 2020)
- Submission Draft Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2033 – Examination – Examiner’s Note 3 (29 December 2020)
- Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2033 – December 2020 edited draft (29 December 2020) and for reference: Revised NP – Policies Only, Track Change – Policies Only and Previous NP – Policies Only
- NPG second email following Hearing Session (26 November 2020) and Supporting Documents (Revised Figure 12, Revised Figure 21 Paths, Revised Figure 21 Agreed and Amended Policy Text)
- NPG first email following Hearing Session (23 November 2020) and Supporting Documents (Local Green Spaces and Revised Figure 18)
- Savills (Briggens Estate 1) response to Examiner’s Note 2 (13 November 2020)
- Quod (Places for People) response to Examiner’s Note 2 (13 November 2020)
- Hunsdon House response to Examiner’s Note 2 (12 November 2020)
- NPG response to Examiner’s Note 2: Covering Note, Martin Edwards (Counsel) and Urban Silence (12 November 2020)
- Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan – Agenda of Hearing (30 October 2020)
- Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan – Notice of Hearing (29 October 2020)
- Submission Draft Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2033 – Examination – Examiner’s Note 2 (29 October 2020)
- EHDC Response to Examiner’s Note 1 (22 October 2020)
- Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan – Note of NPG’s Comments following Reg. 16 Consultation (20 October 2020)
- Submission Draft Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan 2020-2033 – Examination – Examiner’s Note 1 (15 October 2020)
- East Herts District Council response to Examiner’s initial questions (13 October 2020)
- Regulation 14 Schedule of Comments (13 October 2020)
- Officer Comments Policy AG6 (13 October 2020)
- NPG response to Examiner’s initial questions (12 October 2020)
- Email from NPG regarding expansion of referendum area to include Hunsdon, incuding a map of parish boundaries (12 October 2020)
- First formal email from Examiner Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC (08 October 2020)
- NPIERS Examination Guidance document (08 October 2020)
Phase Seven – Public Consulation by East Herts Council
- Primary representations and Individual representations available in full in our Documents Library (Neighbourhood Plan / Evidence Base/ Phase 7: Public Consulation by East Herts Council)
- Letter to residents, comment form and publicity poster
Phase Six – Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan Interim Non-Statutory Consultation
- HEGNP meetings with East Herts Council (11 February 2020) to discuss NPv2 and resultant feedback
- Harlow & Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) Quality Review Panel – NPG presentation to panel (20 February 2020) and report
- HEGNP meeting with Landowners and their agents and Landowner of Villages 1 – 6 response to NPv2 (28 February 2020)
- East Herts Council additional comments on NPv2 (March 2020)
- EHC Officer comments to Neighbourhood Plan amended Policy AG6 (June 2020)
- Record of comments & responses to the draft Neighbourhood Plan Comments logbook as Google Sheet / as .xlsx / as webpage / as .pdf
- Neighbourhood Plan Policy changes – Comparison Table
Phase Five – Statutory Consultation (Regulation 14)
- Regulation 14 Community letter (September 2019)
- Regulation 14 letter to Statutory consultees (September 2019)
- List of Statutory Consultees sent Regulation 14 letter & invited to comment on NPv1
- Invitation to Reg 14 Community Events (September 2019)
- Note on Regulation 14 Consultation (September 2019)
- Community Presentations – Regulation 14 Consultation in full (September 2019)
- Community event response sheet and photos (September 2019)
- HEGNP Chairman’s Annual Report to Parish Councils (February 2020)
- East Herts Council Schedule of Comments to NPv1 with NPG responses following Reg 14 Statutory Consultation (February 2020)
Phase Four – Concept Framework consultation & development
- Governance – consultation with EHC and landowners, published in May 2017 edition of Parish Magazine (April 2017)
- Concept Framework community event led by Landowners – Summary of comments received (August 2017)
- Concept Framework consultation led by EHC – Feedback received and notes from architects meeting (August 2017)
- Infrastructure Workshop led by Landowners (August 2017)
- Concept Framework consultation – HEGNPG’s presentation to Community Event (September 2017)
- Concept Framework consultation – Community comments Part 1 and Part 2 (September 2017)
- NPG’s response to the Concept Framework after September 2017 community workshop
- HEGNP Group consultation with East Herts Steering Group (October 2017) and Steering Group’s own minutes (October 2017)
- Statement of Common Ground, Matters of Agreement between Places for People, City and Provincial Properties and East Herts District Council – The Gilston Area (November 2017)
- NPG presentation to EHC Gilston Area Steering Group highlighting areas of improvement to Concept Framework (November 2017)
- Community Update (December 2017)
- Notification of community workshop (January 2018)
- Community Workshop presentation by HEGNP (January 2018)
- Revised draft Gilston Area Concept Framework – December 2017 consultation comments summary (January 2018)
- Community Update from HEGNP (February 2018)
- NPG Review of CDF (March 2018)
- Eastwick & Gilston Parish Council minutes extract via Parish Magazine (May 2018)
- HEGNP Chairman’s Annual Report to Parish Councils (Spring 2018)
- Gilston Area Concept Framework (Dec 2017) and East Herts Council reports adopting the Concept Framework (June/July 2018) – and updated Gilston Area Concept Framework (July 2018) [full details on East Herts website]
- HEGNP Chairman’s Annual Report to Parish Councils Spring 2019 (January 2019)
Phase Three – Community engagement in East Herts Council District Plan 2018 – 2033, including Examination in Public
- NPG, EHC & landowners Workshop – minutes published in the parish magazine and community website (January 2017)
- Flyer informing communities of the EHC’s District Plan Examination in Public (Autumn 2017)
- Parish Councils response to Examination in Public
- Various updates to the community; including NPG response to District Plan and update leaflet Responses to Main Modifications (March 2018) [full details of Main Modifications on EHC website]
- East Herts District Plan 2018 – 2033 – adopted by East Herts (October 2018) including Chapter 10 – Villages and Chapter 11 – The Gilston Area [full details on EHC website]
Phase Two – Formation of joint Hunsdon, Eastwick & Gilston Neighbourhood Planning (HEGNP) Group
- Parish Councils (PC) agree HEGNP to be a standard agenda item with an update reported to every Parish Council meeting, published in the Eastwick and Gilston PC minutes and Hunsdon PC minutes (Ongoing)
- Introductory leaflet, website notice and community update informing residents of new HEGNP Steering Group & seeking volunteers (Spring 2016)
- HEGNP Community Update – extract from Eastwick & Gilston Parish Council Chairman’s Report 2015/16 and extract from Hunsdon Parish Council Chairman’s Report 2015/16
- E&G Parish Council minutes (October 2016) via November 2016 Parish Magazine
- Creation of the Hunsdon, Eastwick & Gilston Neighbourhood Planning website – hegnp.org.uk (2016) launched with Key Objectives
- All minutes published on website and in the Parish Magazines (Ongoing)
Phase One – Original Gilston & Eastwick Parish Plan 2009, prepared by residents of Eastwick & Gilston
- Parish Plan preparation: Residents survey by Eastwick & Gilston Parish Plan Group and analysis of survey responses (Autumn 2008)
- Eastwick & Gilston Parish Plan 2009 published (Spring 2009)
Eastwick & Gilston Neighbourhood Plan on hold – awaiting development of the East Herts District Plan
About the Neighbourhood Plan
The Neighbourhood Plan area covers the entirety of Gilston Parish, Eastwick Parish
and that part of Hunsdon Parish which lies within the proposed Gilston Area (Policy
GA1) development outlined in the East Hertfordshire District Plan.
The application for designation of the Neighbourhood Area was approved by East Hertfordshire Council on 28 November 2017.
The plan builds on the previous Concept Development Framework, which outlined principles that should underpin the redevelopment of the Gilston Area.
Why have a Neighbourhood Plan?
The Green Belt designation, which restricted development in the area around Gilston and Eastwick, was removed with the East Hertfordshire District Plan adopted in October 2018, when the area was allocated for significant growth (10,000 homes, jobs and services).
The development forms a part of the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town government initiative, which is expected to deliver comprehensive infrastructure upgrades in the area and regenerate Harlow, with support of government funding and substantial housing development.
People living in the area are concerned about the impacts of this on their communities and are determined to influence the character and quality of new development to ensure that the integrity of Hertfordshire settlements is respected and development takes place in a way that protects landscape, heritage, and the essential quality of living within the countryside.
A shared aspiration is to ensure that the removal of Green Belt status from this area genuinely leads to a development of exceptional quality, that will create a set of distinctive villages each with their own individual identity set within an attractive rural landscape, while at the same time protecting and enhancing the existing settlements and delivering benefits for the existing community.
The preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan is a very important instrument to shape the future of the area. While it cannot change the allocation for development made in the District Plan, it can set out detailed planning policies to guide how development takes place and how the existing settlements and new villages will be shaped in future.
Crucially, the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan was prepared directly by the local community, through the Hunsdon Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Group which represents the Parish Councils and is made up of people living within the designated boundary.
Now adopted by East Herts Council, the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan has a policy status similar to that of the District Plan and provide the planning policy framework for the determination of all planning applications in the Neighbourhood Plan area: this means that developers will have to take account of its policies when putting forward development for approval.
The plan built on the previous Concept Development Framework, which outlined principles that should underpin the redevelopment of the Gilston Area.
Between September 2017 and January 2018, many people from the local community participated in workshops in the Village Halls to revise and develop the Concept Framework.
This was followed by intense work by the Neighbourhood Plan Group (NPG) with the developers, landowners and East Hertfordshire Council in the revision of the Gilston Area Concept Framework, which was finalised by the developers and endorsed by the Council in July 2018 as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
The Parish Councils believe that the Concept Framework (2018) sets appropriate foundations for respectful development and but they recognise that, in its present form, it does not have the status of formally adopted planning policy. The Concept Framework, was put before the Planning Inspector at the Examination in Public when the Local Plan was reviewed as evidence to support the release of the Green Belt but was not then in final form so could not be formally added into the Local Plan.
For this reason, the Parish Councils decided to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, which is essentially based on the vision, principles and statements agreed through the Concept Framework and elevate them to formal policy status so that, together with the District Plan, they will provide the planning policy framework for the determination of all planning applications in the Neighbourhood Plan area.
This will ensure that what was agreed then will be carried through in the design and construction of the site and equally importantly the agreed early release of green space for community ownership and use.