Neighbourhood Plan endorsed with 98% – Thank You

Our Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan received a massive endorsement from local residents on 27th May with a powerful 98% of the vote, in a very high turnout at the referendum on it.

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.

So what happens next?

Your Neighbourhood Plan Group will fight to see that the promises made by East Herts Council and the Developers are delivered.

There will be many years of planning and building to monitor but with the support of the community as now expressed, the planners and developers have to take notice of present and future residents.

As a sign of the quality of your Neighborhood Plan, it has been shortlisted for the Best Plan Making 2021 in the National Planning Awards – we’ll let you know how it gets on.

Thank you once more.

– Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group

How to vote in your Neighbourhood Plan Referendum on May 27, 2021


We urge all residents of Eastwick, Gilston and Hunsdon to VOTE YES by voting at their Village Halls in person on May 27, or using a postal vote.

This IS NOT a vote about whether you agree the housing development across the Gilston Area should be allowed. We sadly lost that fight back in 2018 when the Inspector at the Examination in Public agreed the East Herts District Plan could go ahead.

It IS a vote about whether East Herts Council and the developers must take account of the Policies within your Neighbourhood Plan.

Vote “YES” gives local people a voice. Once it passes, the Plan becomes a Policy Document and planners and developers have to listen and deliver on their promises of seven Garden Villages with housing of exceptional quality, and 1,000 acres of community owned open spaces. It gives local people a voice.

It’s critical that after two years work on your Neighbourhood Plan we get it over the final hurdle and not leave it all to the planners and developers to do whatever they want in our Neighbourhood.

With thousands of hours of work and your input, support and passion, the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan has been through a rigorous public process and will be adopted if the local community votes for it. You can read the plan at our website.

The Referendum will be conducted by East Herts Council who will send you a Poll Card. If you want to check if you are eligible to vote, you can phone EHC electoral services on 01279 655261. The question – to which you’ll be able to answer YES or NO – reads:

Do you want East Hertfordshire District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Gilston Area to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

If more than 50% of voters say YES, the Plan will become a major planning document which East Herts Council will have to use in deciding on all future planning decisions in the Area covered by the Plan.

Promoted and published by the Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group on behalf of the Parish Councils of Hunsdon and Eastwick & Gilston.

Neighborhood Plan accepted by East Herts Council – Referendum set for May 27

After a rigorous Examination process, East Herts Council has accepted the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan.

It will be set down for approval in a public vote of residents of Eastwick, Gilston and Hunsdon parishes on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

We’ll have more details on the referendum in the near future.

While it cannot alter the council’s decision to allocate 10,000 houses in our area, the Neighbourhood Plan shapes and influences how this can best be done and gives a voice to both existing and new residents as the process moves forward.

NPG submits response to revised Village 7 application

The Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group (NPG) has issued its response to the revised planning application for Village 7 (3/19/2124/OUT) submitted by City & Provincial Properties (as Briggens Estate 1)

The NPG has objected to the revised application, stating:

The revised planning application for Village 7 in the Gilston Area continues to give serious cause for concern and without major amendment is not fit for determination; at the very least it requires further comprehensive alignment with Villages 1-6, commitment to infrastructure delivery and design modifications.

As it stands it fails to comply with Policy GA1 in the District Plan, falls short of benchmarks laid down by the Concept Framework and does not follow the Garden City principles specified in the District Plan.

The application still departs from policy objectives and the vision for the Gilston
Area in too many aspects to be considered fit for determination. It is not presented in a form which should be approved by the Council without further very
substantial amendments.

In fact, it will remain fundamentally flawed if it is pursued as a standalone development or one which expects to be built before the other villages of the Gilston development are constructed in a logical, sensibly planned sequence.

You can read the response in full here.

Village 7 revised planning application – we need YOUR response

Hot on the heels of Places for People’s revised applications is the updated Outline Planning Application from Briggens Estate 1 for 1,500 new homes (aka “Village 7”) in Hunsdon.

The final deadline for you to respond to the revised planning application is just days away on Thursday, March 18th 2021.

Your Neighbourhood Plan Group expressed its overall objection to the original version of the application in January 2020 and despite some revisions, we feel the application still falls far short of what is acceptable.

We encourage you to make your own response to the consultation using the following link:

Outline planning application for 1,500 new homes plus infrastructure – (3/19/2124/OUT)

Remember to fill in all the necessary fields, including the tick-box for whether you Object, Support or are Neutral towards the planning application, as below:

consultation response form

We suggest that a possible reply by you might include some or all of the following points:

“Unfortunately, despite the revisions made following the previous consultation period, the revised planning application for Village 7 has not fully addressed the concerns raised by the community with regards to:

– Village 7 being promoted as a standalone development independent of Villages 1-6. This means a lack of co-ordination needed for the adequate and timely provision of necessary infrastructure across the Gilston Area. It is being rushed through when it should be part of a properly phased and sensibly planned part of the whole Gilston Area

– the lack of commitment to infrastructure delivery. Sustainable travel, public transport, schools and community facilities have been shunted off to section 106 negotiations, which will be behind closed doors. Existing schools and services are at risk of being overwhelmed

– the unclear provision for stewardship and transfer of assets to the community or a any long-term funding plan for these assets. Another key matter deferred to s106 negotiations that should actually be agreed with the community before the application is approved

– the vague and uncertain connectivity of Village 7. There is no clarity of when Village 7 will be connected to the rest of the development. It may be in 10 or 20 years time or never! The cycle route and footpath plans are not under the control of the applicants and the plans for them are potentially undeliverable

For Village 7 to have any hope of delivering 60% sustainable transport it needs the Village 1-6 infrastructure in place, which won’t happen until the other side of 2030. This will mean rat runs on roads like Church Lane that weren’t built to take this traffic. The application is missing proposals to assess these major impacts on existing residents and how to mitigate them

– the newly-proposed Football Hub threatens the function of green spaces – what was previously a plan for a few grass football pitches is now artificial pitches, pavilions, dugouts, a massive car park, clubhouse and floodlights, resulting in air, light and noise pollution. There’ll be a severe impact on local wildlife

– the newly-proposed provision of land for Gypsies and Travellers in the buffer between Villages 7 and 6 goes against the original Gilston planning concepts and the emerging Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan. The buffers are supposed to be undeveloped spaces and all housing provision should be in the stated developable village boundaries

The lack of detail and commitment in the application means that the application is not fit to be decided as too many issues have still to be properly addressed.

The proposals for Village 7 seem to have lost sight of the original concept for a development of outstanding quality and are failing to meet promises made in the District Plan or to stick to Garden City Principles.

There’s a great danger that Village 7 will end up another as suburban housing estate plonked in the countryside without the facilities needed to support it and will lead to social problems with disaffected residents  and anti-social behaviour rather than the inclusive and balanced communities.

I therefore maintain my OBJECTION. The application should be withdrawn and these major shortcomings addressed.”

We’d like to thank you for your support and continued engagement with the large number of consultations and applications. It’s appreciated by the whole community.

– Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group