NPG submits response to further revised Village 7 application

The Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group (NPG) has issued its response to the further revised planning application for Village 7 (3/19/2124/OUT).

The NPG has objected to the revised application, stating:

The revisions to the planning application for Village 7 in the Gilston Area raise serious cause for concern, especially as it appears that none of our previous comments have been addressed and new planning policy documents (the award winning Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan and the NPPF (July 2021)) have been disregarded.

As a community group widely praised for our spirit of collaboration in the interest of good development, we must note the applicant’s apparent unwillingness to consider what will make the Gilston Area a development known for quality and sustainability for the years to come.

In our previous representation (17th March 2021) we stated that the application was not fit for determination without changes and integrations: there has been ample time for the applicant to address our concerns and it would appear that none of the suggested changes and integrations have been considered.

For this reason, the HEGNPG and the Parish Councils maintain their strong objection to this application and the approach to development it represents.

You can download and read the full response here.

Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan wins top landscape planning award

Your Neighbourhood Plan – which passed in May 2021 with 98% of the vote – has won the Excellence in Landscape Planning and Assessment Award at the Landscape Institute Awards 2021.

It previously won the awards for Plan-Making and cross-category Editor’s prize at the Planning Awards 2021.

These awards are a testament to the incredible input from the community and will help ensure the Plan cannot be ignored by the Council, Landowners and Developers as work continues on the Gilston project.

Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan wins two major accolades at Planning Awards 2021

The Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan was a double award winner at the Planning Awards 2021.

At the ceremony on Thursday (June 10), the plan from the Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group (HEGNPG) with masterplanners URBAN Silence first picked up the Award For Plan-Making.

The Plan-Making award is given to the entry that best shows how a plan can have  a positive impact on the physical or environmental quality of a place or the economic or social well-being of its community.

The Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan, which passed its referendum last month with a massive  98% of the vote in a high turnout, also won  the prestigious Editor’s Award.

This award is given across all categories by Planning’s editor,  to the Plan that “represents the most exceptional achievement of all”. 

The judges said the plan was “brave and innovative” and “demonstrates the power of collaboration between local planning authorities and communities”.

Overall, they described it as “an exemplar approach to neighbourhood planning [in areas of] growth”.

HEGNPG Chairman Anthony Bickmore said: “These two awards are a massive national endorsement of our Neighbourhood Plan.

“Our groundbreaking plan is the first of the Neighbourhood Plans for the new Garden Towns.”

He added: “This major recognition shows the ongoing importance of community involvement and the need of planners to respect localism and listen to what local communities have to say in the formation and implementation of development policies.

“Following this double award from the judges and the overwhelming endorsement from local residents, we as a group are further empowered to work with the planners in the right spirit, if they respect our policies”

Joanna Chambers and Martina Juvara of URBAN Silence said: “The double award is a testament to the value created when a community comes together to influence and shape the future of their area.

“As the Editor Richard Garlick said when he gave the award to the Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan: this is the best, and maybe only way, to plan large scale developments in future.”

Mary Parsons, Chair of the Town and Country Planning Association and former Director at developers Places for People who are working on the Gilston project, said: “Congratulations to all of the Neighbourhood Planning team.

“[It is a ]testimony to all of the hours, and the evenings and weekends, spent working on it.

“[It] shows the role that positive neighbourhood planning can play in large scale development.”

After several rounds of consultation, the plan passed an independent examination in February 2021.

It was endorsed at referendum in May 2021 with 97.8% of the vote on a high 37.20% turnout.