What the NPG does

The NPG is made up of four sub-groups: (i) Planning Group (ii) Landscaping and Biodiversity Group (iii) Governance and Stewardship Group (iv) Village Master Plan Group

You can contact each group individually via the forms on this page, or the group as a whole via our Contact page.

Planning Group 

The Planning Group is focused on responding to planning applications from Places for People and  CPP, commissioning necessary professional support and working with all stakeholders including local  authorities to represent and protect the interests of the local communities. 


To engage with the developers and East Herts Council to secure adequate and timely S106  commitments and other planning obligations which will deliver sustainable development of the  Gilston Area. 

To engage with EHC, local landowners and other stakeholders to mitigate harmful impacts of  the developments on local communities and environment. 

Report the work of the Sub-Group to the NPG and seek advice and instructions to progress  issues that have been identified for further attention. 


Group Chair: Bob Toll

Other Members: Mike Newman, Frank O’Shea, Jamie MacArthur, Janine Bryant, Jason Emile

Landscaping and Biodiversity Group 

The Landscape and Biodiversity Group will represent the community, through the NPG, in responding  to the Developers’ Landscape Master Planning phase, ensuring that proper regard is given to the  Neighbourhood Plan. It will draft landscape and biodiversity guidance for the airfield park, village  buffers, green spaces, SuDS, Stort Valley and their use based on the Neighbourhood Plan’s Policies: 


  • To ensure landscape development adheres to the principles and policies of the  Neighbourhood Plan. 
  • To ensure the community voice is heard and listened to; 
  • To ensure mechanisms are in place to enforce future compliance with the approved  Landscape Master Plan


Group Chair: Mark Orson

Other Members: Janine Bryant, John Dunlop, Bob Toll and Terry Minkey

Governance & Stewardship Group

The Governance and Stewardship Group will represent the community, through the NPG, in responding to developer and EHC proposals for  Governance and Stewardship of the whole Gilston Area and ensuring that proper regard is given to the  Neighbourhood Plan. 


  • Ensure the developers and EHC  have proper regard to the policies within the Neighbourhood  Plan and other Local Plan documents 
  • Achieve long-term, sustainable, and successful asset management of both strategic and  village assets through ongoing community engagement
  • Provide early delivery of open space land to the community trust and settle arrangements for the site-wide infrastructure and for assets and facilities used by individual villages, all with appropriate funding and management resources
  • Participate in planning of future structures  for the political and  democratic governance of the new and existing villages


Group Chair: Frank O’Shea

Other Members: Kirsty Elliott, Michael Osborne and Bob Toll

Village Master Plan Group

The Village Master Plan Group will represent the community, through the NPG, in responding to the  Developers’ village master planning phase, ensuring that proper regard is given to the Neighbourhood  Plan 


  • Key task; Ensure the developers master planners understand, and have proper regard to, the policies  within the Neighbourhood Plan and other Local Plan relevant documents 

AND ensure that the village masterplans: 

  • Represent a village form of development, each with its own distinguishing features, so  avoiding replica designs for the villages. 
  • Ensure that the new Villages, through their design origination deliver the Developers and  Councils commitments to a 60% sustainable modes transport methodology for all journeys  from the outset. 
  • Ensure that village centres are places of interaction with mixed uses, high levels of walkability  and the village edges are ‘soft edges’ with high quality landscape buffers providing meaningful  separation between the villages. 
  • Recognise that the land promoters may not be the developers who build the physical  buildings so a coherent design ethos needs to be established so that the design concepts and  codes are enduring. 
  • That the new villages are built in a manner which reflects the Climate Emergency and so the  statutory obligations of the Climate Change Act.


Joint Group Chairs: Anthony Bickmore and Jamie MacArthur

Other members: Jason Emile, Michael Osborne, Mike Newman, Terry Minkey and Janine Bryant

Below is a broader outline of the work done by the NPG on behalf of the communities it represents:

The Neighbourhood Plan Group
  • Residents
  • Councillors
  • Relevant experience
  • Meets monthly
Securing Funding
  • Developers
  • Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Board
  • Groundwork UK
  • Parish Councils
Responding to Planning Applications
  • Villages 1-6 OPA
  • Eastern and Central Crossing
  • Village 7
  • Supporting residents in their personal responses
Transport Consultants
  • Engaged Markides Associates to evaluate developers’ plans
Landscape Consultants
  • Engaged Gareth Price to advise on key issues
Neighbourhood Plan
  • Engaged Urban Silence to offer professional support
  • Completed first draft in nine months
  • Launched community consultation with 550 comments
  • Incorporated changes into a second version
  • Final version passed rigorous external examination
  • Plan passed referendum with 98% of the vote
Support from Councillors/MP
  • Sustained dialogue with Councillor Eric Buckmaster
  • Support of Mark Prisk MP (till 2019 election)
  • Opened dialogue with Julie Marson MP (from 2019)
Work with Partners
  • Dialogue and cooperation with local, regional and national groups, including the Land Trust, Stort Valley Partnership and Canal & River Trust
Press Activity