What the NPG does

Following the successful adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan, the group is currently focused on four key areas: (i) Planning (ii) Landscaping and Biodiversity (iii) Governance and Stewardship (iv) Village Master Planning


We’re working to respond to planning applications from Places for People and Taylor Wimpey, commission necessary professional support and work 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 East Herts Council, local landowners and other stakeholders to mitigate harmful impacts of  the developments on local communities and environment. 

Landscaping and Biodiversity 

We’re working to respond  to the Developers’ Landscape Master Planning phase, ensuring that proper regard is given to the Neighbourhood Plan.

We’re working to 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

Governance & Stewardship

We’re working to respond 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

Village Master Planning

We’re working to respond to the  Developers’ village master planning phase and – again – 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.

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