Hunsdon Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group has responded to the revised planning applications from Places for People.
The response was to the four applications below, including an outline planning application for 8,500 residential homes and facilities (Villages 1-6) and full planning applications for major road changes covering a Central Stort Crossing and Eastern Stort Crossing
After consultation with the community and the Parish Councils of Hunsdon and Eastwick & Gilston, the Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group (HEGNPG) has concluded that the proposals included in the revised planning application submissions for the Gilston Area cannot be supported and should not be approved without further integrations and modifications.
These are necessary to demonstrate a clear commitment to the delivery of development in the form of distinct villages, enhancing the natural environment and supporting infrastructure that addresses the needs of future and existing communities, as required by Policy GA1, the submission Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan, the Gilston Area Charter SPD and other relevant guidance including the Gilston Area Concept Framework and the HGGT Vision and Design Guide.
In addition, the mitigation of impacts on the existing communities is not adequately addressed. Far too many of these measures are left vague and unspecific to be defined and secured through the s106 agreement and governance arrangements. We maintain that greater clarity and certainty on these critical matters is required before the current planning applications can, properly, be determined.
We acknowledge that the applicants have made some welcome additions and clarifications, while retaining strong commitment to quality building design and 40% affordable housing. Other welcome improvements are on public transport provision, heritage protection and increase of employment space within the village centres.
However, we remain concerned that if East Herts Council approves the applications in their current form, they will fail to achieve the agreed vision and objectives for development in the Gilston Area and fail to fulfil the Garden City principles set out in the District Plan itself.
You can read the full response here