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