Hunsdon, Eastwick & Gilston Neighbourhood Plan

HEGNP has issued a press release following publication of the inspector's final report on the District Plan and its subsequent Main Modifications here

The Parish Councils of Hunsdon and Eastwick & Gilston have committed to working together to produce a Neighbourhood Plan - the Hunsdon, Eastwick & Gilston Neighbourhood Plan (HEGNP). This website describes:

    What is Neighbourhood Planning?
    Why are the two Parish Councils working together?
    When is the HEGNP going to be produced?
    How does this affect me as a resident, business or landowner?
    Where will the HEGNP apply?
    Who is developing the HEGNP?

Our response to each question can be found using the buttons to the left, together with some key documents referenced in the site.

However...as in any walk of life the HEGNP has to react to changing events. The particular event(s) which have affected our plans are the sudden and wholly unjustified decision by East Herts Council to advance the Gilston Area in the final (March 2017 'Submission') version of its District Plan as a preferred area for development of 10.000 homes - many of them located on the Green Belt area along the A414 which was designated explicitly to provide a backdrop to, and preclude the northernwards expansion of Harlow. There can be no doubt the overwhelming reason for this change of heart has been the pressure applied by the two companies that have been buying up small parcels of agricultural land in this region as they became available with the intention of proposing them for housing development when the time was right - ie now. As such they provide an easy route for East Herts Council to meet its government-imposed housing targets - even though there remain many and great uncertainities over the ability of infrastructure providers to satisfy such rapid growth in this area. Moreover, no particular consideration was given to the existing residents of the villages and hamlets within the designated area when East Herts Council reached this decision, all of whom would find themselves suddenly surrounded and absorbed into huge new housing estates.

Consequently the HEGNP team, rather than focus on developing a Neighbourhood Plan, has devoted itself to monitoring, reacting to and - above all - seeking to influence the emerging District Plan in ways that would be to the greatest benefit and/or least detriment of current residents of Eastwick, Gilston and the surrounding villages. Having advanced itself as a Neighbourhood Plan Group to East Herts Council and been approved as such however, we must work within the relevant legislation and that requires a Neighbourhood Plan to be consistent with its associated District Plan - in other words, if the District Plan ultimately identifies the Gilston Area as a site for 10,000 houses then the Neighbourhood Plan cannot conflict with that. Consequently the HEGNP group has chosen to engage with EHC and, as necessary, the developers and their various consultants with a view to influencing the outcome of the District Plan process from the inside rather than simply stand outside the process in opposition. That does not mean to say the group accepts or endorses inclusion of the Gilston Area in the District Plan; our opposition to the fundamental principle is stated in every meeting with EHC and we work closely with STOP Harlow North as a group clearly opposed under any circumstances to the proposals. Foremost among the HEGNP group's activities in this context has been to arrange a series of workshops for local residents at which various aspects of the plans being advanced by the landowners can be scrutinised and residents' concerns raised.

The range of activity upon which the HEGNP group is currently engaged is set out below. Notes / minutes from each meeting, together with other relevant documents can be found on the Reference documents page of this site.

  • HEGNP team meetings
  • EHC's Gilston Area Steering Group mmetings
  • HEGNP's Gilston Area Community workshops