Frequently asked questions
You’re bound to have a few questions about the Gilston Park Estate proposal. We’ve put together some frequently asked questions to help you out.
- What role does the Gilston Park Estate scheme play in Harlow’s regeneration?
A key aim of the whole project is to support and complement the ambitious plans for Harlow’s regeneration, including its Enterprise Zone which has proposals for 5,000 jobs in advanced manufacturing, ICT and medical technologies. We do not want to compete with Harlow and therefore will not be providing floorspace for large-scale employment – our commercial floorspace will provide opportunities for people who want to live and work locally as well as for small businesses and sole traders such as accountants and solicitors.
- What transport improvements will be made to access new jobs?
The scheme includes significant investment in transport so that residents can easily reach jobs in Harlow and East Herts, including a new bridge over the River Stort, new bus routes and better access to Harlow Station.
- Are you just ignoring the argument that further development will cause gridlock on local roads?
No, all our predictions about the impact on transport are evidence based. We have engaged in detailed discussions with Essex and Hertfordshire County Councils in respect of transport modelling for Gilston Area and the wider Harlow area. With the provision of appropriate mitigation, the transport network is expected to be able to accommodate forecast growth.
- What of claims that development has the potential to lead to water shortages which could cause sewage problems?
All promoters of the Gilston Area, as well as the Council, have undertaken recent engagement with Thames Water who, following the completion of recent capacity assessments, have concluded that the Rye Meads Sewerage Treatment Works can be upgraded to support forecast housing/employment growth.
- Will there be enough hospital beds - how will local services like the Princess Alexandria hospital cope?
The Gilston Area development will provide sufficient local health services and facilities to meet the needs of the new resident population, whilst also benefiting the existing surrounding communities. We are aware that the NHS Trust are considering options for the relocation and/or expansion of the Princess Alexandra Hospital to meet forecast growth requirements.
- How can I contact CPP?
As Briggens Estate forms a separate development to Gilston Park Estate, we advise contacting CPP directly to discuss their proposals. They can be contacted here.
- Aren’t people justified in objecting to development on protected Green Belt land?
Gilston Park Estate will mean development on land that is currently designated as green belt however this will be done to meet a real and substantial need for housing in the local area. Stringent technical assessment has proven that this housing cannot solely be accommodated within existing urban areas, and as a result East Herts Council has considered it appropriate to make selective alterations to the Green Belt boundary to ensure that new housing can be accommodated in a sustainable location.
However, countryside and the character of the local area is important. Because of this, our plan is for a series of villages rather than one large development. Over 60% of the Gilston Park Estate land would be left as undeveloped green spaces, with Gilston Park at its heart.
- Who owns what parcels of land?
Places for People are the sole owners of the land that will form ‘Gilston Park Estate’. City and Provincial Properties own the adjoining piece of land, to the south-west of GPE, which is currently known as the ‘Briggens Estate’. Together we own the land needed to deliver 10,000 homes.
- What is the difference between ‘Gilston Park Estate’ and ‘the Gilston Area’?
‘The Gilston Area’ is the area identified in the Pre-Submission version of East Herts District Plan as a sustainable location for the development of up to 10,000 new homes which will help meet the region’s housing needs.
‘Gilston Park Estate’ is Places for People’s proposed development, located within the Gilston Area, which would contribute 8,500 homes towards the total 10,000. It is the historic name for the land that we own. The additional 1,500 will be delivered by through another scheme led by City and Provincial Property (CPP) on adjoining land currently known as the Briggens Estate.
- What experience does Places for People have with projects of this scale?
We have a record of creating award-winning developments that are environmentally sustainable.
We are currently building a 2,500-home extension to Milton Keynes involving significant up-front investment into infrastructure and amenities. You can take a look at some of our completed developments on the Places for People website.
- Are Places for People just building homes to make a profit?
Our products and services are socially and commercially driven. As a not-for-dividend organisation, any profit we make is re-invested back into the business.
Yes, we make a profit, but we invest all our profit back into the business and our communities. This approach means we can sustain a wide range of activities that make a difference to people’s lives.
- Who are Places for People and what do you do?
We are one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK. We own or manage 150,000 homes and have assets in excess of £3.1 billion.
‘House building’ is one of our core services but we don’t stop there. Our placemaking approach means we consider the infrastructure and services, like shops, schools, leisure facilities, transport links and healthcare facilities. We work with local communities to plan and design mixed-tenure places, with energy efficient homes, a range of facilities and carefully designed public spaces. Our aim is to create high-quality places where people want to live. We also manage these places so they’re sustainable in the future.
Corporate responsibility remains at the heart of what we do – we believe in responsible business, and work hard to integrate responsible business principles into everything we do.
Places for People was recently awarded UK Housebuilder of the Year and Estates Gazette’s Residential Company of the Year; testimony to the quality of our work.
- You’ve talked about 10,000 new homes but nothing about any other developer. Have you been misinforming the public all along?
No, CPP were originally working independently. Since 2015, with encouragement from East Herts District Council, CPP and Places for People have collaborated on a joint masterplan to ensure that the infrastructure required for all 10,000 homes is secured and phased. We have consistently said that the six villages we proposed would contain around 8,500 homes and always assumed that CPP would be developing next door.
- Is the CPP land part of Gilston Park Estate?
No, the homes which CPP provide will not be part of Gilston Park Estate, rather they are working with us to deliver a seventh village within the Gilston Area.
- How does the CPP development differ to yours?
CPP own a parcel of land within the Gilston Area. Working in partnership, Places for People will provide up to 8,500 homes on their land whilst CPP will provide an additional 1,500. The design, build and management of the homes and associated infrastructure will be consistent across both developments.
Do you have a question?
If you have questions or concerns not answered here, please use the link below to submit a question about any aspect of the Gilston Park Estate proposal.Ask a question