Providing sufficient infrastructure is fundamental to our proposal for Gilston Park Estate. A £500m infrastructure investment package will ensure our development is self-sufficient and bring many benefits to exiting nearby towns and villages.
- Does Places for People have experience of delivering similar projects?
It can be shown from other major Places for People developments that our approach goes much further than simply building homes. Our Brooklands development at Milton Keynes is a great example. In addition to essential roads, drainage and utility investment being in place, we have ensured that the people who move into this new place, already have green open spaces to walk through, as well as places to play, sit and relax.
At Brooklands, we planted more than 30,000 trees and shrubs before the first 200 homes were complete. In addition, we worked with Milton Keynes Council to help bring forward the new school earlier than originally programmed, so that Brooklands Farm Primary was welcoming its first pupils as the first residents were moving in to their new homes.
- Who will be responsible for providing the necessary public services in the area?
Places for People is working with a range of public service providers, including the NHS and emergency services to ensure that they have the physical capacity to provide services to existing and future residents.
In some cases, this will involve them taking space on our site, in others they may prefer to make additional provision elsewhere. In many cases this will involve decisions at a county (or higher) level about the configuration of services and the most appropriate locations for delivering them – it is not just a matter for us and our site.
Our site is within Hertfordshire so most service providers are based there, such as East Hertfordshire District Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Police. Some health services are provided across Essex and Hertfordshire, including the ambulance and most hospital services.
- What about schools?
A concern often raised about new housing developments is the pressure it can put on local services such as schools, especially when there is a shortage of school places. We will provide four primary schools and secondary school provision, up to 14FE, to ensure there is a school place for every child.
- Will you be putting infrastructure such as roads in place before you start building?
Infrastructure delivery is a big investment and therefore requires careful phasing, so that physical infrastructure can be financed and delivered on site to support the delivery of the new homes and close working with the public sector agencies in terms of service delivery for the new and existing residents.
All our infrastructure phasing – road improvements included – will be closely tied to housing delivery to ensure that adverse impacts do not arise. All infrastructure delivery to accommodate up to 10,000 homes across the Gilston Area, prior to any housing starts simply isn’t practical or deliverable. Infrastructure will be phased to match the delivery of housing.
- 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.
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