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How have you involved the local community in your plans?

Category: Planning process   Posted:

Between September 2009 and February 2010, community engagement surveys were sent to 14,000 households across Harlow and East Herts. Approximately 700 people attended community drop-in sessions, 100 attended community forums, and more than 170 people responded to the North Harlow People’s Panel Survey. Around 275 people attended public exhibitions in Harlow and East Hertfordshire.

The main issues raised were traffic, impact on local facilities and services, preserving the local character and use of natural resources – energy, sewage and water supply. A new masterplan was produced in response to these concerns. In September 2013, Places for People took an exhibition bus around different locations across East Hertfordshire and Harlow posing the question ‘”Where will you live in 20 years’ time?” Approximately 200 people visited the bus and met Places for People and its project team including planners, architects and highways consultants. The team was able to talk people through the proposals and answer questions. The events generated largely positive feedback specifically around the regeneration benefits for Harlow, the village structure, the ethos of Places for People, the level of investment in infrastructure and the proactive efforts made to engage with the wider public. Some concerns around transport links between the M11 and Edinburgh Way, train station parking capacity and sewage remained. In May 2014, Places for People prepared an information pack that included a fold out map and summary of the new GPE proposals and a DVD. This was hand delivered to every home within 4km of Gilston Park, totalling 17,000 residents. The information pack also directed people to the updated website and two exhibition events in High Wych and Harlow on 16 and 17 May 2014. Over 80 people attended the events, with members of the project team including architects, planners, highways consultants, and Places for People on hand to answer questions. Social media was also used to engage with a different audience who might otherwise not be aware of the proposals. Posts and updates about GPE were targeted on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to users within 20km of Harlow, reaching an online audience of 274,554. From the 6th to the 20th May, 4,762 people interacted with the information provided through social media, including links through to the website. The website had 1,608 visitors over the two weeks, three quarters of whom were new to the site. All of the feedback received has helped to inform our plans and has fed into the Draft Gilston Area Concept Framework which was published in September 2016. Following publication of the Draft Framework, informal feedback has been sought from local parishes and communities via a series of workshops.

East Herts District Council opened their public consultation on the Concept Framework on July 24th 2017, which ran until 8th September 2017, and in parallel with this, we held a community drop-in event on Saturday 5th August at the Manor of Groves in High Wych. We also held a consultation on the outline plans in September 2017, at the Broad Walk in Harlow, Hunsdon Village Hall and the Manor of Groves. All material was published online, and in addition to hardcopy feedback forms, residents were given an opportunity to provide their comments online.

We took into account all feedback that was received during the consultation, and more recently, held a number of dedicated workshops to explore the local transport proposals.

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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.

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