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The Gilston Park Estate proposals FAQs

  1. Aren’t people justified in objecting to development on protected Green Belt land?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    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.

  2. Can you really preserve the character of the area and build 10,000 homes?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    East Hertfordshire needs new homes and we believe this is the best place for them, not least because it would protect other settlements from more development and is close enough to Harlow to bring multi-million pound investment and regeneration to the town.

    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.

  3. Won’t villages be swallowed up by the development?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    The development will not reach Hunsdon, and although the development will occur around Gilston and Eastwick, we will work with existing residents on special design studies to respect their rural Hertfordshire character and bring all the benefits possible to them. For example, the District Council’s policy is to provide 20% of all extra ‘New Homes Bonus’ council tax to the parish councils, for use on local initiatives.

  4. Can’t we develop homes on brownfield land first?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    East Herts District Council and Harlow Council have confirmed that there are very few suitable brownfield sites left. Given the scale of the local housing need and the need to regenerate Harlow, green field locations need to be considered.

    Bringing development forward in large schemes is the most efficient use of green field land and is the most sustainable way to deliver significant numbers of homes, while also facilitating the regeneration of Harlow.

    The alternative is piecemeal development which is likely to include fields around communities such as Ware, Hertford and Stortford. We think many people would prefer a new location rather than further development in these places – and development in these locations would fail to achieve the regeneration of Harlow.

  5. So, does that mean what happens to the remaining land in the future would be solely in the hands of the people living in the new properties?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    The trust vehicle, or the most appropriate governance structure used, would ensure community control of the remaining land assets.

    We have always seen a key role for the local parish councils, so that as they continue their own Neighbourhood Plans in the future, this would be a part of it; whether considering options for Hunsdon Airfield, open space strategy and investment and, yes possibly, further locally needed – and wanted – homes. That would not be Places for People’s decision. It would be the local community’s, existing and new, and they would have the assets and means of achieving it. We believe that is true democratic planning and you only have to look at areas such as Letchworth to see how empowering this approach can be.

    To achieve this, we will need the engagement of the existing parish councils so that they can have a say in shaping it. Otherwise it would be structured around the new communities as we are committed to integrating this into our proposals. We do fully respect the non-engagement position of some parish councils at this stage of the plan making process but we do believe that it is one aspect that does warrant a proper discussion and where we can show people we are genuinely approaching this in a different way.

  6. The previous proposals suggested this land could contain 25,000 homes. Are your new plans part of a longer term plan for 25,000 or more homes on your land holding?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    No, we do not have plans for 25,000 more homes on our land holding and would not be promoting a further phase of development beyond the current proposals for up to 10,000 homes, which includes both the Gilston Park Estate and the Briggens Estate. We are currently investigating vehicles such as a community trust, which would ensure community control of the remaining land.

  7. How many homes are you proposing?
    Category: The Gilston Park Estate proposals   Posted:

    Places for People is proposing to build 8,500 homes at Gilston Park Estate. With the additional 1,500 homes that form the adjoining Briggens Estate, this comes to 10,000 altogether for the Gilston Area.

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