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What does the East Herts district plan mean for Gilston and the villages?

East Herts District Council is expected to send its district plan to the Government at the end of this week.

The district plan determines the direction of development across the whole area for the next 15 years and provides preferred sites to meet a target of 16,000 new homes built in the next 15 years.

Here is what the plans will mean for Gilston and the villages.

At a glance…

  • 10,000 homes and supporting infrastructure at new Gilston Garden Town
  • 600 homes on site to east of Stevenage
  • 1,350 homes on site east of Welwyn GC
  • District’s 37 villages to take combined 500 new homes


Most of the district’s new homes will be concentrated on creating a new town in Gilston using garden town funding from the Government. A massive 10,000 homes will be built on the site, with 3,000 to be completed by 2033 and the rest to follow.

The builds will be accompanied by infrastructure upgrades including new roads, schools, health centres and public open spaces. The plan also states that the town’s proximity to Harlow means those who live there can travel to work in Harlow or by train to work in London or Cambridge.

The town will get two new secondary schools, five primary schools and early years provision.

The plan states that wide upgrades to roads in the area will be needed, but adds upgrades to Junction 8 of the M11 and the new Junction 7a will mitigate the pressure from traffic.

There will also be a second River Stort crossing and upgrades to the Amwell roundabout.

The town will be organised into a collection of village centres with meeting spaces, libraries and shops. Relocating Princess Alexandra Hospital to Gilston will also be considered as part of the plan.

The plan states the development will be “sensitively integrated” into the current landscape. Buffer zones will also protect the integrity of current villages, Eastwick and Gilston.

East of Stevenage and Welwyn GC

Land to the east of Stevenage at Gresley Park will be subject to a 600 home development. It will be accompanied by a new primary school and transport upgrades, and the plan states a bus route would be established through the centre of the development to link to Stevenage.

A large new development will be constructed to the east of Welwyn GC, with 1,350 homes on the East Herts side of the border and 1,200 on the Welwyn Hatfield side.

A new primary school will be built on the Welwyn Hatfield part of the site and a new all-through school will be built in East Herts. The development will be supported by junction upgrades and new bus routes to link the site to Hertford and Welwyn GC.


East Herts’ 37 villages will be expected to take on a combined total of 500 homes. Villages which lie outside the green belt but in the rural area will be expected to accommodate growth of ten per cent.

Standon and Puckeridge will receive 146 new homes and Walkern will receive 55.

There will be no set target for other villages and developments will be considered as and when they arrive. Any planning application which involves the closure of village shops will be rejected unless the applicant can prove every effort was made to keep them.

At least 250 homes should be built by 2022 and villages are being encouraged to produce neighbourhood plans to retain some say in where those homes are built.

This article was first published on 28/03/17 and can be read here.