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Herts County Council bids for £151m for Gilston homes infrastructure

Hertfordshire County Council wants £211m from the government to drive forward its vision for new homes - including £151m for Gilston Park in East Herts.

The Harlow North extension and schemes at Baldock North and Brookfield were shortlisted early last year after being nominated by the authority as projects for the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

Launched by government in 2017, the HIF is a capital grant programme for new physical infrastructure in areas where housing is in the greatest demand and to support new and existing communities.

Gilston Park Estate is a proposal for 8,500 new homes in a series of six new villages, immediately to the north of Harlow, across the River Stort in East Herts. The development is part of a wider vision for 10,000 new homes for the Gilston area, including the Briggens estate, by 2040. At least 3,000 are expected to be built by 2033.

As a garden towns’ project, it is hoped that 60% of all journeys it generates will be by sustainable transport.

The funding bid includes:

A walking, cycling and public transport link from Eastwick junction to Harlow town centre via the railway station.

An additional road crossing over the River Stort, linking the A414 at Eastwick with a new roundabout north of the river then onwards to Edinburgh Way via River Way.

Improvements to junctions along the A1019, benefitting walking, cycling and public transport networks.

Councillor Derrick Ashley, the county council’s cabinet member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy, said: “This funding would be so important to the future of the Gilston area development, and the scale of growth there will act as a catalyst for growth across the wider garden town. The infrastructure we are planning is economically and environmentally sustainable for the long term.

“It’s fantastic that the government shortlisted our bids for over £200m to help us build the infrastructure we’ll need to support new homes in Hertfordshire – that was a clear sign of confidence in our ability to produce the type and level of growth that the county needs to thrive further in the future.

“We’ve been working with Homes England, and our colleagues in district and borough councils, to develop final business cases for the schemes, and hopefully we can secure the funding to move these exciting projects forward.”