Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan

A summary of the recent Residents' Survey is here

Help shape Hunsdon’s future as a place to live.

The community of Hunsdon has an opportunity to work together to create a Neighbourhood Plan for our Area that will shape its development until 2033. We want the voice of every resident to be heard.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is the community’s shared vision for our neighbourhood that will help shape the growth of our local area. It allows us to have a say in how many new homes and businesses will be built, where we want them, and what infrastructure and community facilities are provided to support them. Once the Plan is drafted, the community will be asked to vote on whether or not to accept it.

Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan?

Once agreed, our Neighbourhood Plan will be a material consideration in all future planning applications decided by East Herts District Council, so if the community as a whole think no more housing should be provided, it can say so and if it decides more housing should be provided in the Area it can influence the number, the location and the mix to ensure it is the right housing for our community. This is not just about housing though, and while it will help to protect against speculative development, it is also about deciding how we can make sure Hunsdon is a good place to live for existing and future residents of all ages; it allows us to set Polic y that can help us to protect and preserve our rich local heritage and green spaces as well as encourage employment opportunities that seek to meet business needs in the community.

What locations does the Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan cover?

Most of you will have will know about the EHDC Plan to build a series of “Garden Villages” mainly in the area of Gilston and Eastwick but partly in the parish of Hunsdon as part of the re-development of Harlow New Town. This involves the building of at least 3000 houses by 2033 and another 7000 after that date. Within Hunsdon this is effectively the area just north of the A414 on either side of Church Lane, known as Village 7. It also includes Hunsdon Airfield and the woodlands to the north but promises that these assets will be dedicated to the community early in the development and be protected from future housing grabs in perpetuity These areas are covered by a joint Neighbourhood Group representing Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston and is separate to our Neighbourhood Plan Area which covers the rest of Hunsdon Parish. The two different areas are shown here for reference.
Hunsdon Airfield is of course enormously important to our community, so although it is not part of our plan, we will be inviting residents to think about what they would like to see happen to it so that this can be fed into the joint Neighbourhood Plan.

Going forward…

On Saturday, 2nd and Sunday 3rd February, between 10:00 and 12:00 on each day, the first of a series of Community Events will be held in Hunsdon Village Hall. The event will:

  • explain the background to and context of the Plan
  • show the intended approach and key steps to producing the Plan
  • show progress achieved so far on the Plan

Most importantly, it is an opportunity for YOU to contribute your views, so please come along at any time on either day.
That will be followed in mid-February by two surveys:

  • A Household Survey which is to find out what residents think are the important things which should be done for the community. This will be introduced at the Community Event on 2/3rd February and paper copies will subsequently be delivered to every household in the Hunsdon Area, as well as to businesses and other non-resident stakeholders. An online version of the same survey will also be available on this website.
  • The other survey will be specifically about housing and is called a Housing Needs Survey, and will be posted to all residents in due course.

It is important that residents complete and return these because the results of both of these surveys as well as all the views that people have expressed at February’s consultation will be analysed and used to shape the direction the Plan takes going forward. Draft Polic ies will be prepared on this basis evidence gathered, and further consultation with the community and stakeholders will take place before a draft Neighbourhood Plan is submitted to East Herts District Council for consideration and approval. Residents will then vote on whether to accept this Plan in a referendum. If the community approves it, the Plan will be subject to Examination by a Planning Inspector before becoming a legal planning document that will influence what happens in the Hunsdon Area until 2033.

Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Group, February 2019