Welcome to the website for the Hundson Area Neighbourhood Plan.

Shaping Hunsdon’s future as a place to live

The community of Hunsdon has worked together to create a Neighbourhood Plan for our Area that will shape its development until 2033. We are proud to have captured the voice of residents.

Following an Independent Examination and a positive referendum result, East Herts District Council decided, on 16 November 2022, to ‘make’ the Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan.

The Plan received a massive endorsement from local residents on September 15th, with a good turnout (32.66%) and over 95% vote in favour

We would like to thank everybody who turned out to vote, and all those who have contributed or supported the plan over the last four years. 

Many thanks to everyone once more. 

You can read or download the final version of the Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan here, and access the full Evidence Base here.

Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan – Adopted Version (November 2022)

Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan - Final Version
Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan – Adopted Version (November 2022)

The Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Group would like to thank Hunsdon residents for your contributions, responses and support for the Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan.

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC concluded his examination of the Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan in June 2022. You can download and read his report here.

The Examination was covered in full both here and on the East Herts Council website here.

A Public Q&A was held via Zoom on February 16. You can read all the slides for the presentation here. The Regulation 14 consultation ran until March 22, 2021.

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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. After our Plan was drafted, the community voted to accept it at Referendum.

Why do we need a Neighbourhood Plan?

Now agreed, our Neighbourhood Plan is a material consideration in all future planning applications decided by East Herts District Council. As new housing is proposed, the Plan will 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 Policy 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 3,000 houses by 2033 and another 7,000 after that date.

Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Map
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Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Map 2
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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.

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The HANP covers the Parish minus the parts inside the Gilston development area, basically the Airfield and Village 7. In effect, this means HANP covers the main Village, Hunsdonbury, the houses is up to and including the Church and Hunsdon House and Briggens House, Hunsdon Pound and Hunsdon Mead.

Hunsdon Airfield is of course enormously important to our community, so although it is not part of our plan, we invited residents to think about what they would like to see happen to it and fed this into the joint Neighbourhood Plan

How did we consult with residents during the drafting of the Plan?

Befor the Plan was written, we previously sent a survey to every household in the Parish and held an Open Day to canvass opinion of residents and businesses. They said they wanted Hunsdon to remain “Green, Safe and a Friendly place to live”. 

Three of the top four bugbears about living in Hunsdon were problems with traffic, its speed and volume on our country roads and, above all, HGV traffic . The other was fly-tipping. The overwhelming priority for expenditure was on road safety.

Protection of the remaining green belt was important, and the majority of respondents said NO to further housing in the Hunsdon Area. This was not surprising given the policy of East Herts District Plan 2018 which removed a large tract of green belt in Eastwick and Gilston to build 10,000 houses.

There was good support for the village shop and pubs but little for new businesses in Hunsdon apart from a cafe, a taxi service and allowance for home working businesses.

The Neighbourhood Plan committee worked with professional consultants on putting all this into policies and preparing the draft Neighbourhood Plan.

After the first draft of the Plan was completed, residents and other local stakeholders were invited to read and comment on the report via statutory Regulation 14, 15 and 16 consultation periods, at which points the Plan was refined.

Where are we now?

Having successfully passed external examination and been voted on by residents at Referendum, the plan is now a statutory document which is second only to the East Herts District Plan in determining Housing Policy in the Hunsdon Area

The income and expenditure of the HANP committee appears in the Parish Council annual accounts.

Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Group, September 2022