Welcome to the website for the Hundson Area Neighbourhood Plan.
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.
A Public Q&A was held via Zoom on February 16. You can read all the slides for the presentation here.
You can download the 83-page pre-submission Regulation 14 draft in full below, as well as an eight-page summary, before filling out our Questionnaire here before the March 22 deadline.
If you have any difficulties using the download button below, please use this link to download the full draft Neighbourhood Plan.
Full Draft Neighbourhood Plan
- Fill out the Hunsdon Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire January 28, 2021
- Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Household Survey September 1, 2019
- First Community Event – 2-3 February 2019 February 5, 2019
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 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.
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
Where are we now?
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.
Last year we 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 has been working with professional consultants on putting all this into policies and preparing the draft neighbourhood plan. It is intended that this work will be completed in the summer of 2020 and go to consultation to all residents of the Parish and other stakeholders as soon as possible thereafter when hopefully the restrictions of the COVID-19 emergency will have been lifted.
When the Plan has gone through all its processes (expected 2021), it will be a statutory document which will be 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 but, broadly speaking, it has spent £8,600 to date of which over £7,000 has been covered by the Government grant scheme to assist Neighbourhood Plans.
Hunsdon Area Neighbourhood Plan Group, April 2020