Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan: Overwhelming 'yes' vote in referendum in Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston
The Gilston Area Neighbourhood Plan has been endorsed by residents with a "powerful" 98% Yes vote at referendum.
The turnout was over 37%, which is high for such a vote and on a par with local elections. In all, 580 people voted Yes and just 13 said No.
Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Plan Group chairman Anthony Bickmore said: "A vote of 98% in favour of our neighbourhood plan on such a high turnout is a very powerful endorsement.
"Our plan now becomes a part of the development plan for the Gilston area along with the East Herts District Plan, which together will be the paramount policies governing how Gilston will be developed."
Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston are the parishes most impacted by developer Places for People's scheme for 8,500 new homes as part of the Gilston Park Estate, formerly known as Harlow North, to create six new villages to the north of the Stort Valley. A seventh community of 1,500 properties is planned by Briggens Estate.
Mr Bickmore said: "The work however does not stop. As we move into the detail, the first thing will be to carefully study the report by the council of the outline planning application to make sure the many promises are documented.
"We're also starting to work on the master planning and arrangements to govern the landscape to be passed to the community. We will continue to communicate on this to residents, via our website and our parish council sponsors."
The plan has been short-listed for Best Plan Making 2021 in the National Planning Awards, with the winners to be announced later in June.
The full neighbourhood plan and its policies – together with an evidence base of supporting documents – are available to read in full at hegnp.org.uk.