HUNSDON PARISH COUNCIL – MEETING ON MONDAY 20TH FEBRUARY 2023
UPDATE ON KEY ISSUES BY CLLR BOB TOLL CHAIRMAN
This 10,000 homes development features routinely in our Parish Council discussions. The planning applications from both developers have reached critical milestones – consent for outline approval. The application from Places for People for Villages 1-6 (8,500 homes) was determined by the East Herts Development Management Committee on 28th February. The application for Village 7 (on the site of Brickhouse Farm in Hunsdon) from Taylor Wimpey will probably go to committee next month.
Through our joint Neighbourhood Planning Group with Eastwick and Gilston Parish Council, formal responses to EHC have been submitted at each stage of the planning process to register the concerns of our communities. The latest detailed technical representations can be found on the NPG website.
The NPG was allocated a miserly 12 minutes to speak at the DMC meeting on the 28th. The application was far from ready to be determined and had substantial deficiencies and lack of detailed agreement on planning conditions and infrastructure provision. The NPG drew attention to the poor outcome for affordable housing (down from 40% to 23%), lack of early timely commitment to highway infrastructure and schools and serious concerns about the provision of health care in the Harlow area plus other shortcomings. There was no recognition of the problems we will face in Hunsdon as traffic volumes will inevitably increase through the village using the rat run to Stortford, Stansted and the M11.
The NPG was not alone in asking for a deferment but consent was granted with delegated responsibility for legal agreements and detailed planning and design of the development passing to the EHC Planning Officers. This lack of democratic scrutiny going forward risks even further dilution of the objectives which justified the allocation of our Green Belt for housing in the District Plan in the first place.
Eric Buckmaster, our local East Herts Councillor also spoke at the DMC meeting raising serious concerns around traffic impacts and potential flooding. He too supported a deferment of the decision.
The NPG has issued a press release expressing dissatisfaction with the DMC proceedings which can be found on the HEGNPG Facebook page.
As part of our Hunsdon Neighbourhood Plan the community identified a number of ‘tasks’ they would like to see undertaken to improve our village, its surroundings and facilities. The Parish Council are keen to see progress on these tasks and other community projects and have identified several actions to get the ball rolling. Some of the tasks have already been started. The full list of these projects with current state of play will be appended to the February PC Minutes. If you are able to assist with any of these please contact our Clerk, Carole Page Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 07825 011975
Local elections are being held on 4th May – both East Herts and Hunsdon Parish Councils. Our constitution provides for 6 Parish Councillors. If you are interested in the work of the PC and would like to know more and perhaps contribute as a councillor, please give our Chair, Bob Toll, a call and chat it over 01279 842783.
The PC will organise a public meeting for some time in April inviting all the candidates for our ward in the EHC May election to present their proposed policies and answer your questions.