Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

In order to help meet the challenging level of housing need in East Herts, the council has allocated land in the Gilston Area for a new development of 10,000 homes.

In addition to new homes, the site will deliver a significant amount of new infrastructure including schools, health facilities and parks. Substantial financial contributions will also be made to off-site infrastructure. One of the headline aspirations of the Council is the creation of a new place where residents are able to lead healthy and active lifestyles.  A key goal is to ensure and enable sustainable transport choices – prioritising walking, cycling and public transport. Infrastructure secured will therefore include new connections and road space for sustainable transport, linking the Gilston Area to key destinations in Harlow.

The Gilston Area forms part of the wider Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT), which was designated a Garden Town by the Ministry for Homes, Communities and Local Government in January 2017, and will include the development of 23,000 new homes across new neighbourhoods to the east, west, and south of Harlow, and the Gilston Area to the north. East Herts District Council is working with Harlow Council, Epping Forest District Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Essex County Council and Homes England to plan this growing community and to ensure that we deliver a development of the highest quality and that is reflective of Garden Town principles.

Further details about the HGGT and its associated publications which are a material consideration in planning decision making can be viewed on the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town website. Please also see our Harlow and Gilston Frequently Asked Questions, which provide more detail about the Gilston Area and the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

As well as working with other local authorities and statutory bodies, the council is committed through its Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) and District Plan to ensuring that engagement with the local community at every stage of the planning process is undertaken. A Gilston Area Community Engagement Strategy has been produced with input from representatives of the local parishes, which aims to establish how the various parties involved in the growth of the Gilston Area will undertake engagement, collaboration and co-operation with the community at various stages of the planning process. 

Supporting the adoption of the East Herts District Plan, the Council, Gilston Area landowners and the local community came together to prepare and finalise the Gilston Area Concept Framework. This sets out substantial further detail with regard to the proposals for the development of the Gilston Area. In addition to the Concept Framework, the Council has also produced the Gilston Area Charter SPD. The Charter will support the production of Masterplans and Design Codes specific to the Gilston Area Villages.

Planning applications were submitted to the Council in 2019 for the development of the Gilston Area. Details of the applications are set out on the Gilston Area Planning Applications Summary page. Three of the applications were determined in early 2022. This leaves the outline planning applications for residential development currently remaining to be determined.

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The Council is now working toward the determination of the first and largest of the outline residential development applications. This is the application submitted by Places for People and which proposes the development of 8,500 new homes (ref 3/19/1045/OUT). A meeting of the Councils Development Management Committee is planned for Tuesday 28 February 2023 to consider this application.

In relation to this application a consultation is currently underway following amendments to the proposals as a result of a viability assessment process.  The consultation runs until 12 January 2023.  To inspect the planning application documents and to submit any comments, please visit the Councils planning application public access portal (Simple Search (eastherts.gov.uk) and search under the reference 3/19/1045/OUT.

A consultation exercise is also underway in relation to the second of the Gilston Area outline applications (3/19/2124/OUT), in the name of Taylor Wimpey and proposing the development of 1,500 new homes.  This also follows the outcome of a viability appraisal exercise.  This consultation is open until 9 February 2023.  As above, to access the planning application documents and to make a comment, please search for the application using the above reference on the public access portal Simple Search (eastherts.gov.uk).

Gilston Area Development Forum

There are regular meetings of the Gilston Area Development Forum (GADF), usually once every 6 weeks. The Forum comprises representatives of the local communities, the Council, HGGT partners and the Gilston Area landowners. The Forum can consider any issues relevant to the development and delivery of the Gilston Area. The Forum reviewed its Terms of Reference during 2022. Meetings have been held since early 2017, previously known as the Gilston Area Steering Group. Action Notes from previously meetings will be uploaded here in the near future.