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, such as new roads and bridges to improve connectivity over the River Stort.

Latest News

Planning Applications were submitted to East Herts Council and Harlow District Council in May 2019 by the applicants Places for People. These included an outline application for a mixed use development including up to 8,500 new homes and supporting infrastructure (also known as the “Villages 1 to 6” application), and two detailed applications proposing bridge infrastructure works over the River Stort. Following feedback from the community, the Council and statutory consultees, the applicants made a series of changes to the applications which were subject to a further public consultation at the end of 2020. Officers are reviewing the feedback from consultation and the applications remain under consideration by the Council. Everyone who responded will be notified about when a decision will be taken on the applications.

Although consultation has now closed, the applications can still be viewed by visiting our planning portal using the references 3/19/1045/OUT, 3/19/1046/FUL, 3/19/1051/FUL and 3/19/1049/LBC. A summary of the changes and a list of the submitted documents that have been amended can be found in the applicant's covering letters (see 98A_Cover letter VD for the outline "Villages 1-6" application; and 98A_Cover Letter CSC ESC for the bridge infrastructure applications). All the revised documents are prefixed with the number 98.

A further outline planning application for a mixed use development including up to 1,500 new homes and supporting infrastructure (also known as the “Village 7” application), was submitted to East Herts Council in November 2019 by Briggens Estate 1 Ltd. Following feedback from the community, the Council and statutory consultees, amendments are now proposed to the application.

Consultation on these amendments is currently taking place with comments requested by 18th March 2021. Anyone who wishes to view and comment on the application can do so by visiting our planning portal using the reference 3/19/2124/OUT. A summary of the changes can be found in the applicant’s covering letter dated 26th January 2021. Please note that if you have already submitted comments following the initial consultation and do not wish to respond further, these will still be taken fully into consideration when a decision is made.

As we will not be able to hold face to face exhibitions, officers will be available to answer questions about the Village 7 application revisions via two drop in Zoom sessions on Wednesday 10th February at 6pm to 8.30pm and Saturday 13th February 10am to 12.30pm. If you would like to attend please can you register your interest by emailing gilston.applications@eastherts.gov.uk at the latest 24 hours in advance of the commencement of the relevant session. You will then be provided with information on how to join.

Please see the Gilston Area Planning Applications Summary  for a summary of the various planning applications and information on how to provide comments. The Council and developers are working together, in collaboration with local authority partners and the local community, to ensure that we deliver a development of the highest quality and that is reflective of Garden Town principles.

More information on the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town can be found within the Garden Town Vision and Garden Town Design guides

East Herts Council has been working with the other Councils involved in this project (Hertfordshire County Council, Essex County Council, Harlow District Council and Epping Forest District Council) to produce an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) for the Garden Town and a Strategic Viability Assessment. Alongside these, the Councils involved have published a 'How to' Guide, setting out further details relating to infrastructure and development viability. These documents are available below:

To see some frequently asked questions regarding this project, please see our Harlow & Gilston frequently asked questions page.

Other Material Considerations

A 'material consideration' is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on appeal against planning decision.  The following relate to Harlow & Gilston

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Vision and Design Guide (approved as a Material Planning Consideration on 19 December 2018) comprising of;

Gilston Area Concept Framework and Council Report (approved as a Material planning Consideration on 25 July 2018)

Latest Updates

The consultation in relation to the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town Transport Strategy concluded on 13 March. The team are now analysing submissions made and the Strategy will be updated as a result. The Draft Strategy can still be seen on the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town website.

Please see the Gilston Area Planning Applications Summary for a summary of the various planning applications and links to provide comments

The Annual Review for the Garden Town for the period April 2018 - March 2019 is now available

Project updates

Project Updates
Date Details
October 2019

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

July 2019

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

January 2019

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

November 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

September 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

August 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

July 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

June 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

May 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

April 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

February 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

February 2018

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

December 2017

Gilston Steering Group Meeting

October 2017

Gilston Steering Group Meeting 5

September 2017

Gilston Steering Group Meeting 4

August 2017 Gilston Area Community Engagement Workshop 5- Infrastructure Deficits and Local Issues
August 2017

Gilston Steering Group Meeting 3

24th July 2017 - 8th September 2017

Gilston Area Concept Framework Consultation

The Council ran a consultation to provide residents and stakeholders the chance to provide feedback on the draft Gilston Area Concept Framework. The Concept Framework sets out what the development could potentially look like and will be used to to help create more detailed plans. The responses received during the consultation will help support the proposed allocation of the Gilston Area within the District Plan. The draft Concept Framework is available to view using the links below:

The developers hosted a drop in session on 5th August, 2017 at the Manor of Groves Hotel in High Wych. The information boards that were on display can be viewed on the developers webpage: Exhibition Boards

July 2017

Gilston Steering Group Meeting 2

June 2017

Gilston Steering Group Meeting 1

June 2017

Gilston Area Community Engagement Workshop 4- Green and Blue Infrastructure.

May 2017

East Herts, Harlow and Epping Forest Councils have commissioned ARUP to provide programme management support and to establish a governance structure for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town. In addition, Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners (AMUP) have been commissioned to focus on 'visioning' and the preparation of a design charter. The commissioning briefs for the two projects can be viewed below:

May 2017

Gilston Area community engagement workshop 3- Design Concepts and Constraints.

April 2017

Gilston Area community engagement workshop 2- Governance.

March 2017 East Herts, Harlow and Epping Forest Councils received a further £175,000 from the Government for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town project.
March 2017 The District Plan was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 31st March. The District Plan seeks to allocate sites for development up to 2033 and beyond. The Gilston Area forms a key part of the overall development strategy for the District. More information, including the forthcoming examination process is available on our District Plan Examination pages.
January 2017 East Herts council, along with Harlow and Epping Forest councils, were awarded a government grant of £500,000 to support proposals for a Garden Town at Harlow and Gilston. The Garden Town project will see approximately 16,500 new homes built in Harlow and the surrounding area by 2033, including around 3,000 homes in the Gilston Area. The grant was provided to help fund the significant amount of technical work required to deliver this ambitious project.
January 2017

Gilston Area community engagement workshop 1- Introduction to the Gilston Area. The first community workshop was held with attendees representing East Herts, the County Council, the developers and community representatives.