Mark Prisk MP has written to the Director of Harlow and Gilston Garden Town after an additional £715,000 in Government funding was allocated for the project. He set out his desire for local residents to have a say in how proposals are shaped, and to encourage collaboration between communities and developers.
Here is Mark's letter in full:
I am writing about today’s announcement that the Government will be providing a further £715,000 towards the development of plans for the proposed Garden Town, including the seven garden villages in my constituency.
I welcome this announcement. However, I want to seek your assurance as director to the H&GGTB that part of this funding will go to the Hunsdon, Eastwick and Gilston Neighbourhood Planning Group (HEGNP) to enable my constituents to engage with the developer and East Herts Council. Last year the Secretary of State made clear that the Government expects:
“..it is our expectation that a proportion of that funding is used to ensure the communities can have their say through a strengthened neighbourhood planning group with additional capacity to collaborate effectively in shaping the Garden Town proposals. As the local MP, I would expect them to liaise with you to ensure you are satisfied this is happening.”(Feb 6th 2018, letter from Secretary of state to Mark Prisk MP)
My constituents wish to engage positively in the process to ensure we build a truly sustainable and attractive series of villages, underpinned by both additional road capacity and utilities and by good, well-resourced public services. Without financial support to retain the professional advice they need they will not be able to do this. That would undermine the community’s ability to have their say.
So I would like you to confirm that the Board will be complying with the Government’s wish and I would then ask for a meeting with you and the leadership of the HEGNP and affected parish councils. I am copying this to the leader of East Herts Council and to the chair of the HEGNP and parish councils affected.
I look forward to hearing from you shortly
Mark Prisk FRICS MP
(Hertford & Stortford)