Please respond to Plan:MK public consultation

You may be aware that there is a current consultation by MKC on a draft of Plan:MK. This is the Local Plan which, in an earlier pre-consultation draft, suggested 6,000 homes in Haversham.

Fortunately, we were able to argue for the removal of the 6,000 homes from the Plan. However, there is a risk of it being re-introduced either during the creation of the final version of this Plan which will take until late 2018 to complete or in the next revision around 2021.

The parish councils of Castlethorpe, Hanslope and Haversham have retained a consultant who has written a report on the draft Plan and the parish councils will endorse this in their response.

It is important to have a strong response from residents – it was the overwhelming response from residents across rural MK that played a pivotal role in removing the previous bright idea of satellite settlements. Responses must be received by MKC by 9th June.

You can respond by email to planMK@milton-keynes.gov.uk or by letter to
Milton Keynes Council
Development Plans
Civic Offices
1 Saxon Gate East
Central Milton Keynes
MK9 3EJ

You might wish to emphasise these points taken from our consultant’s report and adapt them for your response:

● We broadly support the draft of Plan:MK and appreciate that MKC has listened to earlier representations from Ward and Parish Councillors along with the community regarding concerns over the Northern Expansion Area.
The Ouse Valley is a natural barrier:

● The Ouse Valley should formally be stated within the Plan as a natural barrier to development north of the city, especially given the increase in the parkland and biodiversity upon completion of the Haversham gravel extraction.

● The Plan should acknowledge the natural barrier of the Ouse Valley was noted as a “major inhibiting factor” to development in the Planning Inspectorate review of the MK Local Plan in 2004 and was also acknowledged in the original masterplan for MK.

● Accept development of 1,000 houses across rural areas in line with neighbourhood plans (Our Neighbourhood Plan designates ‘Maltings 2’ for the development of about 32 homes). This approach will ensure that the development is of an appropriate scale and location and encourages and enables the rural communities of the Borough to ensure the sustainable growth of their towns and villages.

● Urge Milton Keynes Council to resist pressure for northern urban expansion from self-interested landowners and developers.

● The rural area north of Milton Keynes must be protected as a highly valued area for informal recreation plus significant wildlife and biodiversity.

● Much of the area north of Milton Keynes is good agricultural land and the food it produces will be increasingly important to help feed Britain.
Future expansion alongside infrastructure:

● Support Plan:MK’s direction of expansion in line with the proposed infrastructure of East West Rail and the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.This will be a positive step to promote economic growth along the increasingly important “Oxford – Cambridge corridor” and also aligns the plan to the findings of the MK Futures 2050 Commission.

● Future development of the city towards the 400,000 suggested by the MK Futures 2050 Commission must be supported by appropriate infrastructure including communications and healthcare.

● Support the regeneration in Bletchley and older city grid squares to improve the housing stock within these urban areas.

Philip Ayles
Chairman, Castlethorpe Parish Council

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