Milton Keynes Council disclosed in December that it plans the building of 6,000 homes by developer Gallagher Estates in the rural area north of the city between the M1 and the West Coast rail line. This development will be part of its new Local Plan which allocates land for house building from 2018 to 2036. The 6,000 homes are expected by 2025/26.
The new population of 15,000 to 20,000 would engulf Haversham and have a devastating impact on Castlethorpe, Hanslope, and Little Linford with most of the countryside disappearing under concrete. New roads – including major dual carriageways – would be needed to feed into the existing MK Grid causing enormous increases in traffic severely affecting Wolverton, New Bradwell, Stantonbury, and Newport Pagnell. One of the dual carriageways would pass through the new Linear Park for Oakridge Park destroying their recreation facilities, Linford Lakes, and wetlands.
The new main roads (shown on the above map) are shown ending at the M1 one mile north of Newport Pagnell Services suggesting a new motorway junction costing up to £100 million. This junction would invariably suck more traffic into MK overwhelming the city and imposing gridlock on the grid system.
Since the Council’s disclosure there have been explanatory public meetings in Haversham and Castlethorpe chaired by local councillor Andrew Geary. Opposition was widespread and vocal. There was also anger that 2,000 local residents had vehemently opposed building in the countryside in their replies to the consultation on Plan:MK in early 2016. Why had the Council ignored their views? There is already planning permission for 23,000 homes within MK which at the current building rate of 1,100 per year equates to 20 years of supply. Public meetings are planned for other affected areas.
The Council will finalise the proposed Local Plan on 21 February. It will then be sent out for three months’ public consultation. Responses will be evaluated and a final version reviewed – and possibly altered – by a planning inspector at a public hearing in 2018.
For more information visit the Facebook page protectruralmk or register on www.protectruralmk.org.uk