Clash of visions leads to logjam in planning policy

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Two competing visions of the development of Central Milton Keynes are at loggerheads as decisions loom on major planning applications.

Meetings are due to take place between Milton Keynes Council and the town council to thrash out differences between the two visions.

MK Council’s draft CMK Development Framework Review will hold sway until the CMK Alliance plan is approved by a referendum of businesses and residents, possibly sometime in 2013.

Major planning applications for a Primark at thecentre:mk and at Midsummer Place are set to be decided soon.

On key areas regarding the future of the city centre, the plans propose fundamentally different solutions.

On the grid system, which will have to go if Primark’s plan to block up Secklow Gate Bridge is approved, the Development Framework says both “Secklow and Witan Gates are equally important to V6 and V7 but not part of the wider grid road network”. But the CMK Alliance plan aims to “protect the existing movement corridors, the grid of Gates, Boulevards, Streets and slow streets.”

The framework document states “development may take place on the infrastructure if significant public benefit can be demonstrated...” But the Alliance plan says the “infrastructure is to be retained unless there is an exceptional development which raises the national or international profile of MK.”

There are 16 other points of difference. CMK Alliance says “consultation responses to both plans will be key to” resolving the issues. The CMK Alliance plan is out for consultation until December 7. Visit www.cmkalliance.co.uk