BUSINESSES in Central Milton Keynes will be given a stronger voice in planning matters under new powers handed down by government.
The minister of state for decentralisation Greg Clark has announced the city centre will be one of eight Business Neighbourhood Frontrunners.
The Localism Bill will create Neighbourhood Forums that will be able to draw up planning documents for their communities. In predominately commercial areas, this will allow firms to put forward development plans for approval by the Local Authority.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Designation as a business neighbourhood should allow these areas to realise their enormous potential as locations where business can grow and thrive.”
Mr Clark MP said: “Local businesses are vital to stimulating growth and benefit their communities way beyond just providing jobs. They can revive neglected neighbourhoods, support schools or make a significant contribution to community facilities.
“We need to involve local companies more explicitly in neighbourhood planning decisions for business areas if communities are to get the most out of them. Business Neighbourhood Frontrunners are about residents and businesses shaping their neighbourhood together.”
In a joint statement the political group leaders of Milton Keynes Council said: “We welcome this initiative as a common sense approach to planning that takes forward the localism agenda in a real and meaningful way for both the businesses and general community of Central Milton Keynes. We all recognise that this area will be the one to lead the country out of recession and developments such as this can only help us achieve that objective.”