First for CMK as pioneering plan presented to minister

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A pioneering blueprint for the future of Central Milton Keynes is to be presented to a government minister today (Thursday).

The UK’s first ever Business Neighbourhood Plan, drawn up on a shoestring budget through an alliance of local residents and businesses, is being presented to planning minister Nick Boles MP.

The plan is a roadmap for completing the centre of Milton Keynes over the next 15 years.

Dr Rebecca Kurth and Paul Hunt, joint chairs of the CMK Alliance, will present Mr Boles with the first copy of the 120-page plan, which will be submitted to Milton Keynes Council.

The detailed plan covers issues from parking to housing and leisure, and is the most complex and thorough plan of its type to emerge since Localism gave local communities new powers to shape their future.

Dr Rebecca Kurth, joint chair of the CMK Alliance and chair of the CMK Town Council, said: “This is a plan for jobs, growth and prosperity. Our lengthy consultations with residents and businesses have shown a great appetite for growth, while retaining the unique character of CMK.

“Importantly, this includes the unrivalled access, infrastructure and landscaping that makes CMK so appealing, and will continue to deliver sustainable growth and quality of life to residents, workers and visitors in the years to come.”

Mr Hunt, joint chair of the CMK Alliance and MD of John Lewis MK, added: “The exciting part of this process is that it’s had a lot of public input to guide the outcome.

“Our prime objective has been to set down a clear agenda for CMK that supports economic growth. This location offers an outstanding opportunity to build upon an excellent foundation.

“There is no doubt that the group has worked with both dedication and real passion to create a plan that meets the best long and short term interests of Milton Keynes. Personally, it’s been a rewarding experience and I really hope that the Plan will be adopted. It’s fair to say that it has been a complex, time-consuming process but what a phenomenal achievement this will be for the people of Milton Keynes if it finally goes into planning law.”

Highlights of the CMK Alliance Plan 2026 include provision and aspirations for:

30,000 new jobs

320,000 sq m of additional office, retail and leisure development

More independent shops and community centres

A new, covered Market Hall

A major university campus

5,000 new residences

If the plan clears the next stage, which is independent examination to ensure compliance with local and national policies, it should go to public referendum later this year. Two referendums will be held; one for residents, the other for businesses.

If adopted, the CMK Alliance Plan 2026 will form a high-level planning document that will guide development over the next, historic chapter in MK’s continuing story.