Stanton Low Park may soon be transferred to The Parks Trust.
Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to transfer control of the 57 hectare site of former agricultural land with the intention of becoming a park. This will adjoin a residential development of 530 homes currently in progress.
The transfer on a 999 year lease will also include an area of woodland known as Joan’s Piece, the ruins of St Peter’s Church and the public open spaces within the Oakridge residential development.
As part of the agreement, the council will carry out landscaping works to create the new park, using ‘section 106’ funding provided by the developer of Oakridge Park.
Facilities will include footpaths, tree and shrub planting, seating and picnic benches, a children’s play area, as well as archaeological conservation works.
After the transfer the Parks Trust will maintain and operate the park alongside its existing 2,300 hectares of parkland across Milton Keynes. Under a related agreement The Parks Trust is also looking to take over the freehold of the neighbouring Stantonbury Lake Nature Reserve and the Hanson Environmental Study Centre and continue its use as a nature reserve and site for environmental education activities.
The agreement could set the approach for a range of other potential open space assets transferring to The Parks Trust in the future.
Leader of Milton Keynes Council, Councillor Andrew Geary said: “This is a practical and useful way to secure the future use of Stanton Low as a park and green space for residents to enjoy, and have it well maintained by The Parks Trust, who have a vast amount of experience in managing open space, while also reducing the burden of maintaining the Hanson Centre on taxpayers.
“I’d like to thank the local parish council, the Oakridge Park Residents’ Association and other local stakeholders for their input and support in getting us to this point.”
Commenting on the Cabinet’s resolution, Phil Bowsher, Head of Landscape Strategy & Development at The Parks Trust, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Milton Keynes Council towards the creation of a significant new area of parkland that connects with the Stantonbury Lake Nature Reserve and Environmental Study Centre and we look forward to these areas eventually coming into the care of The Parks Trust.
“The new Stanton Low Park will be a great open space on the edge of the countryside for the community to enjoy and we will work to protect the Nature Reserve and conserve the wildlife of the area. We take great pride in the quality of our parks and look forward to working with the local community and volunteer groups to develop a park that people love to use and to keep the Nature Reserve as a haven for wildlife and as a valuable resource for watching wildlife and environmental education. We believe these areas, when put together, will be a lasting legacy for Milton Keynes.”
Plans for the transfer and park development were shared with the community during 2013 and early 2014, and feedback from this engagement will be included in the design of the park before the proposals are finalised. Details of the consultation plans can be seen at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/waste-recycling/stanton-low-park