Rural sites now targeted for new home proposals

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Dozens of green fields and open spaces all over the city could be filled with modern housing developments to enable Milton Keynes Council to meet its growth targets.

A newly-published Site Allocation Plan details a ‘hitlist’ of 50 sites mainly tucked away in old town and village areas.

The rural areas include linear parkland, farm fields and green spaces currently enjoyed by residents.

Already the plan has caused an outcry from protesters and at least two Facebook groups have been formed to fight for land to be removed from the list.

Most vociferous are residents in Stony Stratford, where the popular Higlin’s Piece riverside park is suggested as a suitable site for 68 homes. In total the town could see 246 new houses.

One of the biggest proposed sites is Newport Pagnell’s Tickford Fields Farm, where almost 400 houses could be built. Another 344 could be built near Little Linford Lane.

Four sites in the village of Sherington, which has a population of less than a thousand, have been earmarked as suitable for a total of 122 homes. Three sites in nearby Olney could accommodate up to 1,299 more dwellings, while 184 could be built at Bow Brickhill.

The full list of sites is now out for public consultation and can be found on http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-policy/site-allocations-plan.

But council officials, while keen to gauge the public’s reaction, are keen to avoid panic. “The identification of the sites in the document does NOT automatically mean they will be developed or that their development will be supported by the council,” they state.

The report describes the new sites as a “buffer” to make sure the council carries out its national planning framework requirement to deliver a minimum of 28,000 new homes in MK by 2026.