Massive eastward expansion plan for Milton Keynes set to move off the drawing board

Plans for the next major expansion of Milton Keynes are set to move off the drawing board next year.

Monday, 20th July 2020, 3:28 pm
Updated Monday, 20th July 2020, 3:32 pm

A meeting next Tuesday (July 28) is set to hear that agreement is expected in September for how a £94.6 million slab of Government money can be used to pay for infrastructure at MK East.

Then, in March next year a planning application should be lodged on infrastructure and the building of 5,000 new homes. These include 1,550 affordable properties on 440 hectares of land between the M1, the A509 and Moulsoe.

A huge new industrial area is also planned to provide new jobs.

Milton Keynes East

Milton Keynes Council’s leader, Pete Marland, is set to formally decide on accepting the £94.6 million Housing Infrastructure Fund at next week’s delegated decisions meeting.

The money will pay for “infrastructure before expansion” at MK East and will pay for a new bridge across the M1, a primary school, and a community health hub.

A report being presented to Cllr Marland (Lab, Wolverton) says the council will then be able to receive money from the developers to pay for other improvements across MK.

These include investment for Milton Keynes Hospital, as well as higher and further education.

Even before a planning application has been lodged the report says terms are “currently being negotiated with the developers at MK East and will be agreed as part of the planning application process”.

Talks are also taking place with Homes England on the detailed terms of the agreement for the £94.6 million.

The report, from Sarah Gonsalves, the council’s director of policy, insight and communications, adds that although Government announcements were delayed, the money still has to be spent by March 2024. The money will be lost if it isn’t spent by then, the report reads.

“This creates significant challenges in delivering the full scheme on time,” she says, “and whilst it remains demonstrably achievable, timely delivery will pose challenges for council departments, most notably highways, which is already resourcing to ensuring delivery of the scheme.”