Core strategy is ‘critical’ to growth of Milton Keynes, says planning boss

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A NEW report which will determine the future development of the city “is critical in giving investors confidence in growth.”

That is the view of the council’s chief planning officer on the Core Strategy.

Nick Fenwick said the strategy is the key strategic plan for growth for Milton Keynes, and will also ensure robust policies are in place to protect the countryside.

A final schedule is currently being drawn up for the development of the strategy.

Milton Keynes Council has drawn up a list of key dates which will determine when modifications to the Core Strategy document will take place.

It is hoped the changes will fit in with the Planning Inspector’s own request for modifications, to make the plan sound and legally compliant.

Following detailed consultation, including a series of public hearings in July, the council says it is determined to adopt ‘this important strategic plan as soon as it realistically can’.

A spokesman said: “Early indications are that if we approve these modifications to the Core Strategy then it has an improved potential for being ‘found sound’ by the Planning Inspectorate.

“This will provide a clear blueprint for the future of Milton Keynes and enable it to continue to grow and be one of the leading areas helping the country climb out from recession.”

And Mr Fenwick added: “It is vital the plan moves forward to final adoption.

“At a time when many core strategies across England have been stalled or abandoned due to legal challenges of growth targets, we are very pleased that the Inspector has taken this approach. This is critical in giving investors confidence in growth for Milton Keynes and also ensuring that we have robust policies to protect the countryside.”

The timetable for considering the proposed main modifications is:

Local Development Framework Advisory Group: November 21

Cabinet: December 19

Full Council: January 9, 2013

Public consultation on the main modifications for six weeks starting January 14, 2013

Responses to the consultation sent to Inspector: February 25, 2013

Inspector’s report to follow: Estimated March/April 2013