Town in Milton Keynes braces itself for almost 6,000 new homes to be built around it

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People are worried the infrastructure will not cope

The historic town of Newport Pagnell is about to have almost 6,000 new homes built around it – and already people are worried the infrastructure will not cope.

Work began last week on the massive MK East development, which ultimately will see 5,000 new homes built to the south and east of the town, between its existing boundary and the M1.

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Meanwhile work is due to start shortly on the Tickford Fields Farm site on 45 hectares of agricultural land off the North Crawley Road in Newport Pagnell. Here a further 930 properties will be built.

Cllr Zoe Nolan breaks the first piece of ground for the 5,000-home new MK East development just outside Newport PagnellCllr Zoe Nolan breaks the first piece of ground for the 5,000-home new MK East development just outside Newport Pagnell
Cllr Zoe Nolan breaks the first piece of ground for the 5,000-home new MK East development just outside Newport Pagnell

The Newport Pagnell Town Council, along with residents, were in favour of the Tickford Fields Farm development, which is part of the neighbourhood plan and comes complete with a primary school, local centre, sports pitches and play areas.

But feelings are mixed about the MK East project, which will result in a new community essentially the size of Newport Pagnell itself.

"No-one had the opportunity to vote for this development, it was thrust upon the town,” said a spokesperson for the Town Council.

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"Whilst the Town Council was invited to the initial consultations arranged by Milton Keynes City Council, many of the points we put forward were ignored.”

Plans for the site include a new secondary school, four new primary schools, a large local precinct, a health centre and a new road, the Eastern Relief Road, to replace the A509. This will mean up to18 months of road closures and a new bridge across the M1, supported by £10m government funding.

"The Town Council took the view that with government funding, there was nothing we could do to stop the development, but we campaigned hard for full dualling of the new Eastern Relief Road, and for the cycle crossing at Willen Road to be replaced with a safer alternative. We won neither argument,” said the spokesperson.

Some residents are worried that Newport Pagnell’s existing public services will struggle under the strain of the mass influx of new residents.

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This concern is echoed by MK North MP Ben Everitt, who has accused the MK council of “reckless” overexpansion and putting pressure on infrastructure.

He said earlier this year: “We desperately need more affordable homes in MK, but they must proportionate, sustainable, appropriate and come with the right provision of services for local people. This is what proper planning is all about.”

MK City Council says the 461-hectare MK East development will include all local amenities, plus two employment zones with capacity to create 5,000 jobs and a new 63-hectare ‘river valley park’ for residents.

A community health hub will contain a GP practice plus and physical and mental health services as well as a Children’s Centre and community hall – all managed by the council.

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Cllr Zoe Nolan, Labour’s Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “In MK we make sure new communities have the right infrastructure in place early on, so facilities can keep pace with development. We know that quality community services are what residents want. That’s why buildings like this are so important – they help to create a thriving community where people want to live, work, and spend time.”