A secret document containing plans to almost double the size of Milton Keynes has been leaked to the Citizen.
The council’s draft Plan:MK gives four options to build 87,500 new homes on 5,000 hectares of land over the next 50 years.
The first option involves a series of mini ‘garden cities’ with 10,000 homes apiece in rural areas including Olney, Sherington, Hanslope, Castlethorpe, North Crawley and Moulsoe.
A second option is building a massive “mirror” image of Milton Keynes eastwards across the M1, washing over existing villages into Central Bedfordshire.
Another suggestion is an ‘arc of urban extension’, stretching development out to the west, south west or south of existing boundaries, encompassing Bletchley and rolling across Calverton, Whaddon and the Brickhill villages.
The final option in the plan is cram the new homes into existing area within the designated area. This could involve converting older office blocks in CMK into housing, building skywards and at “much greater density” than was originally planned for the city centre, states the document, which is stamped as confidential.
Employment areas such as Blakelands, Tongwell and Kiln Farm could also be changed into houses, while seven ‘priority’ estates could be regenerated.
It is understood that major developers have already met with council officials to discuss all four options.
“Basically this is an opportunities for anybody who owns large amounts of land to become an instant billionaire,” one of them told the Citizen.
The most controversial option is predicted to be the garden cities or mini settlements proposal.
This would see large developments of a minimum 5,000 and maximum 10,000 homes scattered throughout the countryside.
Each development would have associated schools, shops, leisure and commercial facilities.
All the options will be guaranteed to cause a protest, but the plan stresses that a no growth option is “not actually realistic’.
It aims to increase the city’s existing population of 262,000 to 472,000 by 2065. This is a rise of 80 per cent.
To serve this burgeoning population, the council lists ways it could up its game with London-style facilities such as a Boris Bikes scheme, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a theme park or festival site.
The draft plan is due to be released to councillors at the end of next week.