Plans afoot to build new town almost the size of Newport Pagnell in Milton Keynes with 5,000 homes and five schools
Proposals to build a 'new neighbourhood' to house around 12,000 people have gone out to public consultation this week.
The development, known as MK East, is planned for a huge triangular piece of land to the south of Newport Pagnell and west of Moulsoe, adjacent to Willen and Pineham.
It is bound to the west by the M1 and the plans include a new bridge over the M1 to link the urban extension to MK city centre.
This week developers St James Group, part of the Berkeley Group, have sent out 20-page consultation brochures have gone out to thousands of households surrounding the site.
They say the neighbourhood will provide a mix of homes, including apartments and urban houses, for people of all ages and backgrounds. St James, together with developer Bloor Homes, will build 4,000 of them and the remaining 1,000 will be delivered by Milton Keynes Council and other stakeholders.
There will be four new primary schools and a large secondary school to serve the new residents, along with a community health hub, a sports pavilion and a "district scale" children’s play space and visitor centre.
Also proposed is a transport hub, which could accommodate a 'Mass Rapid Transit Pick Up' and car clubs in the future, say the developers.
Around Junction 14 there is planned a new employment zone of of four million square feet. This will have capacity for at least 4,000 new job opportunities in logistics, manufacturing, technology and start-ups - equating to one job opportunity per home, say the developers.
The development would see 6.5km of new highways built, including two grid roads and a new A509 bypass. There would be a re-routing of Newport Road to Junction 14 and a new connection between Willen Road and the A509.
For the village of Moulsoe there would be a 'woodland buffer', a 20 acre development to include orchards and allotments.
"The new neighbourhood will be a thriving community where people want to live, work and spend time. It will be a sustainable place that is fit and flexible for the 21st century. It will be a place that actively supports health and wellbeing, connects people and nature, encourages community spirit and a strong sense of belonging, building on the qualities that make Milton Keynes a special and unique place already," said a St James spokesman.
"St James are firm believers in connecting people and nature and the health and wellbeing benefits that it brings. The proposals will be truly landscape led, delivering over 90 hectares (222 acres) of new publically accessible open space, including a new 45 hectares (111 acres) District Park," he added.
"The inclusion of new wetland habitats, species rich planting and a significant new woodland on the edge of Moulsoe will ensure that the new neighbourhood achieves a net biodiversity gain. The proposals will weave a landscape lattice through the new neighbourhood resulting in over 13km of nature enriched spaces on peoples doorsteps, including over 3km of retained hedgerows and 3km of retained rivers and streams."
Milton Keynes East was allocated within Plan:MK upon its adoption in March 2019. Already, in partnership with St James, Milton Keynes Council has successfully bid for £94.6 million of Housing Infrastructure Funding from the government towards the cost of building it.
The St James spokesman said: " We are still in the early stages of the journey and are conscious that there are many conversations to be had with all of the interested parties about the detail along the way and look forward to working in partnership and engaging with the local community collaboratively on all aspects of the plans."
Some councillors have reservations though. Tory Cllr John Bint has said in the past: “I think we have to recognise that this development is almost the size of Newport Pagnell, not quite as big in terms of dwellings, but it’s going to be fairly close.”
He added: “I do have to say on behalf of my ward residents I continue to be nervous about the impact of all these people trying to join H3, H4, H5 and H6 through my ward and past my existing residents so I hope that’s factored in the modelling.”
A planning application for the development is due to be submitted to the council shortly.
You can download the full consultation brochure here