Border housing war set to escalate in Milton Keynes

Plans to build 1,150 new homes on border land between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale have kicked up a hell of a stink in the Tattenhoe area of the city.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:15 pm

Scores of residents have attended meetings at MK Council to express their concerns about what a new estate called “Shenley Park” would have on their communities.

And now, at a meeting on Monday (December 16), Milton Keynes Council is set to send its reply in no uncertain terms to its planning colleagues at Aylesbury Vale District Council over the proposals.

The battle is about a new planning blueprint, the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP), which seeks to set out how the Buckinghamshire district aims to meet its housing need.

Land between Whaddon and Kingsmead has been earmarked for housing

Every planning authority has to have a local plan and a Government inspector, whose word is law, has insisted that the VALP be changed to tack more development on to Milton Keynes.

With a consultation period due to end just hours after Monday’s meeting, Milton Keynes Council’s elected planning chief is set to rubber stamp objections.

A hard hitting 13-page letter addressed to AVDC, but headed to the inspector, has been drafted for Cllr Martin Gowans (Lab, Bletchley East) to officially approve at a delegated decisions meeting that starts at 5.30pm on Monday. The deadline is less than 24 hours later.

Andrew Turner, the council’s development plans and delivery manager, backed by Tracy Darke, MK’s director of growth, economy and culture, pull no punches in their letter.

They want to call on the planning inspector to reopen hearings to give residents more time to give their responses.

In their hard-hitting draft, MK’s planners say a key piece of evidence "underpinning the selection of Shenley Park, east of Whaddon and west of Oxley Park, Kingsmead and Tattenhoe, are not justified."

They add: “the deliverability of a policy compliant and acceptable development at Shenley Park is highly questionable.”

And on the potential impact on MK’s road network, they say the plans do not “appear to provide a sufficiently robust assessment of the impacts.”