Council declares planning war on its neighbour over Milton Keynes border housing proposal

A declaration of planning war has been made by Milton Keynes Council against one of its neighbours.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 11:00 am

Residents in the Kingsmead, Oxley Park and Westcroft part of the city are up-in-arms about Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) earmarking land over the border for 1,150 new homes.

Now, at a meeting on Monday (December 16), one of MK Council’s ruling cabinet agreed to firing off a hard hitting letter to AVDC which says the identification of Shenley Park in the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) is not sound.

AVDC has been ordered by an all-powerful Government planning inspector to include modifications to its local plan.

Shenley Park

MK Council wants the planning inspector to re-open considerations because of concerns over transport and the impact on city infrastructure.

The proposals would mean the extension of the H6 Childs Way into the new development. Even though the possible route has been protected from development, locals aren’t happy that it would destroy green spaces.

Protest leader and former Conservative councillor, Edith Bald, thanked the council for its “comprehensive and robust response”. She told the meeting that feelings are running high about the way the proposals emerged.

“I have never seen such a strong response,” she said, adding that 700 signatures for a petition had been gathered from just 600 homes.

Representatives of two parish and town councils were also there to lend their support to the uprising.

Cllr Ernie Thomas, of West Bletchley Council, offered the borough financial support if proposals for housing are taken to an inquiry. He was supported by Mike Galloway, of Newton Longville Parish Council.

Cllr Thomas said: “I support officer recommendations. We had been warning of their intentions three or four years ago. We strongly object to AVDC having a policy of placing housing on the borders of MK.

“I fully support opposing this modified local plan.”

Two Tattenhoe borough councillors, Tory James Lancaster, and Labour’s Antony Brown have also objected strongly. Cllr Brown attended Monday’s meeting to lend his support to sending the letter.

Although the meeting heard that there have been meetings between MK Council and AVDC officers since April/May, elected planning supremo Cllr Martin Gowans said he had been taken by surprise by the border plans.

“I am not happy that the proposals are sound and robust,” he said

“I would like to see a higher standard in the duty to cooperate between councils. A six week consultation carried out at the same time as a general election gives the impression that they are trying to hide it,” he said.

With the deadline for consultation responses being Tuesday at 5.15pm the council has suspended its normal call-in procedures to lodge their objections.

A spokesman for AVDC did not wish to comment on one objection. They said: “Following the close of the VALP modifications consultation today, Aylesbury Vale District Council will be processing the many representations received during the consultation period and will also prepare a response to the representations to be sent to the inspector.”