Gridgate: Community council set to investigate itself after complaint that it misled residents on grid road extensions

A community council will be investigating itself after a resident complained that people living in the Walton area of Milton Keynes have been ‘misled’ over plans for grid road extensions.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:14 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 6:16 pm

At a meeting on Wednesday (May 5) Walton Community Council agreed to give the task of carrying out the investigation to people who have not been involved in a working group that has been looking into plans development in south east MK.

The resident who complained has alleged that the council intentionally led people to believe that in the case of the Old Farm Park/ Browns Wood communities that there would be no grid road extensions planned to be built through their communities.

One of the documents sent to residents says “Right now, the plans have no grid road extensions.” And another one says: “What is at risk? No grid road extensions or underpasses.”

An image from consultation documents (MK Council)

WCC’s position is that it supports grid road extensions, and that it encourages residents to respond in a non-NIMBY way to help persuade developers to build them and provide development that is good for the area.

But the complainant said that this led residents to believe that there would not be extensions.

He says that the council cannot investigate itself because it is “institutionally biased.”

The new chairman of the council, Cllr Adam Chapman-Ballard (Wavendon Gate) stepped into the role after the resignation at the meeting on Wednesday of long-serving Cllr Mario Toto.

He said: “It is important that we go above and beyond. It’s a very sensitive issue for our residents. We need to be totally transparent and appropriate how we deal with it. We need to make sure everything is done in the right way from a procedural point of view.”

The council agreed that the investigation would be led by the council’s deputy manager, Lesley Davies, who has not been involved in discussions about South East MK.

And it will be overseen by Cllr Brendan Metcalfe (Wavendon Gate), who also has not taken part in the working group.

The committee was also told that a recent consultation exercise run by Milton Keynes Council attracted a whopping 1,500 submissions from the public.

Cllr Chapman-Ballard said: “I think our residents have responded well to it.

“There is a real groundswell there and I think it looks like enough people have responded to certainly create a stir.

“Now we just need to be able to keep the pressure up as individual planning applications come in.”

The council on the night also discussed their responses to the first signs of a planning application coming in for the massive South East Milton Keynes area which is set to see hundreds of new homes built.

The entire site could take around 3,000 homes, seven gypsy and traveller pitches, and a range of social and green infrastructure provision.

A landowner, called O&H Q7 is already working up proposals for 1,450 homes which also safeguards land for the H10 extension.