Residents combine to apply to take over Milton Keynes amenity land

Residents on the edge of Milton Keynes have applied to take over a strip of amenity land.
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The group of 13 households in Oxley Park have told Milton Keynes Council planners that they have been looking after the land for some years and now they want to make it formal.

Living in Randall Way, Gomez Close and Keel Way, the group of couples and single people have used the services of a planning agent to put their case for treating the 1,400 square metres of land as their own gardens.

Seth Williams, planning director of WYG, has written to the planning department on behalf of the residents to make the case.

The strip of land is at the edge of the cityThe strip of land is at the edge of the city
The strip of land is at the edge of the city

He said: “The land in question remains in the ownership of the estate’s developer, Barratt Homes, and, we understand, was identified to be provided as part of the public open space provision of the estate.

“However, it has never been used as public open space but instead the applicants advise that it was originally laid out by the developer as garden land serving the various respective properties which it adjoins.”

The residents have provided supporting letters to confirm that they have been using it as garden land.

He adds: “This application seeks to regularise this position and remove the obligation for the land to be transferred by the developer as public open space.”

The residents purchased their homes new, directly from the developer in 2008/2009.

He continues: “It appears the land in question was originally envisaged to form part of a ‘linear park’ … along the western edge of the Oxley Park estate comprising a strip of land to be provided along the western perimeter of the estate.

“It is assumed this area was intended to serve a dual function of providing an attractive amenity area alongside the MK Boundary Walk public bridleway which bounds the western edge of the estate and of providing a landscaped buffer to the countryside edge of the development.”

But he adds that much of the linear park is already in place and taking the land in question would not undermine that.

“The ‘loss’ of the application site as public open space does not materially or harmfully impact on the overall amenity open space provision,” he says, adding: “The land has never been provided or used as public open space but instead used from the outset as private garden land.”

The application, which is open for comment by members of the public on the council’s planning website, concludes by admitting that the proposal “would result in a notional loss of a small area of land originally intended to be offered for use as public open space.

“In practice, the land has never been used as public open space and therefore no actual loss of public open space would occur. The linear park and associated amenity space has been delivered and would be unaffected by the loss of this relatively small area.”