Residents fuming over neighbouring council’s Milton Keynes border housing proposals

The border between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale is the latest housing battleground
The border between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale is the latest housing battleground

Angry Milton Keynes residents are fuming over a neighbouring council’s proposal to build more than 1,000 new homes and a new road in their part of the world.

Residents fuming over neighbouring council’s border housing proposals

Angry Milton Keynes residents are fuming over a neighbouring council’s proposal to build more than 1,000 new homes and a new road in their part of the world.

Feelings in the Kingsmead and Oxley Park areas of the city are running so high that scores of residents turned up at a Milton Keynes Council meeting to demand local political leaders’ support in their fight against the proposals.

“We knew nothing about these proposals,” said Nick Cadman, a Saltwood Avenue resident who was one of six people to put questions at Wednesday’s Full Council. “Would you join us in opposing them?

“They are proposing an extension of the H6 across our green spaces, which is intolerable and would have much wider implications across the whole of Milton Keynes.”

Former MK Conservative leader Edith Bald joined residents in asking questions. She said: “This isn’t something that has come out of the blue. There have been discussions between Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes for months. Have you decided to keep us in the dark?

“I heard nothing about this until there was a Facebook post last week.”

Responding, MK Council’s cabinet member for transport and planning, Cllr Martin Gowans (Lab, Bletchley East), said residents should be putting their questions to Aylesbury Vale District Council.

He said that it is to do with that council’s development of its local plan, which is currently going through a process of modification. He said that there have been talks between Milton Keynes and AVDC but they haven’t reached any conclusions.

“There has not been any planning application or pre-application discussions,” he added.

He said he would expect AVDC to start consulting on its local plan in October and November and it is important that everybody has a chance to discuss the issues.

Cllr Gowans was repeatedly asked whether he would join the residents in opposing the draft proposals. He declined to do that, saying that any comments would have to made on the evidence of any firm plans.

“We will then respond accordingly,” he added. “We do not have the powers to change what their local plan is.”

Aylesbury Vale District Council planners have proposed: “Taking account of the overall housing requirement for Aylesbury Vale, Salden Chase and Shenley Park has have been identified as the most appropriate strategic allocation to come forward at this stage.”

The plan adds that they should “ensure the long term retention of Newton Longville and Whaddon as separate communities with unique identities, and protect them and other neighbouring communities, (including Mursley and Far Bletchley), from direct and indirect negative impacts generated by the development.”

If approved by the Government, the local plan would allow for around 1,150 homes, a 100-bed care home/extra care facility, a new primary school, possibly a new secondary school, and a new grid road link between A421 Buckingham Road and H6 and or H7 Childs Way/Chaffron Way.”

And it adds that the site is “expected to be delivered between 2024 and 2033” to help Aylesbury Vale meet the needs for housing in its district.

Cllr Gowans said he was “on residents’ side” in their demands to be consulted: “You should not find out about it that way,” he said.

Ward Cllr James Lancaster (Cons, Tattenhoe) pressed Cllr Gowans to object to the proposals.

Cllr Gowans said: “You are right to campaign on the issues. As a council we have to make sure that it is good for Milton Keynes.

“Whatever plans come to Milton Keynes should be assessed on that basis.”