The next chapter in the growth of Milton Keynes has been set out in the ‘planners’ bible’ of Plan:MK.
After years of preparation, the document has now been approved by councillors and will shape all planning applications in the city until 2031.
It will see MK’s population grow to 310,000 over the next 12 years.
Based around original MK design principles, its aims include protecting green spaces, delivering affordable homes and infrastructure, and keeping the city “distinct and special”.
The plan sets out important requirements for any development, stating that 31 per cent of housing must be affordable, and all new homes should have adequate school provision and the utilities people need - including high speed broadband.
There must also be development that makes the most of the East-West Growth Corridor and national infrastructure projects, which will create more investment and high quality jobs in MK.
“Plan:MK sets out a vision for MK as a green and spacious place with a thriving economy and new facilities, including a state-of-the-art university in the city centre,” said council leader Pete Marland.
He added: “This is a significant milestone in meeting our growth agenda. Planning for the future is vital to get the right balance of housing and other development.
“We want everyone in the city to have a home that they can afford, decent jobs and a long and healthy life.
“Plan:MK will help map and keep the city special with our unique design and the right infrastructure needed such as schools and health services.
“It ensures that we control where development takes place, protecting our rural areas whilst growing MK.”
By 2031, the population of the city is expected to rise to more than 310,000, with a minimum of 26,500 new homes delivered by Plan:MK to meet this demand .
Almost 20,000 are already in the planning pipeline.
Officers say they need the planning document in place to deliver a planned approach to growth, and protect the city from speculative building applications.
Plan:MK been in the making since 2014.
It was passed by a majority councillors from all three parties, with four voting against and nine abstentions.