Funding for a massive multi billion pound expansion deal to build 100,000 new homes and even a tram system has won approval from the government.
The plans to transform Milton Keynes into a giant ‘Metro MK’ by 2050 have been drawn up behind the scenes by council officers and Labour Cabinet members.
Last week Housing Minister Kit Malthouse gave his approval, stating the scheme was “exactly the sort of ambition the government wants to see” to fulfill the potential of the new Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
Mr Malthouse even pledged there would be an MK expansion announcement for the 1000,000 new homes in Monday’s Autumn budget.
But on Friday the government suddenly asked for more time due to “local handling” issues” – allegedly relating to protests from city Tories.
Now council leader Pete Marland is hoping the official announcement will come later this month.
He said: “The deal would seek to fund growth properly, with an appropriate long term plan developed with lots of public consultation as well as immediate cash.
“It would look to deliver thousands of affordable homes for our local people and deliver improvements to public transport such as a mass transit system.”
A new Milton Keynes Development Corporation would be set up to mastermind the expansion, which would free rural villages from speculative development.
Pete said: “It is delivering clear policy that growth of the city to a population to 500,000 would be best achieved by funding infrastructure and planning ahead in a way we can shape.
“This deal has been in the works for months. It’s possibly worth billions to Milton Keynes in funding.”
MK’s two Tory MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart are against the rapid expansion, saying it would put services and infrastructure under too much pressure.