Petition for public approval of Milton Keynes Expansion

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Please refer to the post under “Chicheley Events” of 28th May 2018

https://www.miltonkeynesconservatives.co.uk/campaigns/future-expansion-milton-keynes-give-us-say

At all recent Parish Meetings, there has been concern over “secret” plans for a major expansion of Milton Keynes, including high-density urbanisation of the area between M1 Junction 14 and the Newport Pagnell to North Crawley road.  i.e. right on the outskirts of Chicheley.  New proposals brought forward development of this land that in the last year's Plan:MK was an option for housing development after 2031 if needed.  It would require additional bridge(s) over the M1.

Our local Councillors and MPs have objected, and according to national press articles have blocked these plans for the time being.   However, the issue will probably not go away that simply, and there is now a petition for residents to demand public approval for such a major change to Milton Keynes and its rural areas.  Our MP and Councillors issues a joint statement:

"You may have noticed the ongoing media coverage of Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart's pressure on the Housing Minister to drop the announcement of a huge accelerated house building programme in Milton Keynes as proposed by Labour-led MK Council.

Despite not having consulted or even discussed this major plan, local Labour leadership still appear determined to push ahead with this unsustainable, unplanned and untenable proposal. We have launched a petition which Conservative Councillors will present at the next full council meeting, calling on Milton Keynes Council to give residents a say on its plan to double the size of the city and surrounding areas in 30 years. YOU CAN SIGN THE PETITION HERE. https://www.miltonkeynesconservatives.co.uk/campaigns/future-expansion-milton-keynes-give-us-say

Below is a copy of the press release both Members of Parliament jointly put out on this issue.

Milton Keynes Council has been criticised for drawing up secret plans to double the population of Milton Keynes in just 30 years.

Just two years ago the Milton Keynes 2050 report suggested a figure of around 400,000 based on future economic and demographic demands, but the current Labour administration is pushing forward its plan to accelerate growth.

The plans are said to have been worked up by just a few Milton Keynes Council officers and the Leader of the Council. Plans were put to the Government suggesting there was wide support.

However, city MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart are furious they and the wider public were not consulted over such a big decision. Late last week, they made their views known to the Housing Minister Kit Malthouse.

Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster said:

“I make no apologies for resisting Labour’s secret plans to concrete over rural North Bucks, and now that I’ve had the opportunity to express my concerns to the Housing Minister I do not share Cllr Marland’s confidence that he has the Ministers’ support for this scale of development within our own borders. I am, however, happy to work with the Council to deliver sustainable growth following our ‘I before E’ or infrastructure before expansion’ model.”

“Iain and I will always fight for more money, but we can't if we are kept in the dark. I look forward to receiving an invitation from the Leader of the Council to discuss this in more depth."

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart said:

“We have over 20,000 new houses already approved and waiting to be built. Surely the focus should be on building these properly before rushing ahead with such significant accelerated growth.

“As ever, Labour have got this the wrong-way round again. The focus should be on business development and new jobs, then decide the housing and infrastructure needs. Rushing a deal together in just a couple of months, failing to take any stakeholders along on the journey, using the arbitrary population figure of 500,000 within our own borders, without any evidence to suggest that is the number we need is deeply concerning.

“I have long argued our future housing growth needs to be planned in the context of the Oxford-Cambridge corridor as a whole; and we must work with our neighbours to develop a plan for the future.”

Leader of the Conservative Group Councillor Alex Walker said:

“There has long been a convention at Milton Keynes Council that on the big ticket items, all parties will work together to achieve what is best for residents. Sadly, that seems to have been lost on this occasion.

“Such a big decision requires careful and detailed planning, while taking residents along the journey. This kind of accelerated growth will change MK beyond all recognition and will require far more than some new roads. What about hospital capacity, for example? What about all the homes neighbouring authorities are set to build too?

“Let’s get this right. As somebody still unable to get on the housing ladder, I know we need more housing and I know affordability is a real issue. But, I don’t want us to just be a housing ghost town, with dozens of identical new estates.r