Plan: MK Strategic Development Directions Options Consultation
I favour Strategic Development Direction 4 as historically the use of land within the Milton Keynes urban area has been profligate and wasteful. Milton Keynes does not have a ‘right to grow’ at the countryside and other peoples’ expense. Intensification and redevelopment of the urban area and maintaining existing Green Belt is the only way to stop Milton Keynes’s urban sprawl and encourage more effective use of its urban space.
I object to Strategic Development Directions 1, 2 and 3. Development within the North of the Milton Keynes area and into the West and South West, and East and South East is constrained by Green Belt, open countryside, woodland, agricultural land, Ouse Valley flooding, rural communities and the development plans of other local authorities.
Expansion outside Milton Keynes would be into the administrative areas of Aylesbury Vale District Council and Central Bedfordshire Council. These authorities both have an emerging development plan. Locations in the South East of Milton Keynes area also have their own development plans. Woburn Sands has an adopted Neighbourhood Plan and Wavendon has an emerging Neighbourhood Plan.
Development Directions 1, 2, and 3 will have negative impacts on rural life for people living in the small communities affected; traffic congestion, increases in commuting time, air pollution, increases in demand for under resourced healthcare provision, and loss of rural amenities. All these adverse effects of expansion outside the Milton Keynes urban area is unnecessary when compared to the obvious benefits of Strategic Development Direction 4.
Direction 4 is not constrained by the probable conflicting development objectives of other Local Authorities and Neighbourhoods, or by environmental constraints, or the physical constraints of the M1 motorway and the East West railway. Clearly the minimal constraints on Direction 4 mean this option can be delivered quicker than either of the other development directions. Also the existing infrastructure within the Milton Keynes urban area will cost less to adapt or augment than the costs of the new infrastructure necessary to deliver growth in the other development directions.
Whichever development direction Milton Keynes Council chooses I intend to comment further on Plan: MK as details of this plan emerge.