Development In The Milton Keynes Area
- Milton Keynes Council is currently reviewing the Milton Keynes Local Plan that will deal with growth in the period to 2011. The most high profile element will be new housing development. Some 8000 houses are to be developed (over and above those already planned in the new city) within and on the edge of Milton Keynes itself with some 750 houses in the rest of the Borough. At present Sherington is not directly affected by these proposals but all residents will notice the general increase in traffic activity, not to mention the development of green fields on the edge of Milton Keynes. This level of growth is committed and there is no prospect of it being reduced or changed.
- In the longer term there are suggestions that the Milton Keynes area should become a major location to accommodate growth for the South East Region in the period up to and beyond 2016. A fundamental Public Examination has recently considered the future of development throughout South East England. The Panel has now reported and recommended that major growth is located in the Milton Keynes area. The Government will consider its response over the next few months. If it is decided that Milton Keynes is to be a major growth location then it will have significant implications for Sherington and the other small towns and villages. As many of you know, a consultant's study has been prepared that shows various ways in which growth might be accommodated including the infamous arrow across Sherington leading to Olney.
Pressures For Change
- All that is certain at the moment is that there will be significant change and growth around Milton Keynes in the next twenty years. What is uncertain is the amount, location and timing of that growth. Milton Keynes Council have given an undertaking that major growth will only occur in the light of refendum to be held following the outcome of the Public Examination into regional growth in the South East Region.
- Change and pressures for change are inevitable. The Parish Council wishes to seek resident's views on how the village should respond to these pressures. In order to obtain residents' views the Parish Council has set out some simple propositions as a way of beginning and structuring debate. They do not represent the views of the Parish council. At the moment the policies that control development in Sherington are set out in the Milton Keynes Local Plan. None of the Milton Keynes council's current planning documents indicate that Sherington is identified as a location for significant housing development.
- The objective of the Parish Council is to be able to present a clear view, based on a consensus, to Milton Keynes Council on how the village wishes to respond to change and control its own destiny. Some of the anticipated pressures for change are:
- planning applications for more housing on both infill sites within the village boundary and for additional housing on the edge of the current village boundary.
- planning applications for large extensions to existing properties.
- more people seeking to work from home and wanting the space to do it.
- increasing traffic from unrestrained use of the private car.
Propositions For Debate
- Three simplistic propositions are put forward to illustrate future possibilities:
- Sherington could take no action on this issue and wait until Milton Keynes Council begins a further review of its Local Plan and respond to any proposals at that stage. In essence it would react to proposals generated by others.
- Sherington could resist new development both within the existing boundary of the village and on its edge. The consequences of this approach might be that landowners seek to gain planning consent through the appeal system. On the other hand such appeals might fail, thereby deflecting development pressures for the time being.
- Sherington could accept the principle of some limited development provided that it brings clear benefits and these might be:
- provision of some low cost housing to help local young people stay in the village.
- good quality design set out in a Design Code specific to the village.
- enhancing the viability of the existing school or helping to finance a new one.
- helping to finance a new village hall with a wider range of facilities.
- provision of additional open space/new woodland/footpaths and cycleways.
- some limited growth would also help to safeguard the future of the village pubs, shops and other social activities.
- The Parish Council is determined to seek the views of Sherington on these complex issues. A response form is attached for you to make any comments on the three propositions set out above or, importantly, to put forward your own ideas. The forms should be returned by 31 October 1999. Full details are contained in the accompanying letter. The Parish Council will hold two separate sessions in the Village Hall, on Saturday 23 October and Sunday 24 October 1999, to enable Sherington parishioners to express their views and discuss the issues with Parish Councillors and other residents. There will be a display of relevant background material at the workshops including:
- maps and plans showing where earlier proposals for development are located, and
- Milton Keynes council planning documents and Expansion Studies.