Woburn Sands & District Society | 08 January 2008

Latest News

26/05/2010 - Milton Keynes SE Development Area News Updated

MK Expansion - South East Development Area – Joint Cross Boundary Consensus

In January Milton Keynes Council and Central Bedfordshire Council set up a meeting with landowners and agents in respect of the proposed south east extension of Milton Keynes south of the A421 (SEDA) across Wavendon, Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise and Bow Brickhill. A presentation was made in respect of the SEDA, including the plan to instruct Consultants to plan the area and asking 6 questions of the attendees. At the end of March the same presentation was made to local parishes and organisations with the same 6 questions – you will of course note that landowners and agents are thought to be far more important than the communities affected. During the course of the meeting it became clear that the consultant would not only be asked to prepare a local development framework for the area but would also be asked to revisit land capacity and housing numbers.

It should be remembered:
·the Conservatives have committed to remove all targeted housing numbers through Regional Plans, which would mean that the housing numbers for the SEDA would be 0. Indeed the Liberal Democrate in 2008 were of much the same view

·the published SE Plan only included 4,800 homes in the MK part of the SEDA, expansion into Bedfordshire would be dependant on the review of the EE Plan – albeit wanting 5,600 homes.

·the draft revision of the EE Plan sets out 2,000 homes in the SEDA and a greenbelt extension to protect Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise from coalescence – but has yet to be examined in public.

·the adopted Central Bedfordshire Core Strategy makes clear that the expansion of MK into Bedfordshire is dependant on the review of the EE Plan

·the draft MK Core Strategy has increased the home numbers in the MK part of the SEDA by 2,500, which the Society is disputing, and is yet to be either examined or adopted.

So basically – the numbers of the houses to be built in the SEDA (MK and CBC) could range from 0 to 12,800

Considerable anger and concern was expressed during the meeting, and after by parishes and organisations about the preparation of a brief for consultants to tender for in preparing a Local Development Framework in respect of the SEDA due to:
a)prematurity when the size of the SEDA is uncertain, as noted above

b)the failure of MK and CBC officers to involve the parishes involved in any consultation in respect of the preparation of the consultants brief. Both MKC and CBC have refused to allow access to parishes and local organisations to the Consultants brief until after it is agreed and then only for information despite strong requests.

c)the Councils presentation to landowners and their agents before communities involved.
There was also the issue of MKC trying to use this exercise to support their view on housing numbers and green infrastructure in CBC as different from the Memorandum of Understanding agreed by both councils. No answer was made to the 6 questions raised.

Following this March presentation and meeting, a meeting of the Parishes Liaison Group (consisting of local parishes in both counties and other local organisations including WSDS ) was convened and a joint letter to both councils was agreed, as well as a joint response to the 6 questions asked by MKC planning officers at the presentation in March. A copy of both these letters can be found in the documents and representations library.

We have now had both Local Authorities responses and they can be found in the Documents Library. We are not impressed by these response, particularly in the light of the new Governments stated policy of removing the Regional Strategies.

News Keywords: MK SEDA

Areas Covered include: Woburn Sands, Aspley Guise, Aspley Heath, the Brickhills, Husborne Crawley, Salford, Wavendon and Woburn
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