The South West Milton Keynes Consortium undertook extensive consultation with local stakeholders and communities, prior to developing the proposal.
The consultation included briefing sessions for stakeholders and two public exhibitions in June 2013. 450 people attended the public exhibitions and over 30 people attended the briefing sessions.
Members of the development team were on hand at the exhibitions to answer questions about the proposals and to listen to people’s views. The Consortium were especially keen to hear about the following:
- how the proposals could help provide improved transport infrastructure for the area
- what the proposed local centre might include e.g. a shop, cafe
- how the green infrastructure could best be developed to provide open green spaces that could also be enjoyed by neighbouring local communities
All feedback forms and comments submitted via the website were taken into account whilst developing the Statement of Community Involvement which formed part of the planning application.
Throughout 2014 the consortium continued to have discussions with relevant organisations and key stakeholders prior to the submission of the application in January 2015.
As a result of the public consultation a number of changes were made to the consultation masterplan, these changes included:
- A substantial green buffer of sports fields, open space and ponds between Far Bletchley and the new development
- Allotments in a new location in the north east, adjacent to the golf course to soften the appearance of the development at the entrance to Far Bletchley
- A green swathe of open space, parks and sports fields along the ridge of the site to minimise the visual impact of the development
- A relocated and smaller employment zone to reduce the visual impact of the development on those using the A421 to enter Milton Keynes
- A 5:2 hectare site for the provision of a secondary school
- Incorporating the Milton Keynes boundary walk into the development so it is possible to walk the entire route through public open space
- Provision for sufficient land through the site to facilitate the Bletchley Southern Bypass