Your Questions Answered
- Is there a need for new houses in the area?
There are substantial and unmet housing needs in both Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes, for both market and affordable housing and these are forecast to grow. Meeting these housing needs is vital if the region is to keep up with demand. The development will include up to 30% affordable housing.
A 2013 Centre for Cities report highlighted the link between economic prosperity, allowing housing supply to grow in line with demand and the ability for employers to find and employ people. Milton Keynes was recognised in the report as a key example of where this approach has led to strong economic growth and the proposed scheme will help the city to continue to grow and prosper.
The site will assist in delivering the housing needs identified in Aylesbury Vale District Council’s emerging local plan which identifies the need to provide for up to 33,000 new homes in the period to 2033.
- Why are you choosing this site?
The area of the site has been identified as a natural growth area for the city in numerous studies (in which it is referred to as South West Milton Keynes) dating back to the early 1990s. For more details see the ‘Background’ page.
The site is also now included in the Vale of Aylesbury draft local plan as one which could potentially contribute to meeting local housing need. The draft plan is currently the subject of public consultation, with a final version of the proposed plan due to be submitted for examination in March 2017.
- Are these plans different from the original Salden Chase proposals?
The Salden Chase application was for a much larger development. The feedback obtained during the Salden Chase public consultation has helped to shape the current South West Milton Keynes plans.
- How will you manage the impact on local services?
The Consortium wants to ensure that local people and communities benefit from the scheme. We are working with both Aylesbury Vale District Council and Milton Keynes Council to ensure that the infrastructure within the site and any capital payments for such services as education and transport are directed where the impacts fall and the services are needed, irrespective of the administrative boundaries. We are fully permitted to develop arrangements through our Section 106 Agreement (the part of our planning application that provides for service improvements and mitigations for any impacts on local amenities) that make sure this happens.
While the future revenue receipts from Council Tax from households within the proposed development will go to Aylesbury Vale District Council, these will pay for services such as waste collection that Aylesbury Vale District Council will then have to provide to its residents or that are provided by bodies such as Thames Valley Police and the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service that deliver services across the former county boundaries – to the residents of both Aylesbury Vale and Milton Keynes. In these cases the increase in population resulting from our development will be managed across administrative boundaries by the same service providers.
The area of land that the Consortium is proposing to develop lies within Aylesbury Vale District Council, but borders Milton Keynes Council. Access to the site is also taken from within Milton Keynes. As a result planning applications have been submitted to both councils.
The Consortium sees the development as a natural extension to Milton Keynes and as part of the long-term growth of the city. The illustrative masterplan and the road scheme within the proposed development have been based upon Milton Keynes design principles.
Health services are not funded through Council Tax but receive their funding centrally in line with local population projections. In this case, the area of the development falls within the same health authority as Milton Keynes (Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group), meaning that the administrative boundary between Aylesbury Vale District Council and Milton Keynes Council will make no difference to service provision and funding decisions.
- Won’t any income from the development such as Council Tax, business rates and infrastructure contributions go to Aylesbury Vale District Council, while the cost and impact will fall on citizens and services of Milton Keynes?
The Consortium has offered to help Milton Keynes work with Aylesbury Vale District Council to ensure that any Section 106 contributions are seen across administrative boundaries.
With regard to Health services, the proposals include a reserve site for a new 6GP surgery, , furthermore funding is awarded on a per capita basis via NHS England, and services are procured by the Clinical Commissioning Group, so the Aylesbury Vale/Milton Keynes border has no relevance.
With regard to education services, the proposals include a three form entry primary school and early years provision, a site for a four form entry secondary school and a contribution towards secondary schooling. Funding follows pupils however, and the responsibility for provision will fall on Buckinghamshire County Council, not Milton Keynes Council.
Policing is provided by Thames Valley Police which covers both Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale and therefore the cross-border nature of the site is not relevant.
Other services such as waste collection will be provided by Aylesbury Vale District Council (funded for by resident’s Council Tax payments) and will place no additional strain on Milton Keynes services.
- Won’t the new development just lead to more traffic problems?
Our proposals take account of detailed traffic assessments to ensure that impacts are managed and suitably mitigated. They include a substantial amount of land to deliver the Bletchley Southern Bypass through the site. There will also be a package of measures to encourage the use of sustainable transport and integration with the MK Redway Facility.
- What about the Bletchley Southern Bypass?
Currently there is no formal policy or detailed design for the Bletchley Southern Bypass, which would involve both Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale District Council jointly delivering the project. However, the Consortium fully supports the concept of futureproofing, which has been a key part of the historical growth of Milton Keynes.
A substantial amount of land has been identified through the proposed development of a sufficient width to provide a reserve for the Bletchley Southern Bypass.
- How much contact have you had with Aylesbury Vale District Council and Milton Keynes Council about the proposals?
The Consortium has undertaken substantial formal pre-application processes with officers of both Councils in the preparation of the scheme.
Since submitting the planning applications in January 2015, the Consortium has been working closely with both authorities through the mechanism of a planning performance agreement.
- How did you consult local people about the proposals?
We consulted with local stakeholders and communities in advance of the planning application being submitted including two public exhibitions and a website with feedback mechanism.
We established a meaningful dialogue to help build a shared, full and accurate understanding of the proposals which enabled the Consortium to hear and respond to people’s views and where appropriate, to shape the proposals.