Potential Green Estate Development Sites
Milton Keynes is a growing and evolving place. Our aim is to make sure the parks and green spaces in our care meet the open space recreational and environmental needs of the community whilst also ensuring The Parks Trust is financially secure and sustainable so it can continue to maintain the land in its care.
In accordance with our policy for the acquisition, disposal or development of land, we have carried out a review of our green estate (our parks and open spaces) and identified a few sites that contribute little in relative terms to the green infrastructure needs of the city and where sensitive forms of built development may be appropriate. Any development on these sites would generate funds to help us improve the parks across Milton Keynes and the range of facilities within them. It would also contribute to the financial sustainability of The Parks Trust. The Trust is entirely self-financing and any income it generates can only be used for the provision and maintenance of parks and related leisure facilities and for environmental education.
In identifying some areas of land that may have some potential for development, we are committed to working with Milton Keynes Council, parish councils and local communities to investigate what form of development, if any, may be appropriate for these areas. The following section provides answers to some frequently asked questions on this topic.
Where are the potential development sites The Parks Trust has identified?
The sites we have identified cover less than 1% if our total green estate. They are located within these parishes (click on the name here to see a map or use the links on the right of the page): Abbey Hill, Bletchley & Fenny Stratford, Bradwell, Broughton & Milton Keynes, Campbell Park, Central Milton Keynes, Great Linford, Loughton, Shenley Brook End, Shenley Church End, Stantonbury and Wolverton & Greenleys.
What are the Trust’s plans for the sites?
At the moment there are no plans or proposals for most of the sites. At this stage they have only been submitted for consideration as the new Local Plan for Milton Keynes is being prepared by Milton Keynes Council. The outcome of the Local Plan process will influence any future proposals for the sites. Further information on the Local Plan process is set out below.
The sites identified in Central Milton Keynes and Campbell Park fall within the area being considered under the CMK Alliance Plan. This is a Business Neighbourhood Development Plan, a new form of development plan document being prepared by an alliance of organisations coordinated by Central Milton Keynes Town Council. When this document is finally adopted, it will be taken into account by The Parks Trust to inform any development proposals on the Trust's land. More information on the CMK Alliance Plan can be found on the CMK Alliance website.
The sites in Great Linford have been discussed with the parish council and a community consultation exercise has been undertaken. For more information see our page explaining the work we are doing in Great Linford Parish.
One site has more advanced plans. This is an area of land between Bradwell Road and the A5 in Loughton. This site has been amalgamated with adjoining land in the ownership of Milton Keynes Council and planning permission has been obtained for a housing development. Please contact us for the latest information on this proposal on 01908 233600 or email email@example.com.
How has The Parks Trust submitted sites to Milton Keynes Council for consideration in the new Local Plan?
In late 2011/early 2012 Milton Keynes Council as planning authority carried out a "call for sites" to landowners and other interested parties towards the preparation of the Strategic Housing Land Allocation Assessment (SHLAA) and the Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) that will form part of the new Local Plan. The Parks Trust submitted a total of 24 green estate sites at that time, covering less than 1% of our total green estate. At the same time, we submitted a further eight sites from our portfolio of income generating commercial property in Milton Keynes. These properties are one of the main sources of income that pays for our work to provide and maintain parks around Milton Keynes. See these pages for more information about our commercial estate.
What is the Milton Keynes Local Plan and why is it being updated?
The Milton Keynes Local Plan is the basis for all planning decisions made by the Council. It sets out what type of development will be allowed and where, and the policies that the Council will use to assess planning applications. The existing plan was published to cover a 10 year period from 2001 - 2011. It was partially replaced in 2013 by the adopted Core Strategy, which sets out the Council's strategic policies for how Milton Keynes will develop up to 2026. The Council has embarked on the preparation of a new Local Plan, known as Plan:MK. This will complete the replacement of the 2001-2011 Local Plan and will cover the period to 2031.
What is the SHLAA?
The Strategic Housing Land Allocation Assessment (SHLAA) is a technical document prepared by the Council that identifies potentially suitable sites for housing development (above a minimum of 5 units) across the Borough. It is updated by the Council on a regular basis so they know what land may be available for housing development over the next 15 years. The process identifies a range of sites to provide choice in future decisions about where housing development could happen - the SHLAA does not make those decisions.
If the Parks Trust’s sites are included in the SHLAA does it mean that the land can be built on?
It should not be assumed that any sites included in the SHLAA will automatically be considered by Milton Keynes Council as the Planning Authority to be suitable for development or that planning permission, if applied for, would be granted. This will depend upon a decision to be made through the preparation of the Site Allocations DPD and the new Milton Keynes Local Plan, which will be subject to discussion by elected Councillors and formal public consultation before being adopted.
What is the Site Allocations DPD?
Milton Keynes Council is preparing a Sites Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD). This will form part of the new Local Plan and will allocate sites for development (both for housing and other uses) across the Borough. The SHLAA is part of the evidence base for preparing this document. The sites The Parks Trust submitted to the call for sites in early 2012 and not since withdrawn will now be considered by the Council for inclusion in the Site Allocations DPD.
Where do I find out more about the draft Milton Keynes Local Plan and when will I be able to comment?
Milton Keynes Council provides updates on the preparation of the new Local Plan and how and when consultation will take place on the Planning Policy pages of their website.
What consultation has The Parks Trust carried out with parish councils and community groups?
At the same time as making our submission to the call for sites in early 2012, we wrote to all parish councils concerned advising them we had submitted sites within their parishes. Following comments received back, The Parks Trust's Board decided to withdraw a site submitted in Old Woughton. A site at Peartree Bridge was also withdrawn until it is considered by MKC, the Parish Council and the local community within a proposed regeneration for that area. A site in Loughton was withdrawn after discussion with the Parish Council and a further review of the site's environmental characteristics.
The Parks Trust will carry out further consultation with parish councils and local communities if and when we begin to shape up any ideas for development on our green estate.
Who should I contact if I need further information about any of The Parks Trust's sites?
Please contact Phil Bowsher, our Head of Landscape Strategy & Development firstname.lastname@example.org