Note that we received this news not from our own district council or even Milton Keynes Council, but from our neighbours in Castlethorpe.
Consultation meetings with parishes were rather belatedly booked for early March 2020 and – you can guess the rest. Covid intervened.
To cut a long story short, Milton Keynes Strategy for 2050 has now been adopted by MK Council. What worries many communities on the fringes of the town is that the plans include development in neighbouring local authorities.
Potterspury, or ‘Area 11’ as it is designated in some documents, is promised a new housing development to the south of the village, and the terminus to a new mass rapid transit system, as well as a park and ride car park. The Parish Council studied the Evidence Documents and responded to MK council with our feedback in May 2020.
We have been dismayed by the apparent lack of engagement and paucity of information for parishes from South Northants District Council. We have requested information from them as to their response on a number of occasions. We hope that the new West Northamptonshire District Council will engage with us more strongly.
We are grateful to former District Councillors Allen Walker and Abigail Medina who have pursued the issue at SNC. The response from SNC was as follows:
‘Yes, the MK 2050 is something that we at SNC and our colleagues at the West Northants Joint Planning Unit are aware of. It is a piece of work that Milton Keynes have kept us abreast of as part of our duty to cooperate discussions during which we identified, as they reference in the study, that planning decisions within South Northamptonshire are for South Northamptonshire Council (soon to be West Northamptonshire) to make.
‘As MK say the Strategy does not specify development sites in our area, as the future growth of SNC is a decision for us to make with future development being counted towards our own targets. Any future proposals would need to come through West Northamptonshire’s Local Plan process and would be subject to consultation and discussion.
‘As you know we are in the process of working up options for the new West Northants Strategic Plan which we hope to be able to consult on late Spring/early Summer . These options will be based upon evidence gathered by us and will identify development options necessary to address the needs of West Northamptonshire moving forward to the middle of the century.’
In December 2020 Milton Keynes provided a briefing on the final strategy, with two key points that might be a comfort to Potterspury: the map below shows the proposal in our area to be ‘outside of the scope of the Strategy for 2050. However, the PC will maintain a watching brief on the scheme.