- Milton Keynes Local Plan is a statutory document which embodies policies relating to most aspects of planning and development throughout the Council area. It also reflects County, Regional and Governmental issues and directions.
- Milton Keynes council is currently reviewing the Local Plan for the period up to 2011. This process has resulted in four sites around Sherington being put forward by the owner for inclusion for future development. All four lie outside the existing village development envelope. The type of development is not specified. These sites are:
|1. ||Rear of School Lane (bounded by By-Pass, Perry Lane, Crofts End, School Lane, Park Road)||32.5 acres
|2. ||Land off Bedford Road (between Sherington Nurseries and Hillview fronting Bedford Road)||10.0 acres
|3. ||Land off Crofts End (part of Bancroft corner of Crofts End, Bedford Road)||4.0 acres
|4. ||West of High Street (vicinity of Bakers Farm and Winnowing Barn)||Area not specified
- At present there are several constraints upon future development in and around Sherington, the most important being:
- a. the current Local Plan policies, appropriate to villages such as Sherington, which restrict development to infill plots (within the existing development envelope) or to development linked to agriculture or forestry.
- b. the limitation of the sewage treatment plant which is now near, or at, capacity.
- c. the capacity of the foul sewer in Water Lane is already exceeded. This sewer serves the entire village. Anglian Water has advised that it intends to construct a part relief sewer in 2001/2002 from High Street/Crofts End to the treatment plant. This will not increase overall capacity because of b. above.
- When the Local Plan was last reviewed Site 1 was put forward in isolation. The Parish Council and residents successfully opposed its inclusion for development at that time employing the services of consutants.
- The policies relating to villages like Sherington are unlikely to significantly change within the Local Plan, as currently proposed.
- Every Local Plan review has to be undertaken within a set timescale. The current review anticipates final Secretary of State approval - end of 2000, beginning of 2001.
- The Parish Council has to convey its (ie: your) views upon the development area put forward before the end of March to Milton Keynes council.
- However, there is an additional complication. The Local Plan review does not stand alone.
- On this occasion, it is accompanied by a Government initiated update to provide a revised Strategy for the South East (SERPLAN). The purpose of this Strategy is to provide a regional overview for the preparation of development plans, eg: Milton Keynes Local Plan, and for the strategic decisions of local authorities, looking forward initially to 2016 and, thereafter, to 2036. The timescale for finalising the Strategy is shorter than the Local Plan review. New Government Regional Planning Guidance is anticipated at the end of 1999.
- Nine local bodies, including Milton Keynes Council, commissioned consultants to look at the possible implications for the local area which might arise from the new Regional Planning Guidance. The Parish Council received a copy of this analysis just prior to Christmas.
- Whilst it has to be recognised that the contents of this analysis are largely conceptual and subject to the need for further detailed studies etc, one concept in particular has the potential to dramatically change Sherington should it ever be implemented.
- Over the next 36 years Milton Keynes is anticipated to expand outside its current limits and, in so doing, will be required to resolve the thorny problems of public and private transportation, City parking, traffic pollution etc in the longer term.
- A possible solution put forward by the consultants involves the creation of four transportation corridors, with associated development for housing, industry etc, radiating outwards from the city. One of these corridors could extend from Newport Pagnell to Olney, absorbing Sherington and Emberton en route, along the A509. Again, conceptually, each corridor is spoken of as accommodating 25000 people (thus providing the opportunity for the future expansion of the City) whose daily travel needs into Milton Keynes could be served by a central mass-transport tram-like system operating on a walk/park and ride principle, with the private car priced out of the city centre area.
- Such a concept is almost impossible to grasp, but as we all know very well, 36 years ago Milton Keynes was a very small village.
- Milton Keynes Council has not yet issued any comment upon the content of the consutants' report, but it is understood that the need for reference to it and, of course, the new Regional Planning Guidance, will be included within the review of the Local Plan. It could follow, therefore, that the Local Plan review might need to be updated to bring it into line with the new Regional Planning Guidance at the end of 1999.
- The Parish Council has thought long and hard upon each of the foregoing issues, held discussions with Milton Keynes councillors and their Officers in their endeavour to provide you with the opportunity to make an informed choice. Parish Councillors are of the view that it is opportune for Sherington to take the initiative and to prepare a long term development plan for itself, via a Village Appraisal. The trend in favour of ever increasing public participation and consultation supports this view. Milton Keynes councillors commend this approach where it is clearly demonstrated that the proposals put forward have the support of the village population through informed choice. This presents an opportunity for the village, as a whole, to take stock, assess current and future needs and to set out a framework and programme for implementation. It would also embrace potentially significant planning gain benefits exclusively for Sherington and seek to maintain the character of a detached village settlement in a rural setting in the longer term.
- To move forward with such an undertaking would involve the selection and appointment of suitably qualified planning consultants by the Parish Council. There would be a significant cost involved, which we expect to be met from Parish Council reserves.
- If there is a consensus in favour of taking this route, it would be prudent to avoid prejudicing future options by:
- supporting the review of the Local Plan policies which currently restrict development to infill plots within the existing development envelope and, therefore,
- opposing development of the four sites put forward by the owner for inclusion in the review of the Local Plan.
- In conclusion, the Parish Council wishes to receive your views and asks that you complete and return the enclosed questionaire as a matter of urgency.
- N.B. The information contained in this consultation is correct as at 5 February 1999. However, it should be understood that the situation described is fluid and ongoing and may be subject to change. The Parish Council will endeavour to issue further advice to residents as and when it is considered necessary.