Future of Sherington - MKC Plan:MK

  • The future of Sherington will be significantly affected if the Options in the MKC Plan:MK Draft Strategic Development Options consultation document are implemented:
    • Option 3 - Sherington is one of the proposed sites for a 5000+ home Satellite Settlement. That is double the current size of Olney.
    • Option 2 - Expansion of Milton Keynes east of the M1, initially up to North Crawley and Moulsoe, but this could expand further later.

  • The document presents 4 options for the development of Milton Keynes over the next 50 years. The first 15 years will be covered by Plan:MK, which MKC hope to have in force in mid-2018. The process is explained further in these slides. See also: Plan:MK

  Parish Council Response

  • At its meeting on 3 November the Parish Council passed resolutions opposing both options, as they are not consistent with the Neighbourhood Plan or the aspirations of residents.
  • On Monday 9 November 2015, the MKC Cabinet decided to go ahead with the release of the document for public consultation. This decision was taken despite the respresentations from about a dozen Parish Councils and Ward Councilors, who all spoke against, including Sherington PC (represented by Ian Collinge).
  • On 11 November 2015 there was a meeting in Olney attended by 3 Ward Councillors and 18 representatives from Parish Councils in the Rural MK area. Sherington PC was represented by the Chairman, Ian Collinge. It was agreed that it was in everyone's interests for the local Parish Councils to work together on a co-ordinated response, as the resources required are beyond the means of any one Council. Individual PCs will still be able to supplement the joint action by making their own responses too.
  • The first action being planned is to 'call in' the Cabinet's decision for scrutiny by the MKC Executive Scrutiny Committee. The Clerk and Chair of Parish Councils, as well as Ward Councillors, have authority to do that.
  • A group of 20 MKC electors can also 'call-in' the decision, so Sherington residents may wish to consider that action, separately from the PC. The deadline for exercising this right is Friday 20 November 2015. The application has to state the reasons for the 'call-in'. These should focus why the process is flawed, not a debate of the Options themselves.
  • On Tuesday 8 December, the Olney Ward Councillors have arranged a Public Meeting in St Laud's Church at 7.30pm. This will take place regardless of the status of the 'call-in' process. This will be an opportunity for residents to listen to a presentation on the options and the latest news, ask questions and take away literature on how to make your comments. There are several other meetings around the Ward which residents may attend, if more convenient:
    30 Nov, Olney St Peter and St Paul's Church, 3.30pm and 7.30pm
    3 Dec, Moulsoe Millennium Hall, 7.30pm
    6 Jan 2016, North Crawley Institute, 7.30pm
  • The consultation period, as agreed by MKC Cabinet, runs for 12 weeks from 25 November 2015 to 17 February 2016, although this is now likely to be delayed by the 'call-in'.
  • Sherington PC is planning to hold its own Parish Meeting to discuss the village's response. The date for this has still to be arranged and will depend to some extent on the dates of the consultation, if we can't stop it happening in the meantime. This Parish meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to call for a Parish Poll and define the Question, for example, as one means of demonstrating local opinion to MKC.
  • If the consultation goes ahead, the coordinated action by local Parishes is likely to include a call for assistance from volunteers from the community, particularly those with planning experience (as we are already doing locally for the Neighbourhood Plan). It is also possible there will be a need to hire professional consultants, the cost of which will have to be met through the PC precept (i.e. Council Tax). The objective is to kill off the unacceptable Options as soon as possible, before they gain any credibility. At present, MKC view Plan:MK as the first 15 years of the 50 year Vision, but the Government is threatening to take over the Local Plan from any Authority which doesn't have one in place by 2017. MKC is currently expecting to 'make' Plan:MK in mid-2018 and is hoping that there will be sufficient progress by 2017 to keep the Government at bay. Delaying the Vision consultations increases the chance that the 15 year Plan:MK will need to be decoupled from the 50 year Vision in order to meet Government timescales. Sherington's Neighbourhood Plan is likely to be 'made' in late 2016, and we don't want Plan:MK containing any strategic requirements that will over-ride it only 18 months later. It may be noted that Option 4 (for intense re-development of Central MK) is at odds with the Central MK Business Neighbourhood Plan that we all voted on in May and has since been 'made'.

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