Milton Keynes Council leader slams local MP's petition against expansion plans as 'desperate'

    MK East development

    The Labour Leader of Milton Keynes Council has responded to a petition launched by the Conservative MP of Milton Keynes North.

    It comes as the Conservative MP took to spoke in the House of Commons adjournment debate on 'the role of planning in strengthening and protecting rural communities'.

    "I want to get straight to the point: community-led planning needs to be right at the core of the levelling-up agenda. When we empower local communities by involving them in planning, better results are achieved for everyone," Ben Everitt MP said.

    "That is especially important in rural areas, where a balance must be struck between building more houses and protecting our countryside. I know that my constituents in Milton Keynes North feel the effects when the process goes wrong. It is not hard; it just requires thought, ambition and vision."

    One of the expansion plans that the MP covers is MK East. The expansion area, which sits between the M1 and Newport Pagnell, is set to see the largest new housing and employment area since 2007, with 5,000 new homes to eventually be built alongside new facilities such as shops, play areas and a linear river valley park.

    Ben Everitt states that these plans "will destroy the character of our rural areas and add more stress onto existing infrastructure."

    The MP has now launched a petition, asking resident's to register their support and 'protect rural areas from reckless over-expansion plans'.

    The Labour Leader of Milton Keynes Council has now responded to the petition, telling MKFM that it is 'the desperate act of a failing Member of Parliament with nothing to say on the issues that really matter to people right now.'

    Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of MK Council, said: "Plan:MK and our Strategy for 2050 sets out clearly the plan for growth, how it will benefit the existing population of MK, and how it actually protects our green spaces and rural communities from Tory-backed speculative development."

    Plan:MK, which was launched in 2019, sets out important requirements for new developments. Green space must be protected and residents of new housing should have the same access to open space and parkland as current communities, developments should be based on the original principles of Milton Keynes, developments that makes the most of the East-West Growth Corridor and national infrastructure projects and 31% of new housing to be affordable homes are all some of the requirements agreed by MK Council, according to Plan:MK.

    "People don’t need to sign a petition to find out about those plans, they can look and see for themselves what total rubbish this petition is," The Council Leader continued.

    "I make absolutely no apology for promoting the sustainable and well planned growth of MK, preserving what makes us special and that tries to deliver the genuinely affordable housing local families need.

    "I’m sure what most people will be asking is why during the worst of cost of living crisis in half a century, with fuel bills rocketing, food prices rising, inflation at record level and wages falling, the Member of Parliament for MK North is creating petitions with no basis in reality rather than dealing with the poverty and falling living standards this government has delivered after 12 years in power.”

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