Labour Councillor Elaine Wales has welcomed the decision of Milton Keynes Council’s Development Control Committee on Thursday 1st August to reject a planning application that would tear out the heart of Queensway.
Plans to knock down retail properties in Queensway, Central Bletchley, between Home Bargains and Betfred and to build a block of 48 flats above 6 retail units has been rejected, primarily on the grounds of lack of parking.
Cllr Wales, who attended the planning meeting, said: “The proposed application provides parking for 33 vehicles. This is well below the number required by Milton Keynes Council planning policy. This was the principal reason for rejection and I don’t accept the developer’s reasoning behind the low number of parking spaces for 48 flats.”
She added: “The proposals put forward by a property developer fly in the face of the community desire to see a revitalised Queensway that is properly thought through with a range of development, including long term redevelopment of the derelict old Co-op building, improved parking and a refocus towards the planned redevelopment of the Bletchley railway station.”
Cllr Wales and fellow Labour Cllr Ed Hume have been opposing the developer-driven approach to Queensway for some time. In February, they organised a public consultation event. They found that there is clear support from local residents on improving Queensway, but it needs a comprehensive plan.
Cllr Wales concluded: “It was a good decision by the Planning Committee, but what we need for the future is a Neighbourhood Plan covering Queensway. We need a comprehensive approach to renewing Queensway, not speculative, ad hoc proposals such as the one thrown out by the planning committee.”