Milton Keynes Labour Party have attacked government proposals to hand power to developers in a shake-up of the planning system.
The new rules will see developers able to fast track housing with lower space standards and without community infrastructure. Housing in already built up areas will be able to be built without local planning permission and Section 106 developer funding for community infrastructure such as schools, grid roads and health centres, scrapped. Green space and affordable housing will not be required.
Large urban extensions will be able to progress without developers needing to maintain the grid road principles of Milton Keynes or the requirement to provide growth infrastructure or affordable housing, if they are able to claim that it will cost them too much of their profits.
In addition to the main consultation, the government have also sneaked out proposals at the same time that would increase the centrally allocated number of homes Milton Keynes is required to build in a period of time, opening the door to even more un-planned development. The Conservative proposals will also abolish the need for surrounding local councils to co-operate on housing plans on the edge of Milton Keynes, with the potential to create a flood of poorly planned development on the boundaries of MK with no requirement to provide any infrastructure or funding for the services those people use here in the city, such as the hospital.
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “The proposals are a green light to destroy the unique character of Milton Keynes. It is no secret that the MK Labour administration wants growth, but we want planned growth with affordable housing, proper infrastructure and a local say.”
He continued: “The reforms proposed by the Conservative government put all the power in the hands of developers. Those developers have given millions in donations to the Conservative Party and this is their pay back. Thousands of new houses with no money for infrastructure. An end to grid roads. No requirement for green space. Estates built on our borders with no say for MK with no funding for the pressure they’ll put on our hospital. Slum developments with maximum profits to put back into the Conservative Party bank account.”
He concluded: “Our local Conservative MPs are hypocrites and charlatans. They do one thing and say another. While they’ve been playing politics and delaying proper planned growth here, they’ll meekly support higher housing numbers and less infrastructure. I’ve been saying for years more growth is on the way, but it would be on developer terms unless we did something. Milton Keynes will pay the price if these hideous reforms go forward.”