NEWPORT PAGNELL NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN CONSULTATION
Introduction by the Mayor of Newport Pagnell
To everyone in Newport Pagnell,
Welcome to the Neighbourhood Plan. Although many residents will know something
about this Plan, there will be others who have never heard of the Newport
Pagnell Neighbourhood Plan. So I’d like
to start out by letting you know what a Neighbourhood Plan is.
In a nutshell a few years ago, towns, parishes and communities were given the legal right to formulate a Plan that regulated development in their own area. This was a historical first – up until then we had to rely on our planning authority (Milton Keynes Council) to take all development decisions about our town. The Neighbourhood Plan is our own plan constructed by the Town Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, which included members of the public. It has been through a number of previous consultations with residents and other interested parties, before coming to you now as a completed document. Let’s be clear though, Neighbourhood Plans can only deal with the built environment, i.e. buildings that will physically be built, and the land available for such building. We cannot include solutions in the Plan to stop dog fouling or to obtain more police in the area. The Plan deals with new homes and new business premises.
A common mantra is that we don’t want any new homes in Newport Pagnell – we like it just as it is. That may be the case, but the Milton Keynes Council Core Strategy places a demand on us to have new homes, whether we like it or not. The rural areas have a target of new homes, and as the largest settlement in the rural areas, we will be forced to take the majority. Add to that the fact that Milton Keynes Council is one of the main owners of a very large Strategic Reserve site at Tickford Fields Farm, and we can be sure that new housing is coming to the town.
The challenge then was not to find a way to stop development - but rather to manage the change in the best way possible for the town. During our consultations you told us three things were very important to you: adequate provision of school places, GP surgeries, and retention of green space.
In order to ensure that we get a new primary school including a pre-school and healthcare facilities the Plan proposes more homes than are required by the Core Strategy. If we had limited the Plan to the Core Strategy numbers, it would severely impact on the infrastructure that could be provided and would place burdens on facilities that are already stretched. The Plan protects Bury Common as Common Land, and keeps both Castle Meadow and Riverside Meadow intact. It does propose building on greenfield land, but only on the Tickford Fields Farm sites. This site has been identified as a strategic reserve site since 2005 in the Milton Keynes Local Plan. All other development sites are brownfield sites.
We believe the Plan achieves the following:
· It gives residents the opportunity to determine our own future
· It provides the necessary infrastructure to go with new development
· It considers where there are existing deficiencies in the town
· It gives Newport Pagnell residents a better opportunity to get on the housing ladder through offering more shared ownership
· It offers more affordable housing directly to Newport Pagnell residents
· It provides a strategic rather than ad hoc direction for development and infrastructure provision.
· It considers sustainability, and provides a detailed sustainable transport plan.
Please take a little time to go through the Plan and comment. See details below. If you’re very short of time chapters 7 and 8 tell you all about what the Plan does. We really do want to hear from you.
Phil Winsor Mayor of Newport Pagnell