If Milton Keynes expands towards Moulsoe, a Central Bedfordshire development near Cranfield might benefit from infrastructure connected to Milton Keynes (c) 2018 Google

“Wilds of Moulsoe” not councillor’s first choice for a significant number of new homes

Campaigners are calling for Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) to take advantage of Milton Keynes Council’s revised development plan.

They say that if Milton Keynes’ bid to build a new road bridge over the M1 is successful, it would release the potential of sites to the west of Cranfield. These, they say, would benefit from public transport links directly into Milton Keynes.

The campaigners believe that this would make more sense than building a huge 5,000 settlement right in the heart of the Community Forest of Marston Vale. An area which would have no direct access onto strategic roads or public transport.

Lidlington Action Group

Rob Booth from the Lidlington Action Group, which opposes the Council’s plans to build 5,000 houses in Marston Vale, said:

“Central Beds councillors are not doing residents any favours by burying their heads in the sand over the inevitable expansion of Milton Keynes east of the M1.

“Good planning means developing the most sustainable sites with the least environmental or amenity value and co-operating with neighbouring local authorities.

“We have submitted detailed proposals to the Council, showing how a smaller settlement of around 1,800 houses in Marston Vale would be more sympathetic to the aims of the Community Forest and protect the separate identity of existing villages.

“The balance of the new housing allocation could be accommodated on more suitable and sustainable sites nearby.”

Central Bedfordshire Council's Local Plan wants 5,000 new homes in Marston Vale (c) 2018 Google

Plan can’t be changed at this stage

Community campaigner, John Baker, would also like to reduce the amount of house building near M1 J13 whilst new infrastructure (such as the OxCam Expressway) is undelivered.

At a recent full CBC council meeting he asked Cllr Nigel Young (executive member for regeneration):

“Given that the inspectors have agreed to a change to the Milton Keynes Council Local Plan that encourages CBC to release land for development adjacent to Cranfield.

“It is now the time to have a little rethink of the Marston Vale allocation to avoid the development of this large area of beautiful countryside?”

In response, Cllr Young said that CBC could not, under any circumstances, remove the Marston Vale allocation as the Regulation 19 plan had been submitted.

He added that at the public examination stage next year, campaigners are:

“Absolutely at liberty to step forward and tell the inspector that despite the vast amounts of evidence that we’ve collected, we simply should abandon that allocation [at Marston Valley] and focus on what is essentially Cranfield and Moulsoe.”

Cllr Young finished by saying that the “wilds of Moulsoe” would not be his first choice as a location for a significant number of houses.

Due to requests for more information from the inspector, CBC’s Local Plan has been delayed. The public examination is now due in the Spring of 2019, and CBC expects the plan to be accepted by the Autumn.