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Cllr David Hopkins reinforces his campaign for MK City Council to ‘take back control of planning’

Cllr David Hopkins will be progressing his amended Taking back Control of Planning initiative passed unanimously at Milton Keynes Full Council Meeting at the Councils decision making Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday evening, 7 February.

Cllr Hopkins comments ‘All too often at MK Council and over too many years Full Council has become a debating forum for everything other than the issues that actually impact (on a day to day basis) the people we represent.

So called strategic planning dominates the lives of many of the residents who live in my ward, and I know the lives of those in many other parts of the city. Be it continual noise, dust, traffic hazards, mud or simply the impacts of a changing landscape on the health and mental wellbeing of those who live here today. Most feel powerless – most look to us to simply take back control.

However, I feel confident that most if not members of the Cabinet support this motion passed to it unanimously at Full Council. Cllr Marland, as leader of MKCC, has stated repeatedly his desire to Take back Control of Planning. His influence is so far reaching that even his leader in Westminster has adopted his stance and mantra on a national level.

This is not nimbyism – far from it. It is often quoted that Danesborough (and Wavendon in particular) is the fastest growing part of the fastest growing part of the country. Personally, I work hard as ward member and as Chairman of my Parish Council to build communities – communities that are integrated and share in the many benefits that an expanding, prosperous MK can deliver. But there are far too many issues – far too many outcomes over which we have lost control or that developers simply are not delivering.

And there is the overriding issue(s) relating to infrastructure. How can the highways infrastructure – primarily country roads built for another age deal with the impacts of thousands and thousands more cars and lorries. Where is the long-promised highways review for MK – where indeed? Where are the reliable, scheduled bus services?

This council should demand that a few simple yet overriding principles of development be adopted.

Firstly, a truly I before E approach to planning – a mantra I first introduced at MK Council over twenty years ago but which we seem now to pay lip service to rather than giving it due regard.

Secondly, a recognition that continual development in one area over many, many years has an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those living here already. We must start to take due regard of the needs of the people of MK living in MK today

Thirdly, that developments are delivered to plan, and MKCC Planning Enforcement has the resources and personnel sufficient to monitor the hundreds of development sites scattered across the whole city area.

And finally, that we are truly building truly sustainable, climate change ready communities - not just building houses.

So, I am calling for the council to take back control of planning. Let us put our residents and our businesses based here today first in all our decision making. If we adopt a masterplan then let’s stick to it rather than crumble at the first hint of a challenge from the development lobby. Let’s together build a Future MK of which we can all rightly be proud’.


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