Effective delivery of strategic sites: Milton Keynes

Established by endowment by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation at the outset of the New Town in 1967, the Parks Trust manage much of the green space within Milton Keynes, funded through the ownership of local assets as well as income from leisure and recreation uses within the city’s greenspace. 


Fact file

Type – urban extension, greenfield land 

Local Planning Authority – Milton Keynes Council 

Landowner - Places for People (previously in multiple ownership) 

Promoter / Developer - Places For People; adopted master developer model. 

Housebuilders - Countryside, Barratt + David Wilson Homes  

Scale: Residential-led, 2,500 homes 

Strategic infrastructure requirements – highway junction improvements, two Primary Schools, one Secondary School, Acoustic Earthworks/Bund to M1  

Other key uses: significant flood attenuation measures incorporated as part of green infrastructure network 

Stage – hybrid planning permission granted 2007 re: 06/00220/MKPCO with subsequent amendments approved in 2014. Reserved matters applications are ongoing and full development is nearing completion.


Allocation and policy 

The site was allocated in the saved Milton Keynes Local Plan (2005) as one of three expansion areas of the new city, adopted and carried through into the Milton Keynes Core Strategy (2013). The Brooklands site forms part of the Eastern Expansion Area, for which a Development Framework was produced in 2005.   


Planning application  

A hybrid application was submitted for Brooklands to secure early consent for advance earthworks (known as ‘the Ridge’), a strategic bund running the length of the site which was required for noise and air quality mitigation due to the site’s proximity to the M1 motorway. All of the remaining parts of the site, including all of the residential elements, were submitted in outline.  

Upon the approval of the hybrid application, the delivery of the acoustic bund was completed early on in the development timeframe.  This unlocked parcels which would not have been available for development without the bund in place because of the noise and air quality mitigation required in these locations.  


Futureproofing and adaptation  

At the time of the determination of the hybrid application, the exact nature of the community infrastructure provision required for the site was unknown. Therefore, as part of the S106 agreement, three ‘community reserve sites’ were identified within the development area.  

Each of these sites are reserved for a 15-year period to allow Milton Keynes Council to deliver suitable community uses or buildings at a ‘peppercorn’ land value cost. If no facilities are delivered within this 15-year period, the sites will then be able to be brought forward for other full market commercial or residential use.  


Governance and ownership of place 

Established by endowment by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation at the outset of the New Town in 1967, the Parks Trust manage much of the green space within Milton Keynes, funded through the ownership of local assets as well as income from leisure and recreation uses within the city’s greenspace. The S106 agreement for Brooklands specified that the strategic green infrastructure was to be transferred to the Parks Trust for maintenance in perpetuity once completed to an acceptable standard.  

This enables the green space to function seamlessly as part of the wider network within Milton Keynes and the development site to benefit from the Trust’s established management regime in the area. As much of the greenspace at Brooklands also serves as flood alleviation and surface water attenuation, the space is reviewed and ‘signed-off’ by the Internal Drainage Board prior to transferring to the Trust.