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Neighbourhood Plan wins landslide victory at referendum

The plan, produced by the CMK Alliance of local people and businesses under the leadership of Central Milton Keynes Town Council, will guide development throughout Central Milton Keynes as it embarks on its next period of growth.

Nearly 90,000 residents voted Yes at the borough-wide referendum (84% of the votes cast), and 356 businesses also voted in favour (88% of the votes cast).

The turnout was more than 60% for both referendums.

The Business Neighbourhood Plan is the first of its kind in the UK to go to referendum. It is the first time a plan for a city centre has been produced by local people and not by a local authority and voted on separately by residents and businesses throughout the borough.

The plan will now be adopted by Milton Keynes Council to ensure that new developments are built in line with the needs and wishes of local people.

This includes the provision of more small, local shops, a new CMK public transport shuttle and more parking for commercial development.

In a major policy shift, the new plan also protects the city’s unique infrastructure, including its grid roads and open space, which would otherwise have remained vulnerable to piecemeal development.

CMK Town Council chair Dr Rebecca Kurth said: “We now have a clear vote of confidence in the plan itself and the future of CMK.

“It has been a marathon followed by a sprint but neighbourhood planning is all about giving more power to local people and they have certainly risen to the challenge.

“As a small parish council we could not have achieved this without the commitment of local people and businesses, freely given, over two years. The late decision to hold borough-wide referendums was also a challenge.”

CMK Alliance steering group co-chair Paul Hunt, head ogf branch at John Lewis in thecentre:mk, was at the historic count of referendum votes at stadiummk.

He said: “This is a great result for the whole of Milton Keynes. Now we can move forward with clarity and confidence and create a more prosperous flagship for the regional economy.”

The Votes
Residential   Yes: 89,801  No: 17,133
Business      Yes: 356      No: 47 

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