As a concerned resident of 2 Salford Road, I’m writing to you with respect to Plan:MK, the Milton Keynes (MK) ‘expansion options’ consultation currently taking place. Some proposals will impact Aspley Guise.
Plan:MK is the next step in the development of MK. We are a village immediately adjacent to the MK boundary, and MK need only expand a mile south before it reaches the railway line. I have noticed we are not being actively consulted by letter and the only consultation is an exhibition at the village hall on the 18th February (7pm).
After doing some research, I’ve put together some questions you may wish to consider when responding to the consultation, and please copy me with your feedback if you wish to share it. It’s important our views are counted, whatever they may be!
Aspley Guise traffic issues / A421
For years, the partly dualled A421 has resulted in some MK bound traffic coming from the M1 junction 13 through the village via Bedford Road & West Hill. The A421 connecting Kingston to the M1 is part owned by MKC and CBC. MKC have nearly finished dualling their stretch, but CBC have achieved rather less, despite the impact it is having on the village during rush hour. CBC Officers have told me they are ‘not confident’ of obtaining funding to complete dualling.
Question 1: Are you affected by MK bound traffic, and would you support traffic calming / disincentives for through traffic along Bedford Road & West Hill?
Question 2: Would you like to see CBC and MKC co-operate, perhaps by CBC relinquishing ownership of the A421 west of the M1, to speed up the process of dualling – perhaps by including it within Plan:MK?
The band D (average, comparative) Council Tax precept for the residents of Aspley Guise is £1595/year. In Woburn Sands, it is £1463. A comparable “village” Parish in MK (“Old Woughton”) charges £1403.
Question 3: Given the services we receive from CBC, do you feel we receive good value for money?
Aspley Guise is already at a higher density than many estates in Milton Keynes, yet CBC’s planning policies favour development within the village boundary rather than outside of it.
Question 4: Are you happy with continued ‘in-fill’ development within the village boundary, or would you prefer new development to happen outside of the village? If so, where?
Aspley Guise Lower school has an Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ primary school, and operates a three tier (lower/middle/upper) system, so children must leave at 9 years old, moving to Fulbrook (Woburn Sands).
Milton Keynes runs a two tier primary/secondary school system, with many Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ primary schools.
Question 5: Do you prefer a two or three tier system, and if two, would you like Aspley Guise Lower school to cater for children until the age 11?
Two Leighton Buzzard secondary schools serve Aspley Guise, Vandyke, 8.1 miles (from The Square, Aspley Guise), or Cedars, 9.5 miles. Both are Ofsted rated ‘Good’.
Our nearest MK secondary school is Walton High, 4 miles, and Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’. The next nearest is Oakgrove, 4.5 miles, also ‘Outstanding’.
Question 6: Are you content with commuting children to Leighton Buzzard or do you believe we should have access to MK’s secondary schools?
Refuse collection / recycling
CBC collect the rubbish on a bi-weekly basis, with a small provision for garden waste. MKC collect all rubbish weekly, with (one or more) weekly wheelie bin provision for garden waste.
Question 7: Are you happy with the current rubbish/recycling service, and if not, how could it be improved?
Walking and cycle paths
The MK ‘redway’ network separates cyclists & pedestrians from traffic. In Woburn Sands, the redway system connects to 170 miles of redway running through MK, which helps keep children safe. The redway system does not come to Aspley Guise, so our residents have to use the busy West Hill or unmaintained Mill Lane to reach Woburn Sands.
Question 8: Would you like to see Aspley Guise connected to the redway network, if so, how? Three possibilities include north of the railway line, along Mill Lane, or adjacent to West Hill.
The residents of Aspley Guise elect a Councillor to CBC, with no influence over MK Council’s expansion agenda.
The residents of near-by Woburn Sands (and Wavendon, Lower End, etc) elect Councillors to MK Council, who argue the case for sensible expansion on behalf of their residents.
Question 9: Are you content being without a voice on MK Council, essentially leaving the members of CBC (based in Chicksands) to speak on our behalf to MKC?
John Baker, 2 Salford Road, Aspley Guise.
(t) 07736393822 (e) TheManorAspleyGuise@gmail.com