New hospital to serve Bedford as part of MK development plans

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10,000 homes and a new hospital... that’s the latest proposals to come as part of the council’s Plan:MK consultations.

A second major 10,000 home development has been proposed for the outskirts of MK - but this time it could include a new HOSPITAL.

A specialist planning company has submitted a bid to MK council to build two ‘garden communities’ to the east of the M1 towards Cranfield.

The massive site would encompass a new hospital which would serve both MK and Bedford.

It would also leave space for a major campus university, bang in the middle of the Oxford to Cambridge corridor.

The proposal from Berrys comes hot on the heels of last week’s submission from Gallagher Estates to build a ‘mini Milton Keynes’ of up to 20,000 new homes in the north, on countryside between Little Linford and Castlethorpe.

Both bids came as part of Plan:MK, which dictates that the city should swell by 40,000 new homes in the next 25 years.

Sources at the council say there is no reason BOTH plans should not go ahead, solving the housing crisis in one fell swoop.

The Berrys’ submission states the east of M1 expansion would be a “natural progression” of MK’s eastern expansion area (EEA).

Spilling into Central Beds, it would continue the “successful development progression” of Broughton Gate, Brooklands and Magna Park, and provide its infrastructure and roads to bypass Moulsoe and Salford.

Residents could benefit from the East West Rail link, which will see new passenger services operating from 2019.

Each garden community would have its own schools and central community hub, say Berrys.

“Public open space, parkland, informal green space and woodland will be important and essential features of this growth area,” the submission states.

“Our vision is a “rus in urbe” development, allowing nature it penetrate right into the settlement - a true garden community, taking the best of the past and looking towards the future,” it adds.

City Lib Dem councillor Sam Crooks (pictured)has welcomed Berry’s submission.

He said: “It recognises importance of green space, helps villages currently plagued by traffic, and gives opportunities for a new university based on Cranfield as well as space for new hospital units linking MK and Bedford. It really ticks all the boxes. This is not an alternative to last week’s Northern proposal. We will need both and, indeed, more to meet our housing targets.”

The government has given the council an ultimatum to facilitate the building of 1,750 new homes each year until 2031.

Plan:MK was launched and submissions were invited from all interested parties.

The plan is based on four options: developing ‘garden cities’ in rural areas, building a mirror image of MK to the east, creating an urban extension to the west, or simply cramming more homes into the existing designated area.

New University

A major Milton Keynes university, complete with its own campus, could become world renowned, states Berry’s submission.

It says: “MK falls within the Oxford to Cambridge arc. There is support for the O2C Arc to evolve into Europe’s premier knowledge-based economy with aspirations to be world leading.”

The uni would have links to Cranfield university. But this may upset the University of Bedfordshire, which has already expanded into the city to runs courses at UCMK.