Oakgrove Land Development  

This page is to keep resident up to date on the current situation regarding the rectangle of land, between Oakgrove School and Middleton. The land is owned by Oakgrove Secondary School and the Department of Education have given them permission to now sell the land. 


Here you will find the latest updates and frequently asked questions. 
24/05/2021 - Latest Update 
Communication with Ben Everitt MP 
We have written to our local MP who forwarded our letter to the Department for Education (DfE). 
"The reply that Ben received from the DfE acknowledges that they are dealing with an application for a change of use of the land and that this is under review. Importantly and we think encouragingly, they state, “it should be noted that the Department’s starting point and policy presumption is not to allow any disposal or change of use of school land. Therefore, the application is currently still under review and being considered by officials within the Department’s Land Transactions Team. Any disposal of land from the educational estate needs to be appropriately justified in the circumstances”. 
13/05/2021 - The purpose of this update is to ensure that everyone has the latest information on this situation. 
Access across Parish Land 
We took legal ‘opinion’ advice from a barrister who advised us that we should not be obligated by the land transfer covenants to grant access across our land for this proposed housing development. 
We have advised the developer’s solicitors of this opinion and we await their response. 
Communication with Milton Keynes Council (MKC) Planning 
We have communicated with the Head of Planning about their discussions with the developer on the possible new houses and road options. We wanted to ensure that MKC Planning understand that we do not intend to grant the requested road access across Parish Council land and that we would like to be kept informed of any further discussions with the developer. While such pre-planning discussions are permitted and may be private, we have spelt out resident’s anxieties about the development site. 
Communication with MKC Legal 
We have made requests about the status of the original land transfer conditions between MKC and Oakgrove School. There do not appear to have been changes regarding the permitted use of land or changes to the clawback provisions which reclaim capital gains on the sale of the land. 
These legal provisions would limit the benefit of the sale of the land but we are not privy to all the changes which may have been made in this regard with other government entities (Homes England). 
Communication with Oakgrove School 
We have not yet been able to engage in discussions with Oakgrove School on this matter. 
Communication with KET 
Trustees of the Academy School intend to use the proceeds of any land sale for the benefit of the school. We do not wish to thwart the school from raising funds for improvement in facilities, but this option is one that is not wanted by local residents for a number of reasons, including road access arrangements and the change of use of land granted by the government for educational and leisure facilities only. 
The Parks Trust 
We are in helpful communication with the Parks Trust about the maintenance and protection of the land in Middleton Park and the adjoining area. 
Local Traffic Situation 
The highways department of MKC are dealing with traffic and road safety issues on the already congested roads on Claridge Park estate. Parking facilities are pushing cars onto the narrow highway with few options for a solution. This only serves to amplify resident concerns over increasing traffic volumes from potential new dwellings in this proposed development and their impact on road safety. 
Recent accidents at the Chaffron Way intersection underscore the urgency of not further increasing vehicle movements onto this grid road as it absorbs the burden of new volume of traffic to Broughton and Brooklands and to City centre facilities. 
Photographic evidence of congestion and accident reports would be helpful to underline resident concerns at the time of any formal planning submissions. Please send them through to us at: Info@broughtonandmkv-pc.gov.uk 
Actions from Residents 
Residents should write to their MP and ward councillors about concerns to add to the weight of opinion already submitted by other residents and the Parish Council. 
Your local MP’s contact details 
Ben Everitt 
Phone: 01908 686830 
Email: ben.everitt.mp@parliament.uk 
Twitter: @Ben_Everitt 
Your local ward councillors contact details 
Councillor Kerrie Bradburn 
Email: kerrie.bradburn@milton-keynes.gov.uk 
Phone: 07938 121333 
Councillor Uroy Clarke 
Email: uroy.clarke@milton-keynes.gov.uk 
Councillor Sam Crooks 
Phone: 07803 036656 
Q. Do you have any further news on the legal position of access rights across Parish Council owned land? 
A. The Parish Council has taken senior legal opinion over the rights that a new landowner of the development site might have over the Parish Council land between it and the Claridge Park estate. In that opinion we have been assured that no right exists along with the terms of the 2012 transfer to the Parish Council or any other document. 
This endorses the position that the Parish Council has already taken regarding access that has been requested by the developer. The Parish Council does not believe that the development is in the best interests of local residents for a variety of reasons, including increased road traffic and congestion at junctions, damage to the environment, destruction of biodiversity, threat to endangered species and change of use of the development site from leisure and public amenity restrictions. 
Q. We have heard that Kingsbridge Educational Trust has applied to the Secretary of State for Education to change the restrictions on permitted use of the land to allow housing? 
A. The land registered under BM318940 and area known as U70 requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Education to be sold and for its permitted use to be changed to allow housing development. 
The school wish to use any proceeds for the improvement of sporting facilities at Oakgrove School. We understand that the request to the Department of Education is still not yet determined. The Parish Council would prefer to see the land integrated into the Middleton Linear Park and managed by The Parks Trust if possible. There are other alternative uses which we believe should be considered and do not require a change of designated permitted use. 


Question 1. 
Who owns the Development Land? 
The land that has been proposed for development was/is owned by Kingsbridge Educational Trust (www.ket.education). They are a multi-school academy which includes responsibility for Oakgrove School, Monkston, Kents Hill Park and Middleton. The land known as U70 was transferred from MKC with restrictive covenants relating to its permissible use for the community. We understand that these covenants were made with the transfer of the land from Homes England. We do not know if these covenants have been lifted. 
Question 2. 
Who owns the Land between U70 and Claridge Park? 
The Broughton and Milton Keynes Parish Council (BMKPC) owns a narrow strip of land between U70 and the Claridge Park Development. This land was transferred to the Parish Council with covenants and reserved rights concerning access obligations. BMKPC has taken legal advice on the applicability of the obligations imposed by the terms of the transfer from MKC and originally from Homes England (then HCA). It is currently taking further advice. 
Question 3. 
We have heard that the developer has been discussing plans with the MKC Planning Department regarding access onto Walton Road via Tyhurst or Far Holme (Southside Lane). 
We have heard that MKC’s Planning Department have indicated a preference for access to Southside rather than Tyhurst for houses on U70. We have also heard about discussions for a new road between Southside and Walton road which would meet Walton road closer to Dorman’s Close. This road would be sited between the dell pond and Southside Farm. At least some of this land is owned by MKC. 
It is important to note that any discussions are not decisions but suggestions on the part of the planning department. This is normal pre-planning behaviour that may precede actual transfers or right to land access. 
Question 4. 
Why is this development not made accessible from Chaffron Way even as a ‘left turn only’ access? 
We understand that MKC’s Highways Authority would strongly object to the provision of any access to the Grid Road system over and above those that are already in place. 
Question 5. 
Is the Council’s objection to grid road access based on proximity to existing junctions? 
We have heard this but are checking with Highways department. It would seem less of an issue with access on North side of the road only with ‘left turn only’ access. 
Question 6. 
Have you been approached by the KET? 
No, but we are trying to establish contact to understand their position and status with the land. 
Question 7. 
How can residents get involved and express their views? 
Once a planning application is made to the Council, it can be accessed and reviewed. 
Any objections can be made to the Planning Portal on the MKC website. 
Question 8. 
What happens if the Planning Application is rejected? 
The developer has the right to appeal the decision. This appeal would ultimately be determined by the Secretary of State. 
Question 9. 
If access is denied by the Parish Council what happens next? 
If access is also denied for access to Chaffron Way, the developer may choose to make an appeal to the Secretary of State to over-rule the Parish Council’s denial of access to prevent housing development. 
Question 10. 
What are the developer’s obligations regarding ecological impact? 
Planning consent would be subject to the developer meeting criteria to protect any Endangered Species (such as Great Crested Newts, Badgers and Bats) and comply with obligations to preserve and enhance Biodiversity in the relevant area. 
Question 11. 
Do the current roads meet MKC’s requirements for the volume of additional traffic generated from 60 new homes? 
We understand that they comply with width but the length of the single road along Tyhurst makes this option undesirable if not uncompliant with published requirements. 
Question 12. 
What about the alternative routes for access roads? 
We understand that pre planning advice to the developer has recommended a road joining Far Holme and passing between the property at Southside Farm and the dell pond. We do not have any details from the planners or developer. 
Question 13. 
Have the developers invited involvement with the development? 
Yes, but we have not engaged with them without a clear understanding of the legal options open to the Parish Council. This has been a slow process of discovery due to the historical transfers. 
Permissions for change of use and other compliance obligations would be easier with the support of the Parish Council. We would want to ensure that the interests of current residents are at the heart of any support that we might provide. 

Recording of public meeting held on Tuesday 16th February at 7:15pm 

If you have any questions that haven't been covered in the FAQs, please send them through to info@broughtonandmkv-pc.gov.uk and we will answer them if in a position to do so. 

Questions submitted by residents. 

What can residents do, if anything, that would have an impact on stopping any potential planning permission. 
Once a planning application is made to the Council, it can be accessed and reviewed. Any objections can be made to the Planning Portal on the MKC website. 
Has the development been put forward to MK council in any capacity yet, if so, any feedback from this? 
We have heard that MKC’s Planning Department have indicated a preference for access to Southside rather than Tyhurst for houses on U70. We have also heard about discussions for a new road between Southside and Walton road which would meet Walton road closer to Dorman’s Close. This road would be sited between the dell pond and Southside Farm. At least some of this land is owned by MKC. 
It is important to note that any discussions are not decisions but suggestions on the part of the planning department. This is normal pre-planning behaviour that may precede actual transfers or right to land access. 
I am writing regarding the Middleton development. I am a Far Holme resident, so I am very worried about the impact on the street. On Facebook I noticed that Sam stated that you were supportive of the development. I am curious to know the reasons why you support the development. As far as I am aware there is a covenant on this land which specifies it can only be for community use so would like to know why you support a housing development. 
Whilst the Parish Council do not object to the principle of developing houses, it is not in favour of this development as it would like the land to remain as community facility land, as set out in the original use. 
What discussions/engagement have taken place between the school and the parish council prior to the sale of the land? My understanding was this land was given to the school by the developers for an extension to their field. 
We are trying to establish contact with KET to understand their position and status with the land. 
How are the developers able to override the covenants that were in place for the land to be used for the community? 
Homes England, who originally owned the development land(U70), would need to release the covenant and we understand that would need Government authority. 
What is happening with all the nature on this bit of land, there are always bats flying around is it possible they live there. 
Planning consent would be subject to the developer meeting criteria to protect any Endangered Species (such as Bats, Great Crested Newts and Badgers) and comply with obligations to preserve and enhance Biodiversity in the relevant area. 
Will the walkway to the right of the plot stay. 
We are not sure which side you are referring to? The strip between Claridge Park and U70 would remain as a footpath and continue to be managed by the Parks Trust. The footpath between OS playing fields and U70 is an established footpath across the land. The Parish Council would want to see that footpath retained to provide access to the underpass to Monkston which has been in place since Chaffron Way was built or perhaps longer? 
What is the current position regarding the new housing development? 
BMKPC are trying to get an update on the current status of the sale of land. No road access has been determined. 
How likely is it the housing development will go ahead? 
We are unable to answer this. 
What are the timescales? 
We do not know. 
Discussions thus far have focussed on access through Far Holme for the development (Tyhurst having now been discounted) – why is the option to access via Chaffron Way not being discussed? Given the pressure on the Claridge Drive junction and the regular accidents since I’ve lived here, it would surely be the sensible option? 
Please refer to Q3 + Q4 in FAQs. 
Is there any indication of how traffic would access new development? 
Please refer to Q3 + Q4 in FAQs. 
Why is direct access to Chaffron Way a 'long shot'? 
Please refer to Q4 in FAQs. 
The solicitors for Kach Capital Estates Ltd claim that road capacity is adequate to accommodate the anticipated number of new dwellings. What data is this based on? 
The developer claims the following: 
Quote ‘Access from Tyhurst to the site can be provided with adequate viability and pedestrian safety measures. Tyhurst currently serves 94 properties and Milton Keynes Council’s (MKC) Residential Design Guide sets out that streets of the character of Tyhurst can provide access for up to 300 dwellings meaning the capacity is, in principle, well within the limits set by MKC Guidance. 
The development of approximately 60 dwellings is likely to generate less than one vehicle movement per minute (on average) in the peak hours, meaning the development is unlikely to have a materially detrimental impact on the operation or safety of the highway in this location, including the junction of Claridge Drive with Chaffron Way. This of course will be analysed in more detail as part of a transport statement to accompany any future planning application, through the collection of traffic data and junction analysis but, in principle, the initial research shows that there is no reason to assume the development would have an adverse impact on the capacity or safety of the highway network. We would of course be happy to involve the Parish Council in the highway assessment to ensure any concerns were addressed through the work. Unquote 
What measures would be put in place to deal with the increased traffic, including the increasing problem of speeding, and most people parking on the road/pavement? 
Road and any modification would be under the jurisdiction of highways and would need to ensure safety and capacity for regular users is taking into consideration, and in line with Milton Keynes Council’s (MKC) Residential Design Guide. 
Residents of Claridge Park dispute that the roads of both Tyhurst and Far Holme are adequate to properly support the current dwellings let alone an increase of houses in this development (circa 60). 
Residents report that the road were not able to allow a Fire Appliance to pass recently. MKC refuse collection vehicles regularly have difficulty navigating through congestion. 
Far Holme residents report the difficulty of two vehicles passing roads with the tightest bends (near to the junction with Southside lane). 
What about road access being provided from the School’s roads to Brickhill Street V10? 
There is hearsay that this option has been considered and discounted. Residents take the view that this should be re-examined given that OS are the initiator and beneficiary of the sale of land. 
The Highways Authority should also reconsider the option of providing access to Chaffron way if the School Access is not acceptable. 
We have heard that Highways object to the Chaffron Way access because it would be too close to the grid road intersection of H7/V10. Is that correct? 
It is noted that the proposed junction would be further from the junction that the approved access to the Waitrose site from the same intersection. There are many grid squares that have two access points per side. Middleton has only one on H7. 
What would happen to the wildlife that has established on the U70 Site such as bats and Great Crested Newts? 
Clearly the best option would be to retain this site as green space for community amenity as originally intended. This question is one for the Developers and MKC’s Planning Authority. Residents are encouraged to document all forms of wildlife on the site with dated photographs if possible as evidence of residential habitat. 


Friday 12th February 2021: Public Meeting date set - Tuesday 16th February at 7:15pm  
Friday 22nd January 2021: Following a leaflet, which you received from the parish council at the back end of last year, we would like to keep you updated on where we are with this topic. 
We had anticipated that we would be able to hold a virtual meeting in January to give you the key facts about where we stand legally with regard to having to grant access to a prospective developer. 
Due to the complexity of the various land transfer’s and embedded restrictive covenants, which often come with financial implications, we are still in consultation with our legal advisor. As soon as we have a finite answer, we will be holding a virtual meeting with residents to discuss this further. 
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please send them through to info@broughtonandmkv-pc.gov.uk and we will answer them if in a position to do so. 
Vick Mote 
Some residents have noticed that a plot of land between Oakgrove School and Claridge Park has been put up for sale and have asked us what is happening. 
As your Parish Council we want to make local residents aware of our understanding of the current situation, as we have serious concerns about the impact of a potential housing development and that we are opposed to it. 
What land are we talking about? 
The land is shown in blue below. It is bounded by Chaffron Way (H7), the footpath along the side of the Oakgrove School playing fields, the footpath behind the houses on Claridge Park at the end of Tyhurst, and the cross-connecting footpath that joins with Far Holme. Note that the red line and blue square are not precisely drawn. 
This land was originally purchased as part of the development of Milton Keynes and assigned for the development of Oakgrove School and its playing fields. We understand that the school do not need the land and have offered it for sale via its Kingsbridge Educational Trust. 
This parcel of land has had two issues relating to housing development. 
1. It is currently ‘landlocked’ as it is not connected to the highway system, either Chaffron Way (H7) or to the two roads of Claridge Park (Tyhurst and Far Holme). 
2. We understand that the land has a restrictive covenant that reserves its usage for Community Use. 
Bordering the potential development site (blue rectangle), and shown with red outline on the map above, is an area of land owned (freehold) by the Parish Council. When this thin strip of land was transferred to the Parish Council it came with covenants obliging future owners such as us to grant access across this strip of land if required to allow for housebuilding on the blue rectangle site. 
To many of us on the Parish Council it seemed likely, given the demand for housing and the pressures this places on Milton Keynes Borough Council that one day, covenants or not, it would be over-ruled by Home Office edict or compulsory purchase so that this block of land could be released for building houses in a residential grid square. 
The Parish Council would not normally have allowed roads to be built across its strip of land, but in this case, we have taken legal advice and been told this provision is written into the original agreement and is not something the Parish Council can oppose from a land ownership perspective. 
The Current Situation 
Oakgrove School (through its entity Kingsbridge Educational Trust) has exchanged contracts with Kach Capital Estates Ltd) who hope to develop this land for residential use. They have told us that they are considering building approximately 60 homes. 
They would like access to Tyhurst or Far Holme or both. Their solicitors believe that the road capacity is adequate to accommodate the anticipated number of new dwellings and meets the requirements specified by Milton Keynes Council’s Residential Design Guide. The developers also expect that they can get a release from the covenant specifying the allowable use for the land. 
How can Residents get involved if they have concerns or objections? 
The developer will of course need Planning Permission from Milton Keynes Borough Council before any development can begin. They would have to satisfy the Council on several matters, including safeguards for the protection of endangered species such as Great Crested Newts, biodiversity protection and enhancements and acceptable plans for access to construction traffic. At the point that plans are submitted in outline or detailed form the public will have an opportunity to support or object to the permission being granted. 
At this stage there are many questions that have to be answered. 
We as the Parish Council have serious concerns about increased traffic on the narrow roads of Tyhurst and Far Holme and onto Walton Road, the lozenge roundabout on Claridge Drive and the road junction with Chaffron Way. The right turn onto Chaffron Way has been improved but still busy at peak times and would not be any easier with increased volume. 
A Possible Solution for Access 
An alternative solution to the increased traffic on Claridge Park would be to provide access to Chaffron Way directly from the new development. Given the history of this option in other parts of the city, this may be a long shot, but it must be an item for consideration if the Borough Council want to enable this development. 
Next Steps and Questions 
The developer has asked for the Parish Council’s views on the size, number and type of houses envisaged and how the corridor of green space to the North can be incorporated into the design for the development. So far, the Parish Council has not engaged in talks whilst checking our legal position and options. The important thing now is for the Parish Council to ensure that it represents the view of residents about this development, on points such as: 
1. If traffic access through Claridge Park is inevitable, should it be through Tyhurst, Far Holme or both to split the load? Views will doubtless be split on this. 
2. Should the junction of Far Holme and Walton Road be redesigned to make it safer, with a roundabout perhaps? 
3. Would we want the lozenge roundabout to be widened or left narrow to restrict speed? 
4. Would we want to make right turns onto Chaffron Way (west) prohibited? 
5. If the developer offers (or is made to provide) new community facilities on the new site – what would they be: 
• Play Parks – for what age children? 
• Play facilities for older children, such as a MUGA (Multi Use Games Area), skate and/or bike park, sports pitches? 
• Shop(s), food outlets, a pub? 
We would like to know your thoughts on these matters in due course. 
It is likely that many residents will have strong views about this possible development, which as your Parish Council we are opposed to. We have been told that we cannot stop this development by simply refusing access across our land. 
We will be hosting a forum at which views can be aired and questions asked of Parish and Ward Councillors. Due to COVID restrictions this will be virtual. Details of the date and how to access it will be on our website and Facebook page at least 24 hours beforehand. 
Most of us prefer leaving things as they are when it comes to new housing developments. However, we have chosen to live in an expanding city that many of us want to keep as green as possible. If things have to change, it is our collective responsibility to try to make it work as well as possible. 
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