SITE ASSESSMENT

Flooding & Drainage

There is an existing brook running through the centre of the site, which has a small associated floodplain. This area would remain open and it is proposed to form a linear park. Furthermore, the natural topography of the site would create natural location options for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs).

Environmental Designations

The area does not contain any Landscape Environmental Designations. A high level assessment carried out for the Draft MK Strategy for 2050 identifies Pokers Pond SSSI, south of Stoke Hammond and several ancient woodlands between Newton Longville and the proposed Salden Chase development and also west of Salden Chase. These are not in the vicinity of Newton Leys West.

 

The Draft MK Strategy for 2050 Assessment also acknowledges that the Ouzel Claylands landscape area, where Newton Leys West is located, is likely to be able to accommodate residential development without a significant adverse change in the landscape character.

 

There are no known heritage assets located within the site, with the closest being located in Newton Longville some 1km to the north west and Stoke Hammond some 1.5km to the south east. Furthermore, there are no known ecological designations within or in close proximity to the site.

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Agricultural Land Classification

There are no significant issues with either agricultural land quality or ground contamination that require detailed assessments prior to that normally undertaken at the Planning Application stage.

Newton Leys West comprises a mix of Grade 3 land, as shown on the Government's agricultural land map.

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Access & Movement

Newton Leys West can assist in meeting the long term objective of providing a link road connecting the A421 and the A416, a South West Milton Keynes (SWMK) Link Road, also known as a Bletchley Southern Bypass. This potential road link is included within the Recommended Spatial Strategy for the Draft MK Strategy for 2050 and is identified as a key piece of infrastructure in the VALP to help mitigate traffic impacts. The SWMK Link Road would help relieve traffic congestion in Bletchley and the wider south west Milton Keynes area and, importantly, also act as a relief road for Newton Longville, which currently suffers from "rat running", that will likely increase with further significant development proposed off the A421, such as at Salden Chase.

 

The proposed link road can also function as a sustainable transport corridor connecting to the Salden Chase scheme and in particular the proposed new secondary school within this scheme. This transport corridor would also facilitate sustainable connections, via public transport and cycling, to Bletchley Town Centre and Railway Station and also Central Milton Keynes. The inclusion of a sustainable transport corridor is particularly important in view of issues of climate change and the recent Government publication "Decarbonising Transport" Strategy.

 

Vehicular access points to the development are proposed to be taken from Drayton Road, to the south, and the proposed new SWMK Link Road, to the west. It is proposed that existing Stoke Road is utilised as a vehicular access point in the early phases of the development, however following the construction of a new internal development spine road and the SWMK Link Road, it is proposed that Stoke Road be closed to through traffic and only used for local vehicular access, pedestrians and cyclists.

New footways and cycleways are proposed creating a high quality walkable neighbourhood. There is also the opportunity to make sustainable connections into the existing Newton Leys development thus providing excellent permeability and connectivity to the range of existing local amenities and services, including current bus services, within walking and cycling distance from the site.

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Landscape Principles

The provision of enhanced green infrastructure forms an integral part of the Newton Leys West proposals. The site's location adjacent to an existing watercourse is to be maximised to provide an enhanced green link from the existing Newton Leys development to the wider area, utilising in part an existing public right of way. It is not proposed to bring forward development within this green corridor, not only due to the constraint of the flood plain, but also to retain this area as an open linear park, extending into a significant area of formal open space, to complement and extend the green infrastructure provision in the locality. 

 

Development is to be pulled back from the higher north eastern and south western edges of the site where areas of tree planting and open space are proposed. This is in part to provide screening of potential views from the surrounding area, namely Newton Longville, and therefore soften the built form but also to provide a continuous green link along the edges of the proposed development.

Along the western edge of the site the proposed SWMK Link Road corridor will provide the boundary of the development. This corridor will incorporate structural tree planting to help screen the development from the open countryside.

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