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Inspector Grants Permission for Access Roads in Milton Keynes to Facilitate the Delivery of Over 1,800 Homes in Buckinghamshire

Craig Howell Williams QC
Meyric Lewis
Hugh Flanagan
Isabella Tafur

A planning Inspector has allowed an appeal against the refusal of permission by Milton Keynes Council for access roads to facilitate the delivery of a sustainable urban extension of over 1,800 homes as part of a cross boundary application in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire. He has also refused applications for costs by Milton Keynes Council and Newton Longville and West Bletchley Parish Councils.

Milton Keynes Council refused permission on transport grounds, alleging that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the mitigation would adequately address the impacts on the road network. 
The South West Milton Keynes Consortium (comprised of Taylor Wimpey; Bellcross; Connolly Homes; Hallam Land and William Davis) lodged an appeal against the refusal of permission, supported by additional transport evidence and updated mitigation proposals. Newton Longville and West Bletchley Parish Councils appeared as a Rule 6 party, objecting to the development on highways grounds. Buckinghamshire

Council also appeared as a Rule 6 party and presented highway evidence in support of the Appellant’s case.
After a two week inquiry, the Inspector found that there was adequate information to demonstrate that the scheme would not have a severe impact on the road network or cause any unacceptable safety impacts.

He accepted that it was not appropriate to require strict compliance with DMRB standards given the nature of the road network. He found that MKC’s refusal of permission, contrary to officer advice, had been based on very little expert evidence and had not provided the Appellant with any indication of where the evidence was said to be deficient or the opportunity to address any of the alleged deficiencies.

The Inspector acknowledged that the Appellant had submitted extensive new evidence as part of the appeal including amendments to the proposed mitigation at a number of junctions, which had resulted in two adjournments, but found that this was not unreasonable given the reason for refusal and did not constitute an evolution of the scheme.

Craig Howell Williams QC and Isabella Tafur acted for the Appellant. Meyric Lewis acted for the Parish Councils. Hugh Flanagan acted for Buckinghamshire Council.