Consultation opens on proposals for future employment space at Milton Park
Published on 24 August 2022
People are being invited to comment on a review of the existing Milton Park Local Development Order (LDO) brought forward by the Vale of White Horse District Council and Milton Park.
An LDO is a way for local planning authorities to create an area that can help encourage companies to move into or grow. LDOs can also support the local economy and speed up the construction of the right type of buildings and infrastructure in the right location without the need for planning permission.
The review will improve the sustainability of buildings built on the Park, as well as allowing for a small increase in floorspace of six per cent from what’s allowed in the existing LDO area so that the Park can continue to successfully grow and attract investment.
To help find out more about the proposals, local residents and those working at the Park are invited to attend one of two drop-in sessions at the Bee House, 140 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park on:
- Tuesday 20 September between 10am-2pm
- Thursday 22 September between 3pm-7pm.
People can also join an online event on Wednesday 28 September between 6pm-7.30pm to hear about the proposed changes. Please register if you wish to attend.
The proposed changes to the existing LDO could allow for adjustments to the heights of buildings in different areas of the Park. This includes reducing building heights in the area nearest the Milton Conservation Area.
New developments would also need to be designed in a way that reduces their carbon footprint and incorporates solar panels or other low or zero carbon energy, where possible, while also achieving a net gain in biodiversity.
The types of buildings could include more offices, laboratories and R&D facilities at Milton Park. Proposals also include options for a new hotel with conference facilities, shops, cafés, outdoor sports equipment and a crèche or day nursery to support people and companies at the Park and nearby.
Extra facilities could include more charging points for electric vehicles and ebikes and improved cycling and walking routes could be provided. New open and green spaces are also part of the proposed plans, with existing areas such as Moor Ditch and Kelaart’s Field remaining unchanged from the existing LDO.
Since the original LDO was adopted in 2012 by the council, it has helped bring in new investment and jobs to Milton Park supported by improved public transport links, pedestrian and cycle routes and new green open spaces in the area.
Cllr Debby Hallett, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Transformation at Vale of White Horse District Council said:
“It’s important to us that while we support local investment and job opportunities that it doesn’t come at the cost of the environment or the wellbeing of our residents. We want to hear from people that live nearby and work at the Park on what they think about the proposed changes.”
Philip Campbell, Commercial Director at MEPC Milton Park, said:
“Thanks to the Vale of White Horse District Council’s proactive approach, the refreshed LDO would enable Milton Park to continue supporting the region’s science and innovation engine post-Covid and ensure future development can provide a positive response to the challenges posed by climate change.
“At the same time, the refreshed LDO would cover the same area as under the existing adopted LDO, while the total permitted floor space would increase by only six per cent over what is permitted under the current LDO.
“The launch of the statutory consultation marks a significant milestone in the refresh of the Milton Park LDO and we’re really looking forward to engaging with residents and the business community over the coming weeks.”
You can read the full review and submit your comments until the consultation closes at 11.59pm on Monday 10 October at whitehorsedc.gov.uk/miltonparkldoreview.
Once the consultation has closed the feedback, all technical studies and information on the proposed changes to the current LDO will be considered before any decision is made at a meeting of the Vale of White Horse District Council’s Full Council. If approved the LDO could last until 2041.