’Localist’ deal includes land for 5,000 homes

The government’s housing agency is to sell sites for 5,000 homes in Milton Keynes to the council.

The board of the Homes and Communities Agency and the council’s cabinet were expected to back the “localist” deal at meetings this week.

The assets - which include the town’s bus and coach stations, entertainment venue the Milton Keynes Bowl, enough land for 5,000 homes and 400,000ft2 of employment space and 250ha of open space - are currently held by the Milton Keynes Partnership, an HCA body which works with the council to redevelop the sites.

The partnership’s planning powers for the town, the £18,500-per-house infrastructure tariff it administers, and its business promotion body Invest Milton Keynes, will also transfer. The deal could be done by April 2012 if it is approved by the Treasury, the communities department and the council. Brian White, chair of the council’s scrutiny committee on the transfer, said: “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the council so that development is at its core.”

Paul Spooner, executive director Midlands for the HCA, said further assessment of the options, including sales, will be carried out by the council, the HCA and government before decisions are made later in the year.