Milton Keynes council has rejected proposals by the new town’s delivery agency for the demolition of large numbers of council houses.

A paper published last year by the Milton Keynes Partnership Committee, which has planning powers over growth areas, proposed the replacement of some older council estates with higher density housing.

It said this option, one of a number outlined in the paper, would safeguard greenfield land. The partnership committee is consulting over where to build between 70,000 and 120,000 homes between now and 2031 as part of the Milton Keynes and south Midlands growth strategy.

Council leader Isobel McCall said the authority’s senior councillors opposed such a “top down” approach to the regeneration of residential communities.

She said: “We were concerned that what is put forward is not housing numbers-driven.

Regeneration should be driven by the grass roots

Isobel McCall, Milton Keynes

“We can’t do regeneration that way; it should be driven by the grassroots. There possibly are opportunities for regeneration but it has to be done one estate at a time.”

The council has agreed that the housing required should be provided on poorly located, older industrial estates, which should be the target of employment creation initiatives.

McCall complained that the authority was being unnecessarily hurried into making decisions about the town’s housing growth over the next 25 years because it had to come up with housing numbers for the South-east’s regional plan.