Press release: 6 December 2013
The successful implementation of the Milton Park Local Development Order (LDO) earlier this year has received an award from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in the category of ‘Outstanding planning to deliver growth’.
At the RTPI South East awards event held at the University of Surrey last week, the judges recognised the impressive degree of planning expertise and innovation in resolving the many planning issues into a simplified framework for managing development without recourse to the normal planning process.
Judges noted that issues including protecting local ecological interest and the setting of a site of historic importance had been dealt with very effectively, alongside exceeding expectations for community engagement.
The result is an LDO that delivers significant scope for employment generating development and redevelopment of parts of the park, while safeguarding environmental and community interests, without the normal time and cost implications of a planning application.
The LDO is of real benefit for businesses wanting purpose built accommodation quickly and will underpin the growth of the Science Vale Enterprise Zone. A number of development schemes are already being progressed under the simplified rules.
Judges applauded the positive partnership between MEPC, owners of Milton Park, the Vale of White Horse District Council, and planning consultants Terence O’Rourke.
Philip Campbell, Head of Leasing and Development at MEPC said: "Winning this award is very exciting and wouldn’t have been possible without the Vale council’s forward thinking attitude supported by the innovative expertise of the team at Terence O’Rourke.”
Cllr Matthew Barber, leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We’re continually looking for innovative ways to help us provide for growth in the Vale. It’s pleasing to have been acknowledged by industry professionals, and it demonstrates the forward looking and business friendly approach of the council. Most importantly for us though, it is an indication that we’re doing the right thing by our current and future residents.”
Commenting on the award, Terence O’Rourke’s Director, Haydn Morris, said “We are delighted to have received this award for this exciting and ground breaking project. It is testament to the strong partnership between MEPC, Vale of White Horse District Council and Terence O’Rourke, which has achieved a successful outcome that will stand the test of time.”
Simplifying the planning process to help deliver growth continues to be a major priority for the government. Adopted in January, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said of the Milton Park LDO:
“Local business and private sector commerce turn the wheels of our economy creating the jobs this country needs. This Government has set about fostering local enterprise by creating the conditions for businesses to thrive and our Enterprise Zones are one of the best ways places like Oxford can entice new companies to their area.
“The council gets this and one of the ways they are making this happen is by setting up this excellent Local Development Order in Milton Park. It is a shining example of how the council and local businesses have worked together successfully to simplify the planning rules to attract new commerce to the Park where they