To celebrate the 100th edition of our Construction Buzz Newsletter, we’ve delved into the archives to bring you some of the most influential construction projects from the last 100 years, exactly as they were reported at the time.
In the 1960s, the government decided that a further generation of new towns in the south-east of England was needed to relieve housing congestion in London.
Studies identified north Buckinghamshire as a possible site for a large new town encompassing the existing towns of Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton. The new town was to be the biggest yet, with a target population of 250,000 in a "designated area" of 21,850 acres. The name "Milton Keynes" was taken from the existing village on the site.
The Illustrated London News, 21 January 1967
Milton Keynes is the name of Britain’s first new overspill city, called after one of the North Buckinghamshire villages which it will engulf. By the end of this century it is planned to provide homes for 250,000 people, making it the largest new town to be designated under the New Towns Act. Milton Keynes will be about eight miles long and will include the existing towns of Bletchley, Wolverton, and Stony Stratfoord. It lies to the west of Newport Pagnell on the M1 and will involve nearly 22,000 acres of land. There will be large-scale industry, sited in the northeast, and a major link with the M1 will have to be built. The whole development will cost upwards of £250 million. There has been fierce opposition to the scheme, mainly from farmers, and a public inquiry was held last July, as a result of which the original 27,000 acres scheduled for the development have been reduced. Readers may recall that three years ago Mr F. B. Pooley, the county architect of Buckinghamshire, drew up a scheme for a butterfly-shaped motor-age city, served by a 36-mile monorail system paid for out of the rates, on a site almost identical to that which Milton Keynes will occupy. This scheme, estimated in 1964 to cost £400-£500 million, will no doubt be borne in mind by the planners of the new city, The next step will be for a development corporation to be set up and a master plan to be commissioned – this may take up to two years; but it hoped to provide houses and jobs for 70,000 Londoners at Milton Keynes – present population 159 – by 1981.