Headlines: July 4th, 2005

Homes with state of the art fibre-optic technology, connecting residents with
schools and businesses will be central to the Oakgrove Millennium Community in
Milton Keynes. The first homes at the development could be available as early as
2007.

English Partnerships, the agency behind the Millennium Communities Programme,
and Crest Nicholson, the lead developers for the Milton Keynes scheme, are to
work in partnership with BT and project partners at Milton Keynes Council and
the South East of England Development Agency to raise the level of technology
that will be available to consumers and businesses.

The 158-acre community will pioneer new ways of building and planning to support
up to 2,000 homes with a hi-tech, interactive, lifestyle.

Stephen Hill, who heads the Millennium Communities programme at English
Partnerships, said there had already been a high level of interest from
house-builders and the technology sector and this indicated a real passion for
the possibilities that the Oakgrove Community could open up for the UK housing
market.

He said English Partnerships was supporting this groundbreaking research and
development with private and public sector partners that would transform
thinking about the development of sustainable communities of the future.

The Oakgrove Community is one of seven developments in the national Millennium
Communities Programme, which aims to bring together new ways of planning,
designing and constructing homes to make possible a more sustainable way of
living. It is a joint venture with Crest Nicholson being responsible for master
planning, designing and constructing half of the site. The rest of the land will
be sold in parcels to a number of other developers, to help ensure diversity of
homes and opportunities for companies to contribute to, and learn from,
involvement in a Millennium Community initiative

A new primary school for Oakgrove opened last year and a secondary school – the
first in the country to be built to the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ Standard – is under
construction. A third of the homes are earmarked as affordable housing and a
housing association is already involved in the scheme.