81% express support for St. Modwen’s revised heritage approach
St. Modwen’s revised plans for the £100m regeneration of Wolverton Works were received positively by the large majority of the 150 people who attended a special exhibition in the town last week. Feedback received demonstrated that some 81% ‘strongly supported’ or ‘supported’ the updated plans presented by the developer and heritage specialist architects, Purcell.
St. Modwen held the public exhibition on 20 July to present to the community the changes made to its proposals since the outline planning application was submitted for the regeneration project in August 2015. The key elements of the original proposals have been maintained and these include: new business premises to support hundreds of current and future rail-related jobs; up to 375 new homes; a foodstore for Lidl; public open spaces including a canal view walk; and a heritage centre.
The key changes to the plans are:
- Inclusion of flexible workshop space for SMEs and local start-up businesses
- A new residential masterplan which follows the existing building lines, railway tracks and traversers
- The retention of some existing buildings facades, integrated into the new designs within the residential area
- A different approach to design for the new homes which mirror elements of the existing buildings in terms of building materials, rooflines and styles
- A large community space overlooking a new industrial-feel public square as part of a new, heritage-driven landscape approach
- Confirmation that Lidl is the operator of the food store
Also included in the regeneration plans are various proposals for key heritage features across the site including: retention and restoration of the historic wooden gate within the Stratford Road wall; heritage display boards on the Stratford Road wall; salvaged artefacts or rail related materials/ features designed into the landscape; and a heritage centre dedicated to reflecting the life of the site and the town of Wolverton.
Comments Gary Morris at St. Modwen: “Since the application was submitted last year, we have been working closely with Milton Keynes Council and our design team to assess ways in which the residential part of the development could better reflect the existing layout and the heritage of the site. We are delighted that the community has responded so enthusiastically to the changes made and look forward to continued local engagement as plans progress.”
Continued Morris: “Naturally some visitors also wanted to be reassured about aspects such as architecture, parking, traffic and school places provision. However we were able to talk people through how all of these issues have been dealt with robustly within the planning application’s technical studies and through proposed financial contributions. Ultimately, the overwhelming response was one of excitement about the potential of what we could deliver for Wolverton that would create a unique identity for, and pride in, the town.”
The revised plans will shortly be submitted to Milton Keynes Council at which point the Council will conduct its own statutory stakeholder consultation. It is anticipated that the outline planning application will be considered by councillors on Milton Keynes’ planning committee in early autumn 2016 with the detailed application for the foodstore considered on 4 August 2016.