14 Milton Road
Milton Keynes MK15 9AD
The St Modwen Planning Application to demolish Wolverton Works was approved by Milton Keynes Council on 17 November 2016 - or was it? It lies within a Conservation Area, with affordable housing set at only 10% instead of the mandated 30%. Historic England Objected and a 2nd Hearing on 3 August 2017 was nullified due to 'procedural errors'. Another hearing was held on 25 September and Councillors voted narrowly in favour of demolition. Historic England presented their case against the demolition at the Judicial review on 23 May in Court 2 at The High Court in London.
Wolverton Works redevelopment plans latest news - June 2017
The owners of the land that Wolverton Works is situated on is St. Modwen and they announced in October 2014 plans to redevelop the 37 acre site. About 20 acres will be for residential and retail use and the rest will be the home of a brand new railway works facility for Knorr-Bremse, the company that bought Railcare from the Administrators in August 2013.
The Outline Planning Application to demolish the Works was taken on 17 November 2016 amongst some controversy. This decision has now been 'called in' by the Government Homes and Communities department and is currently being reviewed. Phil Marsh has made a submission into this process which explained in great detail why the basic railway assumptions submitted by G L Hearn were flawed and physically impossible to deliver! The construction of the new Lidl discount store will commence in the first quarter of 2017 and the Lidl alcohol license application has now been made. Except is hasn't yet commenced!
The whole site is contained within a Conservation Area which the Milton Keynes Council planners ignored when making their decision.
St Modwen's tennants Knorr-Bremse applied for planning permission to convert the 1898 former Wheel shop into offices and requested planning consent to change six Victorian windows to facilitate this. This was refused by Milton Keynes planners. St Modwen have studiously refused to answer any questions about their plans and have not held any meaningful public consultations on their demolition plans.
St Modwen and Council planners have also ignored local Planning Policy W3 which decrees that the railway buildings should be retained in any development. My Freedom of Information request has yielded many interesting emails between St Modwen, their agents G L Hearn, MK Council and Knorr-Bremse.
The railway works would be at the east of the current site and the proposals have already caused some angst amongst Wolverton residents who fear that the heart and 'raison d'etre' for Wolverton's existance will be lost as with the Euston Arch.
Some of the buildings will be expensive to repair - but cheaper than demolition and rebuilding while those in use have been refurbished and re-equipped so should they all be demolished? This was also ignored by the planners.
Four years after the purchase, the Works now employs around 500 staff and contractors and has brought most of the buildings back into use. St Modwen has also purchased the former garage on the Stratford Road.
How long will this level of employment last? Who knows as no major new contracts have been announced.
Wolverton Works right upper and lower. This is the demolition of part of the works in 1992 following the fire in May 1991 - some say suspicious - and this area was also redeveloped. Beow: The first test boreholes have been made and the Conservation Area in September 2016.
PHOTOGRAPHY OF WOLVERTON WORKS
Knorr-Bremse has tried to stop two local photographers taking images from the Stratford Road of the Works. This is a public place as is the car park behind the Community Centre.
Knorr-Bremse has absolutely NO legal powers preventing you from takking images from these places.