Petition update

Page 1 of 8 Wolverton Works Q&A from November Public Meeting

Phil Webb
Wolverton, ENG, United Kingdom

Feb 12, 2016 — Page 1 of 8
Wolverton Works
Q&A from November Public Meeting
January 2016
Can you explain the phases and why they have been t
imed in the way they have?
The discount foodstore will be delivered first as t
he land where it will be developed is currently
vacant. Preserving employment on site is the drivin
g force behind these proposals and
replacement business space has to be provided for K
norr-Bremse before the remainder of the site
can be redeveloped with new housing. As such, redev
elopment of the east of the site will take
place in phase 2, with the new housing on the weste
rn half of the site forming phase 3.
How do these proposals relate to the redevelopment
of the Agora?
The redevelopment of Wolverton Works and redevelopm
ent of the Agora are being brought
forward by different developers, at different times
The application for Wolverton Works would not preve
nt, or negatively impact on the redevelopment
of the Agora. Instead, the proposals have been deve
loped, particularly at the eastern end, to
complement and encourage links between, the town ce
ntre and Wolverton Works.
Who owns the site? Who are KPI who own the land?
The site is owned by Key Property Investments (KPI)
. This is a Joint Venture company owned by
St. Modwen Properties PLC and Salhia Real Estate Co
Has there been interest in the site from other part
ies since St. Modwen owned it?
Who owns St. Modwen?
St. Modwen is a Public Limited Company whose shares
are traded on the London Stock
What are you proposing in terms of housing?
Our application proposes up to 375 new homes. The e
xact number, as well as the sizes and
designs of the new homes, will be the subject of a
future ‘Reserved Matters’* application.
*Meaning: an application which provides the detaile
d design
Page 2 of 8
Will there be any homes for the elderly?
At this stage, the application does not propose any
designated ‘specialist’ accommodation for older
people. However the new homes will be in a range of
sizes, including some smaller one and two
bedroom properties suitable for older people lookin
g to downsize.
There is nothing in the current planning applicatio
n that would prevent future ‘Reserved Matters’
applications from including specialist homes for th
e elderly if demand was clearly evident at that
Will there be any affordable housing? What kind of
affordable housing will be provided?
St. Modwen is currently in discussions with Milton
Keynes Council regarding the amount of
‘affordable housing’* to be provided.
*Meaning: specific planning term which could relate
to social housing, affordable (discount) rent, key
worker or shared
ownership. NB housing which doesn’t come under this
term would simply be market housing which is priced
at an
appropriate level for the local market.
What height will the flats be? How will the new hom
es relate to existing ones surrounding
the site?
It is proposed that the new homes across the site w
ill be a mix of sizes and character areas to
respond to the nature of the buildings around them.
The buildings will range in heights, but
generally from 2 to 4 storeys with the possibility
of taller buildings in key, landmark locations.
Further detail of this matter is provided in the De
sign Guide which is included in the planning
application documents.
When will the public consultation on phase 3 take p
As phases 1 and 2 need to come forward first, curre
ntly there is no anticipated start date for
consultation. This will be dependent on market dema
nd and resultant planning timescales.
What is the future for Knorr-Bremse at the Wolverto
n Works? Are they intending to renew
their lease past its current end date in 2018?
St. Modwen has been in discussions with Knorr-Brems
e throughout the development of
regeneration plans for the site; these are being br
ought forward to address Knorr-Bremse’s future
business needs at Wolverton Works.
Will they have space to expand their business in th
e future?
Discussions between St. Modwen and Knorr-Bremse are
taking into account both the present and
future needs of the company.
Page 3 of 8
What is St. Modwen’s interest in keeping rail-relat
ed employment on site?
The entire masterplan has been geared around ensuri
ng ongoing access to the railway line to
ensure railway business can continue on the site.
St. Modwen’s interest is in keeping a major,
existing tenant on the site through these regenerat
ion proposals.
What would the new railway-related employment build
ings look like?
The detail of the commercial buildings will be deal
t with through a ‘Reserved Matters’* planning
application in due course.
*Meaning: a form of planning application which deal
s with the detailed design of a building that alrea
dy has Outline
Planning Permission.
Discount Food Store
How many parking spaces will be provided?
Current proposals are only indicative; the exact nu
mber of spaces will be determined as part of the
‘Reserved Matters’ planning application and will be
in response to the foodstore operator’s needs
and in accordance with the policy requirements of M
ilton Keynes Highways Department.
Is there demand for another food store?
There is demand for a new discount food store withi
n Wolverton, which would serve those living in
the town and surrounding area. Whilst a retailer ha
s not yet been confirmed, St. Modwen is
currently in discussions with several well-known na
tional brands, reflecting the confidence they
have in a new store in Wolverton.
Why has this location been chosen?
This part of Wolverton Works is currently vacant an
d free of buildings and a new store could be
developed here soon after the granting of planning
permission. It is also closer to the centre of
town than the far western end of the site which pre
viously had a planning application for a new
food store refused for this reason. Planning policy
supports town centre development for
foodstores and therefore planning officers at Milto
n Keynes would not be supportive of the
foodstore in a more western location.
Will any public toilets be provided?
This would be a matter for the operator of the food
store but it is likely they will be.
How will the design of this store differ from the ‘
underground’ Tesco branch?
The design of the new store will be different to Te
sco. Direct access, via the existing road, would
be provided to the foodstore and car park from Stra
tford Road. Open steps and ramped access
would also be provided for pedestrians direct from
Stratford Road.
There have also been a number of lessons learnt fro
m the Tesco development in terms of making
public spaces welcoming.
Page 4 of 8
What funding will be created by the proposals for i
nvestment locally?
All planning applications are required to provide f
unding to go towards local infrastructure. This
funding will be agreed between St. Modwen and Milto
n Keynes Council and governed by a
‘Section 106’ agreement.
What impact will the proposals have on local school
s and GPs?
If the planning application were to be granted perm
ission, funding would have to be agreed as a
part of the Section 106 agreement to go towards loc
al education and healthcare provision.
Is there the potential for a new school/doctors’ su
rgery to be provided on site as part of the
Discussions with Milton Keynes Council about this a
re ongoing, although at the moment it is
envisaged that funding would be provided to existin
g off-site facilities rather than providing new
ones on site.
Could any leisure or community facilities be provid
ed on site?
The heritage centre is intended to have communal us
es as well as providing information about the
history of Wolverton Works.
Will the redevelopment of the site be zero carbon a
nd sustainable?
The development will include a number of sustainabi
lity features which will ensure it meets current
Building Regulations standards for sustainability a
nd Milton Keynes’ policy requirements.
Are there any issues around decontamination facing
the site? How will these be
Based on the site’s industrial use, there will be m
atters to resolve in relation to cleaning up the si
for redevelopment. All appropriate studies have bee
n undertaken by environmental experts, in line
with UK industry quality standards and procedures,
to ascertain what contamination may remain in
the ground and in the existing buildings. As part
of the redevelopment, ground and building
remediation will be undertaken, again following UK
industry standards and procedures. This type
of remediation work is very common on sites such as
this and St. Modwen, as regeneration
specialists, has a vast amount of experience in dea
ling with sites of this nature.
Transport and access
Could the site be connected to the Milton Keynes re
dway network? Will there be a safe
crossing point for people crossing to the new food
store from the community centre car
These matters are under ongoing discussions with Mi
lton Keynes’ Highways Department.
Page 5 of 8
What impact will there be on Stratford Road?
A detailed Transport Assessment has been submitted
as part of the planning application for the
site. This confirms that there would be no signific
ant adverse effect on Stratford Road.
Is the bridge on McConnell Drive tall enough for HG
Vs to pass underneath?
Yes it is. The proposed access for HGVs visiting th
e site along McConnell Drive has been
designed to work with an articulated lorry of 3.8m
in height and 16.5m in length.
Buildings on site
Are subsidies available to St. Modwen to support th
e retention or conversion of some
buildings? Has this been looked into?
No subsidies of the scale necessary to support the
retention of some of the existing buildings are
available to St. Modwen.
Will St. Modwen publicly share 1) the feasibility w
ork they have undertaken on the existing
buildings and 2) their figures around the viability
of the development?
1) The feasibility work undertaken was submitted as
part of the planning application in the CGMS
‘Viability Report July 2015’. It is publicly availa
ble for anyone with an interest in the site via the
Milton Keynes Council website or by visiting the Sa
xon Gate offices. 2) The viability appraisal is a
commercially sensitive document which will not be m
ade public. It will however be independently
assessed and scrutinised by a Council-appointed 3
party consultant, to ensure the assumptions
and conclusions are robust. This is common practis
e in relation to developments and viability
Has St. Modwen investigated medium or long term pro
spects for potential occupiers (such
as the mooted Milton Keynes University)?
The cost of redeveloping the site will be considera
ble and St. Modwen has to ensure that it can
secure tenants to support this. A great deal of wor
k has been undertaken to consider potential
occupiers and what their requirements would be. No
interest has been expressed from the kinds of
institutional use suggested in the question.
Couldn’t more of the existing buildings be retained
, for example more of the façades as has
been done on McQuocadale Drive?
St. Modwen is already proposing to retain an elemen
t of the lifting shop for the heritage centre.
Enclosed is a document which explains why it is not
viable or practical to retain more of the
existing buildings if the development is to go ahea
Page 6 of 8
Heritage centre
What will this centre be?
It is too early to say what this centre will be lik
e but the aspiration is that it will allow artefact
s and
information about Wolverton Works to be presented i
n a dedicated heritage and community centre
located in a partially converted building, forming
a key focal point within the redeveloped site
Who would be responsible for the operation of the h
eritage centre?
It is too early in the process to be able to say wh
o would manage the heritage centre or how this
be operated. Discussions will take place with poten
tial interested operators at the appropriate time.
However St. Modwen are keen to ensure that this fac
ility does not conflict with Milton Keynes
Museum and will continue discussions with them.
How will the viability and financial sustainability
of the centre be handled?
Decisions about ongoing funding will take place onc
e an operator has been secured.
Who will be responsible for the salvaging of artefa
cts from the existing buildings for use in
the centre?
The inspection of the site and reclamation of herit
age artefacts is ongoing at the moment. This
process is being closely managed by St. Modwen and
Where would the Bloomer engine go?
There is the potential that this could be included
as part of the heritage centre but no discussions
have been had with its owners to date about that sp
ecific opportunity.
Whose idea was the heritage centre?
As part of stakeholder and public consultation, St.
Modwen had a number of discussions on the
general idea of the heritage centre with many parti
es including Milton Keynes Museum. St.
Modwen is aware however that, quite separately, ind
ividuals in the town had developed their own
detailed plans as to how they wanted to take the he
ritage centre forward personally.
St. Modwen has not been seeking to develop any deta
ils for the heritage centre at this stage as its
delivery is several years away due to the phasing p
Stratford Road wall
What will happen to the wall around the site?
It is proposed that the existing perimeter wall of
Wolverton Works is left largely intact, given its
prominence and character. There is also a need to k
eep the wall in place around the parts of the
site which will still be used for employment.
Page 7 of 8
However, elements of the wall will be removed aroun
d the eastern part of the site to allow access
to, and visibility of, the new foodstore.
Will there be views of the canal through the develo
The development has been proposed to allow breaks i
n the built form to enable views across to
the canal. A new path is also proposed to run along
the back of the site in parallel to the canal
which everyone will have access to.
What will be done to mark the heritage of the canal
Educational heritage display boards will be placed
along the Stratford Road wall to provide
information about the heritage of the site, includi
ng the canal. Public spaces will also be
characterised by railway features with artefacts us
ed for public art, street lighting, signs, benches
etc. There is also the potential for internal stre
et names to reflect the railway heritage of the sit
Could a footbridge over the canal be provided?
There is already a bridge over the canal close to t
he western edge of the site. There is no support
from the Canal & River Trust, who own the canal, to
fund, support the delivery of, or manage a
bridge in this location. Huge level differences be
tween this site and the canal edge would also
make the physical logistics of a bridge here, parti
cularly expensive and difficult.
Will there be any changes to the access to the cana
The land which would be required to access the cana
l is not within the ownership of St. Modwen.
No changes to how the towpath is accessed are propo
sed within this planning application.
Why is a marina not being proposed as a part of the
redevelopment of the site?
The land which would be required for this is not wi
thin the ownership of St. Modwen.
Royal Train
The Royal Train is currently based at Wolverton Wor
ks and St. Modwen is fully aware of the
existing agreements relating to its upkeep and main
Why can’t St. Modwen be more like Places for People
, who produced a development that
goes with the grain of Wolverton’s historic buildin
Page 8 of 8
The Wolverton Park scheme was heavily subsidised. D
espite this subsidy, the developers still
struggled to find occupiers for the residential and
commercial properties due to the type of space
provided and the associated rents and purchase pric
Why isn’t St. Modwen linking with local voluntary a
nd community sector to see how they
could be part of the development?
The public consultation undertaken in 2014 was open
to everyone to come and talk through any
ideas for the site; there has been ongoing communit
y engagement since then.
As this is an outline planning application, there i
s still much more detailed work to be done to work
out how the buildings will look and how they will b
e used so there would be many more
opportunities to have these types of discussions wi
th interested parties.
Where will future residents work?
Future residents will be very much like other Wolve
rton residents in that they may work locally
around the town or they may use the very close trai
n station or easy to access buses to travel to
Milton Keynes or beyond to get to work.

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