RAILWAY WORKS PLANNING APPLICATION
The Railway Works site represents the largest and most complex development opportunity for Wolverton.
Located between the Grand Union Canal and Stratford Road, the site extends from the west of the car dealerships on Stratford Road to the Tesco car park in the east. It is physically separated from the town by a red brick wall which extends almost the length of the site. There are a number of access points into the site; the front entrance on Stratford Road, McConnell Drive by rail and by car and foot at its far western boundary.
The site contains some historically significant Victorian/Edwardian buildings and overall has survived with a degree of integrity for many years making it nationally significant for its industrial heritage. The proximity of the site to the town centre creates opportunities for development and linkages between the town centre and the canal.
The Neighbourhood Plan establishes the principles that might underpin future development of the site, and these have become increasingly important since the owners of the site, St Modwen, published their initial ideas for regeneration in September 2014.
The Planning Application timeline
KEEP AT TOP
JULY 2018 - High Court upholds MK Council’s decision to grant planning permission
The planning permission granted just before Christmas therefore stands, unless the judge’s decision is overturned in a higher court. The judge considered that the Council was, in law, entitled to come to the conclusion that the future use of one part of the site for railway-related employment and the replacement of the rest for housing outweighed the retention of the unlisted buildings for the contribution they make to the character of Wolverton.
APRIL 2018 - Historic England request Judicial Review on decision to grant planning permission for the Railway Works site
Historic England, who look after England’s Historic Environment, have given notice to Milton Keynes Council that they will be seeking a Judicial Review on the Council’s decision to grant St Modwen planning permission to redevelop the Wolverton Works site.
If the Council refuse to quash the decision, Historic England will make a formal application to the High Court for leave to present their case which is that the demolition of the Works buildings, located within the Wolverton Conservation Area, undermines national and local planning policy which is designed to protect the historic environment.
If the High Court agrees to hear the case, Milton Keynes Council and St Modwen will have the opportunity to persuade the judge to the contrary.
If the High Court decides to quash the decision to grant planning permission, Milton Keynes Council would be required to re-take the planning decision for the 4th time.
Future Wolverton remains committed to the delivery of redevelopment scheme for the works site which meets the aspirations of local people as set out in Policy W3 of the Wolverton Neighbourhood Plan.
DECEMBER 2017 - Wolverton Railway Works Planning Permission – Latest call in request refused
In September 2017 Milton Keynes Council granted outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the Wolverton Railway Works site. Concerns over the demolition of the historic buildings on the site resulted in this decision being “called in” to the Secretary of State by Historic England and others.
Historic England have now been informed that the call-in request has been refused.
This means that, subject to any other action they or others may decide to take, the planning application remains in force and St Modwen (who own the site) are able to move forward with their plans.
The next stage is likely to involve submission of a detailed planning applications for both the Residential and Railway Works parts of the site – the Lidl development already has full planning permission and construction work has begun.
AUGUST 2017 - Outline Planning Application to be re-heard by Milton Keynes Council
The outline planning application for the Railway Works development is returning to Development Control Committe of Milton Keynes Council on Thursday 3rd August.
The reason it is returning seems to be the section 106 agreement which has now been neogtiated with St Modwen, who own the site.
A Section 106 agreement sets out the money the developer has to pay MK Council for infrastructure in the area which is needed as a result of the development – such as more school places.
The Council meeting where the application is being re-considered is a public meeting which is taking place at Christ the Cornerstone Church in Central Milton Keynes at 7pm on Thursday 3rd August.
Anyone can request to speak at the meeting by e-mailing dc-speaking-requests@Milton-keynes.gov.uk but requests must be made by 12 noon on Monday 31st July. Written representations should be sent to the same e-mail address by 12 noon on Wednesday 2nd August.
JUNE 2017 - Works gets underway on the Lidl development
The following statement has been issued by St Modwen, owners of the Railway Works in Wolverton:
St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, will commence the first phase of its £100m regeneration of Wolverton Works in early July, with the construction of a new Lidl store on Stratford Road. The new store, to be built on vacant land to the east of the site, is due to open in Spring 2018 and will create up to 40 new jobs.
Gary Morris, Senior Development Manager for St. Modwen’s Northern Home Counties Regional Office comments: “Having received planning permission for the new Lidl store last year, we are pleased and excited to be entering the delivery stage for this first phase of our major regeneration proposals for Wolverton Works. We believe that Lidl’s strong brand offering quality and value will add to the choice of retailing available to the Wolverton community.”
Lidl UK’s Regional Head of Property, Jeremy Lee, commented: “There’s been much anticipation for this new Lidl store and it’s great that St. Modwen is now in a position to break the ground and start the build. We are extremely grateful for all the support that we have received so far, and look forward to offering our fresh, quality, great value products to Wolverton residents in the not too distant future.”
MARCH 2017 - Call in request refused
It has now been confirmed by the National Planning Casework Unit that the application will not be called in by the Secretary of State.
This means that the decision to approve the application, made by Milton Keynes’ elected councillors on the Development Control Committee, still stands. It is now anticipated that the formal granting of planning permission for the regeneration of the Wolverton Works will be issued by the Council in the coming weeks, subject to the finalising of the agreements that will set the various planning conditions and financial contributions.
JANUARY 2017 - Outline planning application subject to call-in request to Government
Future Wolverton has become aware that a call-in request to Central Government has been made over the Outline planning application for the Railway Works site, which was approved by MK Council at the end of last year.
We understand that many local people are concerned about the demolition of the railway works buildings on the site, and we can understand why a call in was made. We also recognise that change and investment is needed to secure railway employment in the Town.
Our response to the planning application highlighted a number of issues where the application failed to meet the requirements of policy W3 of the Neighbourhood Plan.
No decision has yet been made by the National Planning Case Work Unit as to whether the call-in will be granted.
If it is granted St Modwen will be unable to proceed with their plans until the Secretary of State has considered the planning application.
If the request is granted, Milton Keynes Council will continue to work with St Modwen to secure a section 106 agreement for the site which sets out the contributions that will be made to local infrastructure such as school places, health services and roads.
This situation does not impact on the development of the Lidl store, as this was a separate planning application.
NOVEMBER 2016 - Outline planning permission secured
Outline planning permission was secured by St Modwen for the redevelopment of the Railway Works site at a meeting of Milton Keynes Council’s Development Control Committee on Thursday 17th November.
Some additional conditions were imposed by Councillors including the requirement for a play area for younger children on the site. Detailed planning applications will be required for both the employment land and the residential phase.
SEPTEMBER 2016 - Amended master-plan submitted
Following the approval of the planning application for the Lidl foodstore, St Modwen have now submitted revised proposals for the rest of the Railway Works site.
The outline planning application can be viewed on Milton Keynes Council’s Planning Access System under reference number 15/02030/OUTEIS
Details of the proposal can also be found on the project website www.wolvertonworks.com
Future Wolverton’s response to the outline application can be viewed here.
SEPTEMBER 2016 - Plans to develop Lidl Store receives Planning Permission
At a meeting of the Development Control Committee of MK Council on Thursday 1st September 2016, St Modwen were given planning permission to develop a Discount Supermarket. This represents phase 1 of their plans to redevelop the Railway Works site.
We understand that permission was granted with conditions attached, the detail of which are currently being agreed with Officers at MK Council.
JULY 2016 - Planning application for Foodstore on part of the Railway Works site
St Modwen have submitted a planning application for a Lidl foodstore to be developed on part of the Railway Works site. The area of land in question is at the bottom of Radcliffe Street, alongside the Old Bath House & Community Centre.
The full details of the planning application can be viewed on Milton Keynes Council’s Planning Access System using reference 16/00360/FUL.
Future Wolverton’s response to the planning application can be read here.
The outline planning application for the whole of the Railway Works site is the subject of further heritage studies commissioned by St Modwen on the advice of Milton Keynes Council.
NOVEMBER 2015 - Answers to public questions now available
Following the Public Meeting about the Railway Works planning application in November 2015, St Modwen have now provided answers to all the public questions raised. Their response can be downloaded here.
St Modwen have also provided a further document which explains their approach to the retention of the historic buildings and structures on the site. This can be downloaded here.
NOVEMBER 2015 - Public Meeting
Future Wolverton and Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council held a Public Meeting in to discuss the planning application on Tuesday 10th November at 7pm at St George’s Church, Wolverton.
St Modwen presented key information about the planning application, and information was given about the Railway Works Policy as contained in the Wolverton Town Centre Neighbourhood Plan.
Those present then gathered into smaller groups to share their thoughts about the planning application, and to come up with any questions they had about the application. The full list of questions and comments raised at the Public Meeting can be viewed here.
NOVEMBER 2015 - Update on Railway Works Planning Application
We understand from Officers at Milton Keynes Council that St Modwen are proposing to make some changes to their planning application for the Railway Works site.
This means that the application is unlikely to go to Development Control Committee at Milton Keynes Council before February 2016.
There is likely to be further community consultation in February regarding the changes to the application.
SEPTEMBER 2015 - Planning Application information
An outline planning application has been submitted by St Modwen PLC, owners of the Railway Works site.
The application is for:
- Demolition of all existing structures (except part of the lifting shop building and the brick wall on Stratford Road which are partially demolished)
- Development to create a new employment floorspace (use classes B1/B2/B8),
- Development of up to 375 residential units (Use class C3)
- Development of a new foodstore (use class A1)
- Development of a new community facility (use class D1 or D2)
- New hard and soft landscaping, open space and public realm
- Amended site vehicular access including alterations to junctions and pavements.
Documents are available to view on the Milton Keynes Council’s online planning system under reference 15/02030/OUT or by following the link http://bit.ly/1HRwsqx
The application is expected to go to Milton Keynes Council Development Control Committee in December or early January 2016.