Love Wolverton

Love Wolverton

Project

Winner

Planning Application Link    View map

Number/street name:
Church Street

Address line 2:
Wolverton

City:
Milton Keynes

Postcode:
MK12 5LG

Architect:
Mikhail Riches

Architect:
Mole Architects Ltd

Architect contact number:


Developer:
Milton Keynes Council|TOWN.

Planning Authority:
Milton Keynes Council,

Planning consultant:
Urbed

Planning Reference:
20/03293/FUL

Date of Completion:
06/2024

Schedule of Accommodation:
2x 1b1p flat; 22x 1b2p flat; 27x 2b3p flat; 6x 2b4p flat; 5x 2b4p duplex; 4x 2b4p house; 4x3b5p flat; 8x 3b5p house; 1x 3b6p flat; 13x 3b6p house; 13x 4b7p house

Tenure Mix:
22% (25no.) private market sale; 52% (59no.) market rent; 23% (27no.) discounted market rent; 3% (4no.) social rent.

Total number of homes:


Site size (hectares):
1.17

Net Density (homes per hectare):
108

Size of principal unit (sq m):
82

Smallest Unit (sq m):
44 (1b1p)

Largest unit (sq m):
128 (4b7p)

No of parking spaces:
86

Scheme PDF Download



Planning History

The Agora Centre and car park were developed by Milton Keynes Development Corporation in the late 1970s as a leisure and retail centre for Wolverton - a 'gift' from the New Town to the Victorian railway town it would absorb. After a brief heyday, the Agora declined and has been proposed for redevelopment since 2004. The focus of one of the first adopted Neighbourhood Plans in 2013, an abortive retail-led scheme was proposed before the site was acquired by Love Wolverton Ltd (led by TOWN) in 2018 and the current scheme developed in close consultation with the community and Council.

The Design Process

The design reinstates Radcliffe Street, lost beneath the Agora, as the principal north-south axis between Wolverton's high street (Church Street) and Market Square. A smaller network of landscaped car-free 'little streets' (echoing a longstanding Wolverton typology) and a ‘woonerf’-like mews street connect to other pedestrian paths, knitting the site back into the Victorian grid. A public pocket park is provided beneath retained mature London plane trees.
This street network defines six small urban blocks. Blocks B, D and E comprise terraced family houses and apartments over street-corner retail around shared south-facing courtyard gardens. The larger Block A exploits the level change created by the Agora's slab to provide a semi-basement car park serving a mix of houses, wheelchair-user flats, and duplex apartments above a small supermarket. Block F is a smaller flatted pavilion block marking the end of Church Street. Block C provides 29 one, two and three-bed apartments for Still Green, an over-50s cohousing group, together with a 'common house' containing shared amenities (kitchen, dining room, lounge, laundry, guest bedrooms), and a high-street community space to be leased free of charge to Future Wolverton, a social enterprise, for work with young people.
The scale of two-to-four storeys respects the context set by the conservation area and adjacent listed churches, while facilitating a density appropriate to the location. The provision of corner shop units for small-scale retail will help to reinforce Wolverton's independent high street offering, draw people into the site and add to residents' amenity. The architecture references redbrick Victorian housing in its materials, proportions and details - porches, lintels, glazed bricks. The layout provides for 98% dual-aspect dwellings and for all to have private terraces and balconies and/or shared courtyard amenity space. All homes achieve the relevant NDSS, exceeding it by 7% on average.

Choose a few key elements you want to promote

Community-led, developer-enabled regeneration of Milton Keynes's original railway town.

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Scheme Information

Type

  • Courtyard House
  • Cohousing
  • Multi-Aspect Apartments
  • Terrace
  • Town house

Size

  • Medium density
  • Compact

Cost/ownership

  • Affordable
  • Council
  • Private Ownership
  • PRS
  • Mixed Tenure
  • Mixed Use

Planning

  • Community Consultation
  • Window distances
  • Urban Regeneration

Construction/Design

  • Brickwork
  • Contemporary Design
  • Traditional
  • Local Vernacular

Sustainability

  • Managing water use and run off (eg SuDS or water recycling)
  • Embodied energy in construction
  • Building energy in use (any target above Regs)
  • Biodiversity (eg Building with Nature)
  • Car usage or Active Travel (inc Building for a Healthy Life)

Outdoor areas

  • Private Terraces
  • Roof Terrace
  • Outside Terrace
  • Biodiversity
  • Garden

Surrounding Area

  • Healthy Streets
  • Landscape
  • Communal Spaces
  • Community Buildings
  • Play Spaces
  • POS
  • Public open space

Specialised

  • Senior
  • Community

Sustainability

The project is on brownfield land accessibly located in Wolverton town centre. Many every day amenities are within a short walk, frequent buses (10 minute intervals) serve Central Milton Keynes and other destinations, and Wolverton railway station (3 minutes to Milton Keynes Central; 50 minutes to London Euston) is 700 metres away. The scheme will improve existing connection to MK's Redway cycle network. Under a Section 106 agreement, the development will provide a four-car electric car club, Santander MK NextBike hub and Brompton bike hire locker, all open to the public and with specific incentives for residents. Private car parking is thus restrained, at an overall ratio of 0.75 spaces per dwelling (0.5 for the cohousing block), with spaces demised and rented separately to dwellings and one- and smaller two-bed flats wholly car-free. All parking spaces on site will be EV-charging enabled. Building fabric will be high performing, with space heating requirements limited to 25kWh/m2/yr and air permeability to 2m3/m2/hr. Windows will be triple- or high-performance double-glazed. Heating will be via individual air source heat pumps (ASHPs) and dwellings will be equipped with mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). A site-wide photovoltaic and battery 'microgrid' will generate a substantial proportion of energy demand on site, helping to reduce operational carbon emissions by 70% against current Part L. External blinds will be installed where required to mitigate overheating, anticipating new Building Regulations Part O. The spoil from the demolished Agora Centre will be used to adjust site levels and provide a crushed aggregate base for a sustainable drainage scheme to reduce rainwater run-off. Trees removed will be replaced at least one-for-one and the most valuable mature trees will be retained. Nature-play and food-growing space within courtyards, swift boxes and bee bricks will help enhance biodiversity.
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