11th hour bid to save historic Wolverton Works near Milton Keynes hits the buffers

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A last minute bid from Historic England has failed to save the heritage-steeped buildings at Wolverton Works from being bulldozed.

Experts at the government-funded body this week asked MK Council to rescind the planning permission councillors granted months ago for new homes to be built on the railway works site.

Their request was on the basis that Historic England’s statement of views had been “erroneously” omitted by council officials at the original meeting.

The statement described how demolition of the buildings would cause substantial harm to the Wolverton Conservation Area and destroy the unique heritage of the railway works at the heart of the town.

It stated: “The extent of the demolition proposed is such that the site would lose virtually all of its architectural special interest.

And it adds: “The story it tells, that is a planned industrial area, would no longer be intelligible if the works at the heart of it are removed.”

The Historic England view echoes that of MK Council’s own conservation officer and also local campaigner Phillip Webb (pictured), who has petitioned for the council to change its mind.

But all their efforts fell flat on Monday night when Development Control councillors voted to retain the planning permission.

They went against the advice of their own council officers, who recommend permission be rescinded,

“It was a difficult decision, but there was no reason, in terms of planning law, for us to refuse,” said one councillor.

> St Modwen developers plan to build 375 new dwellings on the Wolverton Works site. they also plan to build employment units and a discount food store.

> The works was built by the London and Birmingham Railway Company in 1838 at the midpoint of the 112 miles long route from London to Birmingham.