New plans to save demolishing Wolverton railway works about to be unveiled

editorial image

The company planning to build a £100m mini estate at Wolverton’s railway works site has revised its plans in a bid to preserve some of the buildings’ history.

St Modwen’s proposal to bulldoze many of the original Victorian buildings was slammed by government history buffs at Historic England last year.

The demolition would cause “substantial harm” to the conservation area and virtually strip the site of its architectural and historic interest, they said.

The only buildings the company planned to preserve were the Grade 11 listed Royal Train shed, Reading room and the New Works.

These would become “isolated fragments” of history if the rest were to be bulldozed, said Historic England.

Their report, which was welcomed by local history buffs, even questioned the need for more housing in the town, stating it would be of “limited benefit”.

This week St Modwen announced it will be holding a public exhibition to present revisions to the plan.

The developer submitted an outline planning application to Milton Keynes Council last August with proposals for up to 375 new homes, a large food store and new business premises.

St Modwen spokesman Gary Morris said: “We remain committed to delivering all aspects of our proposals. Since the planning application was submitted last year, we have been working positively with the council and other stakeholders, as is often the case with large-scale applications, to review certain aspects of the plans; the objective being to deliver the best possible, most appropriate form of development for the Wolverton community.”

After the rap on the knuckles from Historic England, the company appointed Purcell, architects with a focus on heritage, to find ways in which the development could better reflect the existing layout and the heritage of the site.

The brief for Purcell was agreed between St Modwen and planning officers at the council.

Mr Morris said: “We appreciate that the local community has been keen to hear about progress for the regeneration of Wolverton Works. We are delighted to say that we are now in a position to present our updated plans which we hope will be well-received.”

The exhibition will take place on Wednesday 20 July, between 12 noon and 8pm at St George the Martyr Church in St George’s Way, Wolverton

Plans will also be posted online at www.wolvertonworks.com from that day.

The revised plans will be submitted to Milton Keynes Council by the middle of this month to be considered later this year.