Witan Gate housing plans back on track

standard web pics to use on the Milton Keynes Citizen website www.miltonkeynes.co.uk
standard web pics to use on the Milton Keynes Citizen website www.miltonkeynes.co.uk

DEVELOPMENT in the town centre has been given a much-needed boost after the government gave it the thumbs-up.

Milton Keynes Partnership has received government approval to restart work in the area after changes to the first plans needed a rethink.

The project required government approval to change the detail of the project after initial plans to create a higher density 650 apartment-led scheme on the site became unviable during the housing market crash.

The new scheme is located opposite the Sainsbury’s store and near the Vizion housing development on Witan Gate, which is an earlier phase of the Sustainable Residential Quarter (SRQ).

A key site in the SRQ will be brought to the market to enable the chosen developer to build 400 homes, office and retail space and a new 200 bed hotel, which will require a separate application.

Milton Keynes Partnership will oversee the project as part of the Homes and Communities Agency.

Paul Spooner, executive director for the HCA Midlands, said: “We have worked closely with Milton Keynes Council to propose a new development that continues to support the city’s growth aspirations and are pleased to be able to move forward to start bringing on board a developer partner.

“By utilising our Delivery Partner Panel we are also able to speed up and reduce the cost of procuring a development partner, making best value of public land assets.”

It is hoped that a developer for the project will be appointed in the summer, with work starting on site in early 2012 following a reserve matters planning application submission, including a new standalone application for the hotel.

If everything goes to plan, the project should be completed by 2014/15.