Wolverton Works foodstore given green light

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Milton Keynes councillors have approved Stratford Road planning application.

At last night’s meeting of Milton Keynes’ Development Control Committee, councillors voted to approve St. Modwen’s planning application for a Lidl foodstore and car parking at Wolverton Works.

This application was submitted in February 2016 as an early phase of the wider masterplan for Wolverton Works that will deliver new business premises to support hundreds of current and future rail-related jobs, space for small businesses, up to 375 new homes, public open spaces, and a heritage centre.

In response to feedback received from the council, the community, and local stakeholders St. Modwen submitted revised plans for the foodstore to better reflect the heritage of the area.

Gary Morris, senior development manager at St. Modwen, said: “This new foodstore is the first step in the regeneration of the Wolverton Works site and will create up to 40 new jobs and training opportunities for local people.

“The plot of land where the new store will be built has been vacant for some time and is not required by Wolverton Works tenant Knorr-Bremse.

“Given its proximity to Wolverton Town Centre and the proven demand for a discount foodstore, we believe this part of the site is an ideal location for a new retail offer.”

The planning application was originally due to be considered at a committee at the start of August 2016 but the decision was deferred so that councillors could visit the development site and gain a better understanding of the context of the proposals.

Councillors’ decision to approve the application last night comes following a productive site visit by members of the Development Control Committee and planning officers on August 31.

When all planning matters are concluded and full planning consent is granted, it is hoped that the construction of the new foodstore would be able to begin in a few months. Lidl is anticipating that it will open its new store in time for Christmas 2017.

Proposals for the remainder of the Wolverton Works site have also been revised by St. Modwen to better reflect the heritage of the site and surrounding Conservation Area.

The new masterplan was re-submitted by St. Modwen to Milton Keynes Council earlier in August and it is anticipated that it will be considered at a planning committee in October.