Reflection off new Milton Keynes hotel is 'blinding' motorists

Glare off new Hotel La Tour can be seen from a mile away

Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:35 pm

The reflection off a shiny new hotel which is ‘blinding’ drivers on the morning commute into Milton Keynes, can be seen from “a mile away” it has been claimed.

Amanda Owen is among numerous motorists suffering the sun’s glare off the new Hotel La Tour on Marlborough Gate, with some comparing it to 20 Fenchurch Street, aka ‘The Walkie-Talkie’, in London.

Ms Owen claimed sunlight reflected off the hotel could be seen as far as near Neath Hill, adding she thinks designers failed to consider “the potential effects that a giant mirror could have”.

Image shows the glare off the hotel at the rear of the John Lewis end of the shopping centre in Marlborough Gate

She took to social media to ask others if they had also been “blinded”, which she experiences on the morning commute.

She said some suggested an anti-glare solution, adding: “Apparently, it was done in London on The Walkie-Talkie.”

A spokesman for Hotel La Tour said the design is “quite different” from The Walkie-Talkie, but added it will “always consider” local feedback and will be “looking into the comments further”.

“Anybody else being blinded by the new hotel in the mornings, between Neath Hill and Linford Wood?” asked Ms Owen online.

“Don’t think the architects took into consideration the potential effects that a giant mirror could have a mile away.

“I do drive down that road, the dual carriageway between Neath Hill and Linford Wood, weekday mornings after dropping my daughter to nursery.

“It just means you have an extra glare to deal with.

“[The sun] is so low when travelling down that road that putting your sun visor down doesn’t help.

“I’ve only noticed it on my morning journey whilst the winter sun is low. The sun is on the opposite side in the afternoons, so I imagine you’ll see some pretty sunrises from the hotel, over Campbell Park.”

She added: “Some people suggested anti-glare in the comments of the post. Apparently, it was done in London on The Walkie-Talkie.”

A spokesman from PHP Architects, responsible for Hotel La Tour Milton Keynes, said: “After an extensive planning process, as well as public consultations and workshops, the exterior was developed to incorporate a polished stainless-steel façade to reference other iconic Milton Keynes buildings such as The Point, Centre:MK shopping mall and Milton Keynes Central Station, as well as features seen in Campbell Park.

“We understand that the façade of our building has been compared by some to 20 Fenchurch Street (The ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building). It is, however, quite different as the London building has a concaved glazed façade which concentrates focussed sunlight into a smaller area. Hotel La Tour’s façade is not designed in this way and in contrast has a vertical façade with flat cladding panels. However, we always consider all local feedback and will be looking into the comments further."

MK Council was also approached for comment.