Historic listing sought for city sewage works

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City preservationists are seeking historical listed status for one of the city’s most widely-used building - the SEWAGE WORKS.

This week an application went to Historic England asking them to bestow Grade II 
status on the Cotton Valley treatment plant at Pineham.

It was submitted by Milton Keynes Forum, the civic society behind the historic listing of CMK shopping building.

“We believe the sewage works is important enough and architecturally interesting enough to be listed,” said forum chair Tim Skelton.

“After all, it is the only building that everybody in MK interacts with on a daily basis!” he added.

Cotton Valley, which is run by Anglian Water, was 
designed in the 1970s and paved the way for the high architectural standards that were to be set for the new city.

Former Milton Keynes Development Corporation chief, architect Derek Walker, chose to build the works on a ley line linking it with the ancient Avebury stone circle.

His colleague Trevor Denton picked a radical design of glass and steel for the building housing ugly sewage treatment equipment.

“It actually looks like a modern business park. You’d never think it was a sewage works,” said Tim.

A photograph of the new works appeared in a design exhibition in London in the 1970s. Beneath it Derek Walker famously erected a sign stating: ‘If this is what we do with sh**, think what we can do for people!’

Tim said: “People may think it is strange to seek historical listing for a sewage works. But this is certainly not a frivolous application.

“We believe Cotton Valley is built to an excellent standard and, for something used for such a mundane purpose, it really stands out as special.”