This is the new-build housing that's won Milton Keynes Council a national 'Planning Permission of the Year' award

A £28m new housing scheme has won MK Council a prestigious national ‘Planning Permission of the Year’ award.

By Sally Murrer
Monday, 13th June 2022, 11:35 am

The scheme involved the demolition of the Agora in Wolverton for more than 100 new homes to be built.

The complex, which will include shops and community space, is described as "high density but low-rise" and a “21st Century blueprint for town-centre living."

Ironically the project, known as ‘Love Wolverton’, has proved one of the council’s most difficult to achieve and has taken several years to reach the point where building can start.

Artists' impression of the new development of Wolverton's Agora site

Earlier this year, MK Council ended up buying the site itself following a number of “false starts” on the project from developers.

Now it is working in conjunction with developer TOWN to deliver the scheme. It will include:

86 new rental homes, with 31% being affordable housing

a cohousing community for older people with a further 29 homes for sale and social rent

Artists' impression of the new development of Wolverton's Agora site

Eight new shops for independent local businesses, and a community space

Car-free ‘little streets’ and a pocket park for residents and visitors to use

A sustainable mobility hub, which includes an electric car club and bike hire facilities

An energy microgrid that generates a large share of the annual energy needs of the development on-site

.MK Council was also awarded a special commendation at the same awards for policies designed to tackle climate change through its Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

Council leader Pete Marland said: “We’re really proud to have this recognition which shows just how ambitious and ready we are to continue growing our city. With so much competition for these awards, this is a testament of what the team has been able to achieve over the past year. We are working hard to deliver well planned growth and renewal across the city, and as we rebuild trust in our planning team awards such as this show we are moving in the right direction.

Neil Murphy, director of TOWN, said: “Open and cooperative engagement between TOWN, the council and the wider community have been key to the success recognised by the judges, and we look forward to that continuing as we move into the construction stage.