Blakelands: Consultant dramatically resigns from review of giant Milton Keynes warehouse plan

A consultant called in to review how a giant warehouse was approved to double in height in Milton Keynes has dramatically resigned from his commission.
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Marc Dorfman has told Milton Keynes Council and the residents that he will not be charging anything for the work he has been carrying out since July 2019.

“All in all, I have not carried out my commission in a sufficiently responsible way and I have continually found it hard to complete the work and complete it in a timely way,” said Mr Dorfman in a letter sent to the council and residents today (Monday).

“I agree this should be of very serious concern to me and MK Council.

The giant Blakelands warehouseThe giant Blakelands warehouse
The giant Blakelands warehouse

“I therefore resign from the commission.

“I have not charged MK Council for any work I have carried out to date and will of course not be making any charge in the future.”

In a very personal letter to all parties Mr Dorfman said had put himself under a “lot of pressure doing this work” and his management of it has been poor.

Mr Dorfman adds: “On occasions the work and my personal situation has made me very ill.”

He added that he had been “hurt” at council meetings.

“I found some of the criticisms, (with regard to my capability) reasonable, but hard to take and this in turn sapped my confidence and ability to focus and finish the work,” he said.

But in terms of the doubling of the warehouse in Blakelands from 9m to 18m tall he stuck by his preliminary assessment that planning officers had addressed policy matters and objections in their report to the development control committee before its meeting in 2017.

Mr Dorfman said a loss of trust by councillors and a “significant loss of public trust” have led me to this have led me to this resignation.

He concludes: “I must finally and most importantly apologise to MK Audit Committee, Blakelands residents and council officers for the delays, the inconvenience and for the lack of public trust, which I see I have been responsible for.”

A spokesperson for Blakelands Residents Association said they “appreciate the honesty from Mr Dorfman in his resignation letter and that he acknowledges the public have lost faith in his work.

“We completely understand this review and the circumstances surrounding it were extremely difficult and challenging for him. We do accept that he was most likely unaware of the serious nature of many of the issues when he decided to accept the role offered by Milton Keynes Council.”

They called for a review to be completed.

“We need to learn what happened, when it happened and why it happened. There are some very serious allegations that must also be investigated by someone who is both independent and qualified.

“We have lost total faith in Milton Keynes Council to manage and commission a review, so we are now reaffirming our call for the Secretary of State to intervene and organise his own review.”