Blakelands warehouse-related plans approved by Milton Keynes councillors

Councillors have approved two plans connected to a controversial Milton Keynes warehouse development.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 2:56 pm
A resident's drone picture of the warehouse

Developers GUPI 6 Limited applied to Milton Keynes Council for retrospective permission to build a substation and electrical transformer housing, and separately to change the kerbline at the Blakelands warehouse, in Yeomans Drive.

The developers have already carried out the works, including placing the substation and transformer housing in the wrong place.

Neither of these proposals would normally be considered by the Development Control Committee. However, because the Blakelands warehouse has been so controversial, council officers are asking councillors to decide issues related to it in public.

A resident's drone picture of the warehouse

Cllr Keith McLean (Cons, Olney) said he was “amazed” that given the controversial nature of the site, where a warehouse was allowed to double in height to 18m, the developer was making retrospective applications.

“I think they are rubbing it in,” said Cllr McLean. “I am vehemently against retrospective applications.”

And Cllr Andrew Geary (Cons, Newport North and Hanslope) commended the council’s planning enforcement teams for identifying the issues. He also commended residents who had not made a “fuss” about the two applications. No objections to the two plans were reported to the committee and there were no speakers against.

Council officers had recommended approval for both applications, and councillors agreed.

Cllr Anthony Brown (Lab, Tattenhoe), who was chairing the meeting, said: “It is such a contentious site, I think it is right and proper that we go through the process. I know it is a minor thing but it is important that the residents see that we have taken on board what they have said and we do keep a close eye on this site.”

The main decision to approve a bigger warehouse is at the centre of an ongoing independent inquiry by planning consultant Marc Dorfman, which is expected to be completed by September 30 at a cost of £20,000. Mr Dorfman is also looking into the workings of Milton Keynes Council’s planning department.

The developer has rebuilt the warehouse but had to seek approval for various works that are intended to satisfy a list of conditions that were eventually imposed by the council.