Plans to knock down former Milton Keynes tax office, replace with flats

Owners of a former tax office in Central Milton Keynes denied claims that they are looking to “just creep over the bar” with environmental standards under their proposals replace the building with new housing.

Cannon Capital Developments and their architects, Latitude, presented their early proposals for the future of Bowback House, in Silbury Boulevard, at a meeting of Milton Keynes Council’s Development Review Forum.

Bowback House

Bowback House

They already have permitted development rights to turn the 7,000 sq m office block into 102 residential units but they are planning something much more ambitious. They described their early thinking at a meeting of the forum on Monday (September 2).

Members of the public, and employees of the DWP who are currently based at Bowback House, discussed the early plans to replace the office block with more than 300 one, two, and three-bed apartments. It could have one block up to 13 storeys tall, and other buildings surrounding an open courtyard.

Tim Skelton, of MK Forum, urged the developers to aim for the highest possible environmental standards. He said Milton Keynes has a history of leading the country in setting the highest possible energy saving standards and said in this case they shouldn’t aim to “just creep over the bar”.

Michael Griffiths, director of Latitude Architects and Designers, denied that their proposals would set standards that just crept over the bar.

The forum meets to give developers the chance to air their proposals before official planning applications are lodged. The meeting heard that Bowback House, close to Witan Gate, is set to become vacant in 2021 and that a planning application is some way off.

At least one further meeting with the public is planned as the owners and architects hone their proposals in advance of presenting a planning application to the council.