"Threatened" iconic music venue in Milton Keynes rallies supporters for another development battle

The Stables
The Stables

An iconic music venue is rallying its thousands of supporters again for a renewed battle over a new housing development next door.

The Stables thought it had won a fight to get developer Abbey Homes to use a legal method that could help prevent new residents from lodging noise complaints that could close the popular concert venue.

In renewing its call for a Deed of Easement to be imposed, The Stables says, on its website: “The future of one of the UK’s best-loved music venues and local community assets is at stake.”

Abbey Homes has already been given the green light for the principle of building 134 homes, and a convenience store, on the site off Ortensia Drive, in Wavendon Gate.

Now Abbey is seeking approval for matters including landscaping and layout of the first phase of 79 new homes. The matters are due to be discussed by councillors at a meeting on Thursday, August 1.

Some 21,000 supporters of The Stables have signed a petition, and the council has received letters from 850 addresses, calling for soundproofing safeguards.

The Stables is furious that a legal Deed of Easement has not been included in planning matters, despite it being set as a condition by councillors at a previous meeting of Milton Keynes Council’s Development Control Committee.

“The council needs to take a firm stand on this matter and show that when it makes a decision, it will stand by it,” says ward Cllr David Hopkins (Cons, Danesborough & Walton).

“That is the message that I will be delivering to members and which I trust that members will endorse.”

They want as many of their supporters as possible to continue signing the petition and sending letters to the council before the comments deadline of July 31. They also want as many people as possible to attend the Development Control Committee.

In her report recommending approval to next week’s committee, MK Council senior planning officer Elizabeth Verdegem says that the closest homes would be 250m west of The Stables.

She added that there are already around 100 homes in Wavendon that are closer to the venue, the closest being 150 metres away.

“None of these existing or proposed houses has any noise mitigation,” she adds. But she adds that it is considered appropriate to reapply conditions for physical noise mitigation measures to “avoid the completely open field between the houses and The Stables.”

She adds that planning officers do not consider it appropriate to reapply a Deed of Easement on this part of the site. The condition remains on the western half of the site.

She says: “It is considered inappropriate to reapply this condition… because there are at least 70 other existing or proposed houses that are closer to The Stables which are not subject to this requirement.

“The noise mitigation secured above, and distance between The Stables and these proposed dwellings are sufficient to not require any further noise mitigation.”

Planners are proposing that councillors should set a condition that an acoustic fence is built before the first homes are occupied on the site.

Elected councillors will be meeting in public to make this and other decisions from 7pm next Thursday, August 1 at the Council Chamber, at 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ.