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MK Council picks up top planning prize

Milton Keynes Council has been awarded the prestigious ‘planning permission of the year’ prize at the Planning Awards for the redevelopment of the Agora in Wolverton.

The judges were impressed by the way the council has managed the proposals in a truly 21st century styled development for a mixed-use regeneration scheme in a sensitive conservation area. Love Wolverton has been praised for its joint-working approach between the council, developer TOWN and the local community.

The Council bought the Agora site earlier in the year following a number of false starts on the project, making it easier to move forward with the much-needed improvements to the area.

Working together, TOWN and the council will deliver a scheme, including:

- 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

- 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

With over 500,000 applications determined across the country last year, the award highlights the level of competition for this prize. MK Council was also awarded a special commendation for policies designed to tackle climate change through its Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

Further details about the awards and entries can be found on the Planning Awards 2022 website.

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. - Leader of MK Council, Cllr Pete Marland

We share the council’s pride at winning this award. Everyone involved has been invested in getting this project right for Wolverton and the wider city, which made for a complex planning process. 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. - Neil Murphy, Director of TOWN


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