New Discount Foodstore
One part of the site (to the east) is currently unused by Knorr-Bremse and is already clear of buildings. Given its proximity to Wolverton Town Centre and the proven demand for discount food stores locally, the site is ideal for a new foodstore to provide greater local shopping choice.
Commercial terms have now been agreed with Lidl to operate the store, which is expected to create approximately 40 new jobs (full time equivalent) for local people and provide training and development programmes for the new employees.
The Development Control Committee at Milton Keynes Council voted to approve the new store at the start of September 2016. This is an important first step in the regeneration of the Wolverton Works site and it is hoped that the store will open in the Spring of 2018.
Following a design review, some important changes were made to the foodstore plans. This review took place after the application for the foodstore had been submitted to the Council, in response to feedback from stakeholders and following constructive discussions with planning officers.
The purpose was to ensure the design and appearance of the store better reflected the character of the Wolverton Conservation Area.
Existing brick wall fronting Stratford Road
The original submission proposed the demolition of the Stratford Road wall down to a height of 1 metre along the frontage of the foodstore site.
More of the height of the existing wall along Stratford Road will now be retained. Railings will be included above the lower sections of the wall to ensure pedestrian safety.
These changes seek to respect the current character of the Conservation Area whilst also creating good sight lines between the foodstore and town centre to encourage ‘linked trips’.
Change to roof to reflect the adjacent railway buildings
The original submission proposed a mono-pitched roof for the foodstore. To better reflect the character of the Conservation Area, the foodstore will now incorporate a steep gable pitched roof with an adjacent mono-pitch.
Changes in building materials to reflect the local architecture
To better reflect the local character and architecture, the store will now incorporate brick elevations.
A grey render, similar to nearby commercial buildings, will also be delievered on the western elevation.
Changes to landscaping
The original submission included an area of soft landscaping at the front of the store. This area will now be hard landscaped and will incorporate the theme of the rail lines within the paving.
These seek to echo the railway traversers across the site and incorporate themes from the emerging revised masterplan for the wider redevelopment.