Park Square development celebrates topping out

MKDP, together with the development and funding teams have celebrated an official topping out ceremony with the Mayoress of Milton Keynes, Mrs Mandy Legg, for the new Park Square residential project in Central Milton Keynes.

Matthew Green, Property Development Director of MKDP, was joined by Kevin Reid, Global Chief Operating Officer and Head of Europe at Corebridge Financial and Jon Marston, Managing Director for Galliford Try Building East Midlands to talk about the history of the project and its journey to successful development.

As part of a new BTR (Built-to-Rent) scheme, the new complex will provide 329 residential apartments.  The development will comprise four residential buildings of 11, nine, seven and three storeys, as well as commercial space on the ground floor, an underground parking area, and a central courtyard.

Smart meters will be installed in every apartment, and there will be solar PV (Photovoltaic) power and electric vehicle charging stations to provide residents with sustainable and beneficial amenities. A range of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) will be employed to shorten construction durations and increase safety on site.

Matthew Green said: “Seeing this prominent city centre site, that had been empty for some 15 years, reach this phase of its development is a great milestone for the project.  It is testament to the hard work of everyone involved and we are sure this scheme will be a great asset for Central Milton Keynes.”

Jon Marston commented: “This was a great moment to see so many of our key stakeholders to mark this traditional ceremony as we celebrated this huge milestone. As a business, we have a strong track record of working in the BTR sector and we look forward to continuing to work with everyone to deliver a high-quality building that Milton Keynes’ residents will be able to enjoy later next year.”

MKDP and ExtraCare agree deal for extension to Shenley Wood Retirement Village

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust has exchanged contracts with Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) to expand Shenley Wood Village, one of its two retirement villages in Milton Keynes, onto adjoining land.

Due to the overwhelming success of Shenley Wood Village, which comprises 300 apartments with leisure and health facilities, there is strong demand for expansion. To meet this, ExtraCare is looking to develop apartments and bungalows, with a planning application due to be submitted shortly.

Hardev Thandy, the Head of Growth and Construction at ExtraCare, said, “Both of our villages in Milton Keynes are extremely popular, so working with MKDP to provide much needed additional homes for older people is a very exciting opportunity.”

Property Development Director at MKDP, Matthew Green, added, “We are delighted to be facilitating the expansion of Shenley Wood Village. The increased capacity will deliver high-quality homes, of which almost half will be affordable tenures, opening up to more over 55s in the city the fantastic facilities which make an ExtraCare village such a great place to live.”

ExtraCare is a registered charity which develops, operates and supports 16 villages and four housing schemes across the Midlands and neighbouring areas. Focussed on creating sustainable communities, ExtraCare delivers not just homes, of which it has over 4,200, that older people want but also enables its residents to enjoy a range of facilities and access care if needed.

 

Packaged Living and Affinius Capital purchase site in Milton Keynes for over 250 BTR units

Packaged Living, the specialist UK Build to Rent (“BtR”) investor, developer and operator has completed on a land acquisition in Central Milton Keynes as part of its BtR joint venture (“JV”) with Affinius Capital, the global asset manager with experience in rental housing development and asset management.

The JV purchased the 1.23-acre Theatre multi-storey car park site from Milton Keynes City Council and Milton Keynes Development Partnership (“MKDP”) and will submit a planning application in the coming months for a BtR scheme with over 250 units. The site is the subject of a planning-led development brief adopted by the Council.

The new scheme will be designed to offer residents access to all that the city has to offer, including numerous local transport links and amenities, shopping, and leisure. It is located within 10 minutes’ walk of the city centre and mainline train station.

As with all schemes in the JV, the site has been selected due to the local area’s compelling market dynamics. The economy has experienced rapid employment growth over the past decade, centred around the private sector and serviced-based employment. Given its location within the UK Innovation Corridor, Milton Keynes has emerged as a major centre in the UK for research and development. With the population expected to exceed 300,000 by 2027, the proposed scheme will help meet the demand for homes in the local area.

This is the second acquisition for the JV, which was formed in November 2022 to pursue the acquisition, planning, construction, and operation of best-in-class multifamily BtR assets in the UK. The Venture is ultimately targeting the creation of a diversified BtR portfolio of several thousand units across the UK, meeting the demand for purpose-built rental housing whilst simultaneously offering residents more amenitised, sustainable, and energy-efficient homes. It is expected that the portfolio will have an end value of c.£1bn when built out.

Ed Ellerington, Founder and Chief Executive of Packaged Living, commented, “This purchase is Packaged Living’s second scheme in Milton Keynes and follows The Almere an award-winning development which completed in 2022. Milton Keynes is a dynamic expanding city which requires best in class homes to attract its growing professional workforce. We are delighted to acquire the site in partnership with Affinius Capital and look forward to working with MKDP and MKCC to create another exemplar building in the city.”

Karen Martinus, Director of Affinius Capital Europe, commented “We maintain our conviction towards the UK’s BtR market, which remains underpinned by population growth, decreasing household size and a greater propensity to rent. We are delighted to acquire this site in Milton Keynes which is strategically located within the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, a region identified as being of global importance for innovation and business activity. We look forward to continuing to work with Packaged Living to deliver best-in-class BtR assets in the UK.”

MKDP assists City Council’s plans for Bletchley regeneration

MKDP recently advised Milton Keynes City Council via the Town Deal Board on the acquisition of the former Sainsbury’s site in Bletchley which is currently derelict and subject to vandalism.

MKDP already owns the adjacent Brunel Centre and the old police and fire station site nearby both of which will be fundamental parts of ambitious community-led regeneration plans.

Buying the old supermarket site will allow the City Council more control over how regeneration of the historic town centre takes place while working with the local Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Towns Deal Board, the two local town and parish councils, and resident groups. Funds to buy the site has been provided by the Town’s Deal Fund and will not impact investment on other projects or services in the city.

MKDP Property Development Director Matthew Green said: “Assisting the City Council to achieve its regeneration ambitions is a key part of MKDP’s remit and this deal is fundamental to what is planned for Bletchley’s future.”

Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes City Council, said: “I’m really pleased that the City Council has been able to buy the old Sainsbury’s building in Bletchley Town Centre. It’s currently a dilapidated eyesore but more importantly it means that because we also own the Brunel Centre, we now have a lot more local control over how we move forward with community-led regeneration of the historic town centre.

“Regeneration takes time, but we are putting all the pieces in place to move forward with some ambitious schemes that will revitalise the area and bring the town centre back to its former glory. We will act as quickly as possible to get rid of the current building that attracts anti-social behaviour and vandalism while cutting one side of the town centre off from the train station. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can work with the community to make sure that our plans deliver the change people want to see and that retain the unique and proud history of the town.

 

 

30 affordable homes delivered on MKDP-owned land

Milton Keynes Development Partnership has transferred its land at Highgate Over to Grand Union Housing Group who have developed 30 affordable homes on the site.

The first occupiers have moved in to the scheme, which sits to the east of the city centre, and provides 100% affordable housing comprising a mix of shared ownership and social rent.

Matthew Green, Property Development Director at MKDP said: “Facilitating the supply of affordable housing in and around the city is a key part of MKDP’s role. These high-quality apartments in a desirable location are a great contribution and we look forward to seeing them fully occupied soon.”

Dave Lakin, Grand Union’s Director of Development & Commercial said: “In these uncertain times, everyone should have a safe, comfortable and affordable home and that’s exactly what we’ve delivered. We identified that this site would be ideal for a mix of affordable tenures including shared ownership and homes for social rent. Both are desperately needed in Milton Keynes, which was emphasised by how quickly they were all let and sold. We have created high quality housing, in a very sustainable location, close to amenities, transport, education and employment in Walnut Tree and wider Milton Keynes, which was achieved in partnership with MKDP, our contractors, consultants and Homes England.”

Brian Harding, Managing Director of Catalyst Land Solutions who was appointed by Grand Union as their development consultant and  employer’s agent said: “We worked with MKDP to take it through planning. Our team also provided quantity surveying, clerk of works and project management services from design through construction to completion.  We have good relationships with MKDP’s team of experienced property professionals which made the whole process straightforward.”

The site was constructed by Watson and Cox construction, supported by GSS Architecture who completed the relevant RIBA design stages.

MKDP intends to become operator for Milton Keynes Market

Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has announced its intention to take over management of Milton Keynes Market in April 2023 from existing operator Bray Associates.

Adam Sciberras, MKDP’s Special Projects Director said: “During 2022 we started looking for potential development partners to define the future of Milton Keynes Market and work with us to create a stronger retail and food destination for Central Milton Keynes, with a more dynamic and modern customer experience.

“Having explored this in great detail, we believe that an in-house team who work in the city and, in the main, live in the area too, is best placed to manage the market and evolve the existing offer. This has the potential to bring great social value and improve what is an essential resource for a significant proportion of Milton Keynes’ residents, particularly those with lower incomes.”

MKDP and Orbit Homes to deliver affordable family home development

A partnership between Orbit Homes and Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has resulted in a planning application that will provide 40 affordable homes in Wolverton.

If successful, the plan will result in land off Stratford Road in Wolverton being used to deliver 25 shared ownership and 15 homes for social rent built by Orbit Homes.

The shared ownership homes will comprise nine two-bedroom and 16 three- bedroom homes. The social rent homes will comprise four two-bed maisonettes, three two-bed houses, five three-bed houses and three four-bedroom houses.

This represents 37.5% of the total homes being available for social rent compared with policy requirements which stipulate 5%.

MKDP Development Director, Matthew Green, said: “This development will add to MKDP’s aim to deliver much-needed affordable homes in Milton Keynes. Our team has worked hard over several months, in partnership with Orbit Homes, MKC Council and Homes England to create a scheme where the homes will not only be affordable but where a high proportion will also be three and four bed homes rather than the apartments which often dominate on similar sites.”

Andrew Hardy, Head of Land and Partnerships at Orbit Homes, added: “We are delighted to unveil plans for these much-needed affordable properties in the town of Wolverton. With a wide selection of two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as two-bedroom maisonettes available, there really is a home to suit every stage of life, and lifestyle.

“This exciting collection of 40 brand-new homes off Stratford Road is a great opportunity to work in collaboration with MKDP, Milton Keynes Council and Homes England. I look forward to seeing the site progress over the coming years and to creating a thriving new community in Milton Keynes.”

The development is due to start construction in 2023, with the homes completed in 2024.

Lift off at Central Milton Keynes site

The tower cranes erected at Park Square, the 300-apartment development being constructed by Galliford Try for Habitus Group on Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) land, are a very visible landmark on Central Milton Keynes’ skyline.

The cranes have a whole raft of work in front of them. Their first job is to lift into place the shuttering reinforcement for the building’s concrete frame. This will need 11,500m³ concrete about four and a half times as large as an Olympic swimming pool.

The cranes have some impressive stats to go with them too including:

  • They can lift up to 34 tonnes, about the weight of more than five elephants
  • Its height to the underside of the cab is up to 42 metres
  • They have 45-metre-long jibs

MKDP’s Property Development Director Matthew Green said: “A lot of work has been progressing on this site over the past few months although not much has been visible from the outside. This has certainly changed now and we look forward to seeing the Park Square development take shape above ground.”

MKDP delivers more high-quality affordable homes

Taylor Wimpey has almost completed construction of the 73 homes on MKDP’s site at Daubeney Gate in Shenley Church End.

Located on the south-western outskirts of Milton Keynes, the development has been named Shenley Park and comprises three, four and five-bedroom homes of which 27 (more than 36%) are affordable.

The high-quality homes, nestled among green open space, are already proving popular with potential buyers looking for a village setting with easy access to the city centre.

MKDP’s Property Development Director Matthew Green said: “It’s great to see yet more high-quality affordable housing available through another of our sites and to how Taylor Wimpey has optimised the use of space on this site.”

MKDP signs contract to deliver first sustainable homes for its Local Housing Company

Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has exchanged contracts with Taylor Wimpey on its 17-acre site at Kents Hill Park, Milton Keynes, to build 171 homes.

In line with the outline planning permission Taylor Wimpey will provide 53 affordable homes and MKDP will purchase an additional 25, to bring the total number of affordable homes to 78. All of these homes, which will include a range of two bedroom apartments to five bedroom houses, will be managed by MKDP’s wholly owned subsidiary – Milton Keynes Housing Company Ltd.

All the homes will be built to exceed what is anticipated will be the requirements of the Future Homes Standards*. For example, the materials used in construction will be energy efficient to ensure optimum insulation and air source heat pumps will also be included for each property.

A detailed planning application will be submitted to Milton Keynes Council within the next 6 months and it is expected that work will start on site in 2023 with residents starting to move in during 2024.

MKDP’s Property Development Director Matthew Green said: “This is a landmark moment for affordable housing in Milton Keynes.  Homes that will raise the bar in terms of carbon reduction initiatives minimising residents’ exposure to rising energy costs and, importantly, will stay permanently in the control of Milton Keynes Council through the MK Housing Company   MKDP is delighted to have facilitated this initiative and looks forward to delivering many more homes.”

Emma Walton, Senior Planning Manager at Taylor Wimpey South Midlands, says: “We are pleased to have exchanged contracts with MKDP to deliver much needed affordable housing in Milton Keynes. We are currently finalising our planning application for the Kents Hill development and look forward to starting work on site after our application has been approved.”

*The Future Homes Standard is a set of standards that will complement the Building Regulations to ensure new homes built from 2025 will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions than homes delivered under current regulations.