Celebrating the first anniversary of MKDP at Milton Keynes Market

In April 2023 MKDP took over operation of Milton Keynes Market, located in the heart of the city.

Building on its 40-year history, our goal was to create a modern and dynamic market that would boost the local economy by drawing traders and shoppers from across the city’s vibrant communities.

Over the past year we have implemented a programme of change to take the market from strength to strength – including modernising its operations, new market stalls and traders, and visual and technical upgrades.

New team, brand, and management software

Our new six-person market team was appointed to oversee day-to-day operations and to ensure we’re building meaningful relationships with shoppers, traders, and neighbours like Centre:MK.

We’ve invested in new branding, a new website, appointed a social media consultant, and introduced new staff uniforms – all of which helps us to spread the word about the market as a destination.

We have successfully transitioned all traders to a new management software system, including digital licenses, electronic payments, and statutory compliance auditing and monitoring.

Investing in people and facilities

Our investment in facilities has included refurbished offices and welfare areas, including new trader toilets, plus a new CCTV system and COSHH cabinets for safety and security.

Across the site we have undertaken electrical work and drainage surveys, followed by significant repairs and maintenance.

We have also invested in staff training including first aid training, ACT Terrorism training, and defibrillator training.

A cleaner, greener market

Across the site we have cut all waste by 50 per cent.

We undertook a deep clean of all walkways and awnings, and brought the new branding to life across the market with painted columns in market colours, branded stall covers, and tables for food traders.

We also introduced new rules to ensure walkways are kept clear and tidy and so that lines of sight are kept open.

What’s planned for the year ahead?

This programme of change is just the start, and we’re excited to continually improve the market so that it remains a vital part of Milton Keynes.

Looking ahead, we will increase electricity supply to enable continued growth, we will install new lighting, and will continue to invest in training for gas and fire safety.

We’re also installing new stalls and will relocate some stalls to improve sight lines from Centre:MK and to provide additional events space.

To find out more about the market and what’s coming up, please visit our website.

New proposals revealed for north side of Campbell Park

The developers creating a new neighbourhood on the north side Campbell Park in Milton Keynes have unveiled revised plans for the scheme’s first phase by the side of the Grand Union canal.

Urban Splash and Glenbrook first submitted plans last year, however following a public consultation on the plans held by Milton Keynes City Council the developers decided to withdraw their planning application and revise the designs.

Plans for the development have now been updated to account for feedback from local residents, with a reduction in the height of planned buildings and a new leisure space on site.

The revised plans now feature:

  • Five buildings with a range of heights (from 6 to 12 storeys), but all substantially lower than the towers previously proposed
  • A reduced number of homes – down from 450 to around 400
  • A new café, restaurant or bistro by the canal
  • A cycle link connecting to the existing Redway network
  • Biodiversity improvements to protect nature by the canal, including bat-friendly lighting, green roofs, and new wildflower meadows and wetlands areas

Urban Splash was appointed as the developer partner on the wider Campbell Park site by MKDP, committing to the creation of approximately 1,500 new homes. In the summer of 2023, it announced a joint venture partnership with Glenbrook who will support the delivery of the first part of the site.

Adam Sciberras, special projects director at MKDP, said: “We’re pleased to see these plans come forward, which have been revised with close consideration to the feedback last year – lowering the height of the buildings. The skyline in Milton Keynes is evolving, but we must engage with the community as part of that.”

Nathan Cornish, director at Urban Splash, said: “The feedback on our original proposals was clear: people did not want to see such tall buildings in this location. So we’ve reduced the number of homes proposed for the site, and significantly cut the height of the buildings.

“We’re still listening, and we’re going back out to consult the public again before we submit a new planning application.”

Sunny Johal, Glenbrook development director, said: “This is phase one of a larger planned development across the north side of Campbell Park, so it’s really important that we get this right. That’s why we’re happy to make these changes to ensure that the homes and public spaces truly reflect the aspirations of the local community.

“The park and the canal are two of the city’s best assets, and we want to complement them by creating green landscapes, play areas, enhanced walking and cycle routes to link up the Redways, and a pub or café to let people sit out next to the canal.”

Walton: key residential development opportunity launches

Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP) has launched marketing of its development site west of Walton Manor and south of Groveway.

Occupying 15.6 acres in the southeast of the city, the site has outline planning consent for up to 174 homes. The residential development land is accompanied by an additional 7.2 acres of open space and existing structural planting.

With direct roundabout access off Groveway to the north, the site also benefits from public transport links to the city centre and via a pedestrian link to Hullwell Gate.

The Open University lies to the north, Walton Manor to the east, Simpson Road and Caldecotte Reservoir to the south and Woughton Park extends along the entirely of the western boundary.

Aligned with MKDP’s commitments to inclusive and equal communities, a minimum of 36 per cent of the homes must be affordable.

A single-stage informal tender will now be undertaken to select an appropriate developer and scheme.

The deadline for submissions has now closed.


Campbell Park View planning application successfully submitted

The planning application for Campbell Park View, a new city centre development of 285 homes for rent in Milton Keynes, has been successfully submitted.

Packaged Living acquired the site in 2023 and has now put forward a proposal which would regenerate the site of the theatre multi-storey car park on Avebury Boulevard.

In addition to the new apartments, a new leisure venue would be provided at ground and first floor to complement the neighbouring Milton Keynes Theatre, MK Gallery, and 12th Street leisure quarter.

Supporting MKDP’s vision to support cleaner, safer and healthier communities, the public space on the corner of Avebury Boulevard and Marlborough Gate would be improved with new seating, green planting, and better pedestrian connections.

The new development occupies the site of a former multi-storey car park next to Milton Keynes Theatre. The theatre car park closed in 2020. Milton Keynes City Council had identified the site as an important gateway which could see a mixed-used development brought forward.

Adam Sciberras, Special Projects Director for MKDP, explains how new developments are making a positive impact: “Central Milton Keynes has real potential for growth, and our priority is to make sure that new developments meet MKDP’s placemaking objectives and respect the city’s unique heritage.”

“Developments like Campbell Park View will play an important role in making Central Milton Keynes a vibrant and sustainable city centre, enhancing the surrounding built environment and boosting our already thriving culture. MKDP is looking forward to working collaboratively with Packaged Living.”

Sophie Gunn, Associate Director of Development for Packaged Living, said: “We’ve worked hard with our neighbours and local stakeholders to draw up plans for an architecturally excellent building in keeping with this important regeneration site.”

The planning application will now be considered by Milton Keynes City Council.

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.


Lower Westside Development Opportunity

One of three key masterplan proposals in CMK is
Lower Westside, the vision for which is a major new
precinct for technology, innovation, and education.
The broad concept for the area which extends from
Station Square outside the railway station to Block B4
• New workspace and research facilities
• A University presence
• A multi-purpose conferencing and events venue
• A new residential neighbourhood
• Well-designed public realm.

Find out more about this development opportunity.

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.”