We were appointed to develop the masterplan proposals for various parcels within Area 11 of the Western Expansion Area (WEA) in Milton Keynes; securing planning approvals for a total of 1,420 dwellings across a range of typologies and a variety of housing tenures.
The Western Expansion Area (WEA) is a 350-hectare site situated just outside Milton Keynes. Plans for this area include the provision of approximately 6,500 new homes, as well as employment land and parkland.
The WEA is split into Area 10 and Area 11, with Area 11 receiving outline planning for 2,220 dwellings and a range of commercial, retail and community uses, parks and open space in October 2007.
We have secured planning approvals for 6 different phases within Area 11 on behalf of Barratt and David Wilson Homes, representing a total of 1,420 new homes.
Our successful proposals date from February 2015, when the first phase was granted approval, to September 2019 for the last phase approved.
Each design proposal has been developed by a process that accommodates feedback from public consultations and regular pre-planning meetings with Milton Keynes’ local authorities.
To help to connect the site with the neighbourhood, a street network has been developed to respond to the requirement laid out in the approved design guidance, which includes a hierarchy of types to give character and legibility to the developments.
Existing wildlife corridors have been positively integrated within the development, providing habitat for the wildlife and informal leisure areas for the residents. This is in addition to the communal courtyards and private amenity spaces provided for the project.
The layout design mostly comprises of a ‘perimeter block’ concept, appropriate in scale and positively addresses all open frontage to the sites. A range of building heights has been adopted, with taller elements (up to 4 storeys) strategically positioned along the higher order streets. The bulk of dwellings are two and two-and-half storeys, with taller elements used for placemaking purposes.
A contemporary approach has been applied to the masterplan, with a variety of materials used to create distinct character areas. Red brick is used as the primary material with some render and timber boarding to emphasise gateway and key buildings.
Overall, the scheme presents a contemporary urban edge with repeating gables orientated to face the street. The use of attractive streetscape modelling by projections and recessions, along with a continuous and strong building line to create a strong identity for the City Street frontage. A more traditional approach is used towards the countryside edge, with colours and use of materials that reflect the naturalist setting.
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