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Residents celebrate Oxley Woods expansion veto

Residents of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ (RSHP) Oxley Woods housing estate in Milton Keynes are celebrating the defeat of Taylor Wimpey’s expansion plans

A proposal to build 26 new homes on the site by a different architect was rejected by Milton Keynes Partnership on the grounds the scheme lacked ‘character’ and ‘variety’ and failed to relate to existing buildings.

The 2008 Manser Medal-winning development was built under the last government as part of John Prescott’s Design for Manufacture initiative aiming to create new pre-fabricated homes for £60,000.

Last year, Taylor Wimpey turned to CMYK to complete the 120-unit scheme with an additional 26 traditional, brick-built homes.

Resident Paul Mullet said he was ‘delighted’ at the decision to reject the project, adding: ‘It still feels very much like a David vs Goliath situation’

He said: ‘New technology could be introduced to make the construction of same or similar style homes both more cost effective and more energy efficient.

‘The only thing in the way right now appears to be Taylor Wimpey’s ambition to drop the scheme for their preferred two a penny shoebox designs.’

He added: ‘Unfortunately for Wimpey, the RSH+P designed homes have proved very attractive to architects, designers, planners, activists… Exactly the kind of residents who will care enough to act, and at the same time have a good enough knowledge pool to act in a relatively co-ordinated and effective way.’

In March last year, RSHP’s Ivan Harbour wrote to Oxley Woods residents explaining he was disappointed with Taylor Wimpey’s decision to complete the project’s final two stages without the studio on board.

He added RSHP would be happy to work with Taylor Wimpey on the project again if it were to change its mind.

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