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Residents slam latest CMYK design for Oxley Woods

Residents of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ (RSHP) Oxley Woods housing scheme have slammed Taylor Wimpey’s latest CMYK-designed plans to extend the ground-breaking development

The housing developer has submitted a fresh planning application to Milton Keynes council for 26 houses and parking space, following the rejection of Taylor Wimpey’s original plan in 2012 (see AJ 02 March 2012).

However, residents of the award-winning housing estate are disappointed with the new plans and say that Taylor Wimpey has failed to carry out a context appraisal or to consult with people already living on the site.

Resident Chris Littlecott said: ‘When the previous application was refused… planning officials encouraged Taylor Wimpey to do a full context appraisal and engage with residents to draft some design principles. Residents would have warmly welcomed this. We want to see the site completed with a high quality scheme and have a history of promoting the estate.

‘However Taylor Wimpey decided not to pursue this, and have also not undertaken pre-application discussions with MK Council. Instead they have reviewed the reasons for refusal of the last scheme and sought to use these to amend their proposals.’

Littlecott said that some changes had been made to the original plans, such as the removal of balconies that overlooked other properties, and repositioning of roof lines, but that the plan remained almost identical to the original CYMK-designed proposal (pictured below) that the Milton Keynes Partnership said lacked ‘character’ and ‘variety’.

CMYK's original scheme for Oxley Woods - rejected in 2012

CMYK’s original scheme for Oxley Woods - rejected in 2012

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: ‘Our revised proposals for the final 26 homes at Oxley Woods have been prepared in response to comments received in the refusal of our previous planning application for the site, in addition to further feedback from members of the local community.

‘We look forward to receiving Milton Keynes Council’s decision on our new application in due course.’

St Albans-based CMYK has refused to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, residents have drawn up their own Context Appraisal document, and will take their concerns to Milton Keynes Council this month, with the council expected to decide the outcome of the planning application by 15 July.

Littlecott added: ‘Residents feel that Taylor Wimpey has sought to actively avoid considering how to deliver a high quality scheme, and instead is seeking to cut corners and reduce costs by reverting to traditional construction methods. That goes against the original award of the land under the Design for Manufacture competition, and clashes with the importance of innovation for Milton Keynes’s national reputation.

‘With the two adjacent sites coming available, there is now a great opportunity to complete Oxley Woods in style and further promote Milton Keynes as a leader in architecture and building performance. Residents will gladly work with alternative developers or self-build schemes to make this happen. It’s just a pity Taylor Wimpey don’t want to be a part of it.’

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