‘Irrational’ Wolverton Works demolition for High Court hearing

By Phil Marsh

THE controversial demolition of Wolverton Works is to be challenged in the High Court.

On April 4, Historic England announced that its application for a Judicial Review challenging Milton Keynes Council’s decision to grant planning permission to property developer and owner St Modwen had been granted. The hearing is set for May 23.

The council approved the firm’s planning application in November 2017.

A statement from Historic England said: “We are pleased to report that we have been given leave to proceed with our Judicial Review action against Milton Keynes Council.

Demolition of the 135-year-old Wolverton Wall began in February. However, the Judicial Review may yet throw a lifeline for the historic works. PHIL MARSH

“That means that we will be able to make our case to a High Court judge that the council’s decision was irrational, given the purpose of the Conservation Area designation in 2001 and affirmation in 2009.

“The hearing date has been set for May 23 and should Milton Keynes Council choose not to oppose the action, it may never get to court.”

In another twist in the long-running planning saga, Phillip Webb, a local objector to the demolition plans asked Simon Peart, the council’s conservation and archaeology manager about how the council would enforce planning rules in the Wolverton Conservation Area once the works was demolished.

The response was: “Yes, this is a question that we have discussed within the team. We will wait to see the outcome of the Judicial Review and review once there is a firm timescale for the works’ demolition.

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