Creating a new digital hub for Milton Keynes’ innovation economy
185,000 sq ft Grade A workspace and co-work provision + 250 Build-to-Rent apartments
Socius Development Ltd
Saxon Court, Central Milton Keynes
Mixed-use development evangelists Socius Development Ltd really get the knowledge economy. They know that cities like Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes are powered by the collaboration of the people living and working there and their shared quest for knowledge and discovery.
Milton Keynes was high on Socius Development Ltd’s city hit list. With a new digital skills university, MK:U, on the way and banking giant Santander’s £150m HQ under construction, they had their eye on a nearby site.
We helped Socius Development Ltd get under the skin of the digital city before they embarked on their bid for the Saxon Court site. Our advice on the type of tech occupiers they would attract fed into their architect’s masterplan and shaped their vision of a key hub for the city’s digital economy.
Just as importantly, we crunched the numbers. Our insight into MK office rents and residential values, plus our detailed market comparisons, forecasts and viability assessments, helped form the backbone of Socius Development Ltd’s successful bid for the site.
We provided planning advice for this mixed-use redevelopment of the former Milton Keynes Council (MKC) housing offices at ‘Saxon Court’ and the land to the rear.
Our team’s planning knowledge, experience and existing working relationship with MKC planning officers placed us in exceptional stead to advise on this proposal.
From the start, innovation, sustainability and architecture were at the heart of the proposal, with MK Gateway being designed by world renowned architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. We led a series of pre-application meetings where details of the scheme were refined, and we participated in public consultation events where local politicians, businesses and members of the public were able to engage with proposals.
Our team worked with the architects and other consultants to ensure the scheme was compliant with relevant policy and helped to develop strategies for areas of the scheme which pushed the boundaries of what many professionals thought was possible to achieve in planning terms in CMK - it is the first scheme to propose no on-plot parking and includes the tallest building in Milton Keynes.
Additionally, we project managed the application process and were involved in the preparation of supporting documentation including a detailed Planning Statement, Policy Compliance Statement and Town and Visual Impact Assessment.