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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 054 - Establishing a partnership to deliver a shared vision

054 - Vizion, Central Milton Keynes

In June 2004 the Milton Keynes Partnership Committee (MKPC) was created by the Government to ensure a coordinated approach to planning and delivery of growth and development in Milton Keynes. The Partnership brings together Milton Keynes Council, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Local Strategic Partnership representatives from the health, community and business sectors and independent representation.

The role of MKPC is to deliver a long-term vision of Milton Keynes as a prosperous and sustainable city up to 2031, with a balanced supply of homes, infrastructure, jobs and community facilities, delivered to the highest quality whilst minimising environmental impact.

Working in partnership with Milton Keynes Council and local stakeholder groups, HCA’s predecessor English Partnerships (as landowner) prepared a detailed design brief for a mixed-use development in Central Milton Keynes. The brief established the principles of high quality, innovative design required to meet local ambition and set the benchmark for future developments in Central Milton Keynes.

Abbeygate Development Ltd (backed by Helical Bar plc) was selected as the preferred developer to bring forward the 2.6 hectare city-centre site through a design-led competition. Completed in 2009, Vizion is anchored by a 10,000m2 Sainsbury’s foodstore and also includes 441 homes (incorporating 30% affordable housing), 500m2 community / “not for profit” space and 3,500m2 of other commercial and office space. Some 1,000 car parking spaces are provided at ground level and on two basement levels. The roof of the Sainsbury’s store has been beautifully landscaped to provide 6,000m2 of gardens for residents. The scheme is fuelled through an innovative district-wide combined heat and power system.

Vizion was the first major project to be endorsed by MKPC since its creation. It illustrates what can be achieved when there is a shared vision supported by a long-term, high control delivery structure.

Other Information

  • Key partners: Milton Keynes Partnership, Developer-Abbeygate Development Ltd and Helical Bar Plc; Architect - Q2 architects
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UDC2 Section - Delivering Quality and Adding Value 


The roof of the Sainsbury’s store forms a beautifully landscaped garden.Images (image bank)