Unit 1 & Vanguard House, Michigan Drive, Tongwell, Milton Keynes
Proposed demolition of the existing units and the erection of a replacement storage and distribution unit (Class B8), ancillary office space, parking, servicing, landscaping, and associated works.
The location on the website map is indicative of the registered postcode area for the development site. The exact location of the site can be viewed in the draft application plans.
1. Read about the proposal
Kier PGIM Logistics (Milton Keynes) Limited intend to submit a full planning application to Milton Keynes City Council for the demolition of the existing units at Unit 1 and Vanguard House, Michigan Drive, and the erection of a replacement storage and distribution unit (Class B8), ancillary office space, parking, servicing, landscaping, and associated works.
The application site is situated within the Tongwell Business Area in the north-eastern corner of Milton Keynes. To the north-east is the M1 motorway, while to the south-east is an existing B8 warehouse. To the south-west is Michigan Drive, while to the north-west is a small complex of business units.
The site presently comprises two adjacent parcels. The first, south-eastern parcel (Parcel A - Vanguard House) extends to 1.19 hectares and rises by about 1m from Michigan Drive to the rear boundary. It accommodates a 3-storey office building of 2,247 sq m which has been vacant since 2015.
The second parcel (Parcel B) accommodates an existing distribution warehouse that is understood to have been in use by Carlton Packaging but has been vacant since May 2022. The sales particulars indicate that this unit has a gross floorspace of 6,391 sq m. In total, both sites extend to 2.49 ha.
The application proposes the demolition of the existing Class B8 and Class E(g)(i) units and the erection of a replacement storage and distribution unit (Class B8).
In total, 11,420 sq m (GIA) of floorspace is proposed (11,673 sq m GEA).
The proposal represents an uplift of 2,782 sq m of floorspace when compared against the existing on-site provision but a reduction of 1,140 sq m of floorspace when compared against the existing Class B8 on-site provision and the recently expired permission for the redevelopment of Vanguard House.
The proposed unit will take the form of a traditional rectangular footprint to maximise the redevelopment potential of the site. An ancillary office pod is proposed to the south-western corner of the unit to house administration and staff welfare facilities. The unit will provide 10,868 sq m of ground floor space together with a total of 552 sq m of floorspace at first floor.
The main warehouse element unit will extend to 184 m in length by 56m in width. The ancillary office pod extends to 57 in length and 10m in width. With regards to height, the warehouse element is 13.5m to eaves and 15.1m to the ridge, the office pod extends to 9.1m.
Access to the site will be taken from the existing points onto Michigan Drive. Staff and visitor vehicular/cycle access will be served from the right-hand access point. The access point serves a surface level car park of 141 parking spaces (providing a mix of accessible, standard, car share, EV and potential EV spaces). Pedestrian access will be taken from a separate gated access point, with a clear route across the car park to the main entrance of the unit.
Operational vehicles will enter and exit via the existing left hand access point into a separately defined service yard. In total, 18 HGV’s can occupy the proposed docking bays at any one time.
The unit will be sited away from the boundary to the north to ensure a comprehensive landscape scheme can be included to reduce the visual impact when viewed from the A1. Landscaping to the street scene will be retained and enhanced where practicable.
With regards to appearance, the design and materials seek to provide good articulation to the elevational treatment. The range of materials and colours is intended to achieve a modern contemporary appeal for modern logistic buildings. The use of colours is designed to provide variation to the long elevations. The proposed office space provides further articulation to the elevations through the use of glazing. Additionally, the office element provides a main entrance focal point.
The unit is proposed to be constructed from a profiled roof cladding in Goosewing Grey. The walls will be constructed from a combination of profiled cladding and composite cladding in a variety of silver, blue and grey finishes. The loading doors will be finished in metallic silver. The windows and curtain walling will be powder coated in grey aluminium.
The site has existing mature landscape to the northern boundary with the M1. It is intended to further enhance the landscaping through this area with the planting of native species.
Additional tree and shrub planting is also proposed within the scheme. The new planting area will include species rich planting to enhance the ecological value of the planting proposals. Planting is also proposed throughout the site to break up the visual impact of the parking areas.
Areas of amenity space are proposed within the site for staff enjoyment. Further, a green roof is proposed to part of the roof of the office pod together with an additional area of outdoor amenity for staff.
Finally, the Employment Densities Guide 3rd Edition (2015) confirms that a Class B8 unit of the size proposed could generate between 123 and 167 FTE job positions depending on the final nature of the operation.
ADL has undertaken a Transport Assessment (TA) which takes on board pre-application comments from Milton Keynes Council. The TA concludes that there will not be any detrimental transport / traffic impacts on the highway as a result of the redevelopment.
The proposed redevelopment will generate less vehicle trips than that associated with the existing Office building and Commercial Warehouse at the site (if occupied and operational) with 9 – 13 less two-way vehicle trips during the AM and PM peak hours, respectively.
Notwithstanding the above, a Travel Plan will be submitted to encourage the uptake of sustainable travel modes and outlines measures to achieve positive modal shift towards walking, cycling, and public transport. The Applicant has provided 14 spaces (7 stands) within a secure and covered cycle store externally with a further 16 long-stay cycle parking spaces internally for staff.
The development provides the required level of car parking with circa.140 car parking spaces (including 7 DDA spaces) adhering with the Council parking standards in totality but exceeding the Electric Vehicle Charging Point standard therefore demonstrating the Applicant’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions in response to National and Local Policy and the Climate Emergency.
The two vehicle access points on Michigan Way will be broadly retained with measures to ensure that access and egress can occur free-flowing with minimal disruption. The Applicant has proposed improvements to the pedestrian footpath network will be secured by an appropriate legal agreement to ensure that the site links well with the surrounding walking and cycle network.
The proposed development prioritises sustainability by incorporating renewable energy technologies, promoting biodiversity, conservation, and natural resources.
The design concept for this development is founded on achieving the highest standards of sustainability in all its aspects by seeking to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. The proposal maximises sustainability and energy efficiency. The notable features include use of renewable energy technologies, ecological features including a green roof, incorporating adaptability to climate change, health and wellbeing, energy efficient lighting systems, maximising daylight through windows and roof lights to reduce the need for artificial lighting, water conservation, responsible construction practices and responsible sourcing of materials.
Landscape & Ecology
The site has mature landscaped boundaries, which will be retained and enhanced where appropriate. It is proposed to provide additional tree and shrub planting within the proposed layout to ensure the ecological value of the site is not impacted upon.
The landscaping proposals for the site include opportunities for planting new trees, shrubs and hedgerows using species which produce fruits or berries to maximise the benefit for wildlife including hazel Corylus avellana, rowan Sorbus aucuparia, field maple Acer campestre, hawthorn Crateagus monogyna, wayfaring tree Viburnum lantana, guelder rose Viburnum opulus, silver birch Betula pendula, dogwood Cornus europaeus and dog rose Rosa canina.
Nectar-rich shrub species will also be planted to provide a food source for a variety of urban/suburban pollinator species including bees. Native species are preferred as they will benefit the widest range of species. However, due to the relatively urban location of the site, other beneficial species such as lavenders Lavendula spp., are also appropriate in more formal landscaped areas.
A number of bird boxes are to be erected on or incorporated into the new building in a variety of designs suitable for a number of species, including species such as house sparrow which has been recorded within the vicinity.
Economic Benefits for Milton Keynes
The proposed development will bring a welcome economic boost to Milton Keynes' local economy during construction and throughout the development's operational lifespan.
It is anticipated that the fully operational development will deliver between 123 and 167 full-time employee positions depending on the nature of the final operator. Kier and our appointed contractor will endeavour to maximise employment opportunities for local residents of employment age via agencies and training centres, and local colleges.
The proposed development provides an opportunity to develop an underutilised brownfield plot within an established employment area to provide a high-quality, sustainable, and contemporary employment floorspace to meet strong local and regional demand.
Finally, the proposals will generate £330,000 of business rates revenue annually that can be reinvested by Milton Keynes Council into services and infrastructure locally.