Frequently Asked Questions

@ MK Gateway
  1. Located in a key strategic position, on the corner of Avebury Boulevard and Saxon Gate just off Childs Way (H6), Saxon Court is adjacent to the Centre:MK and Intu Milton Keynes shopping centres. The location is regarded as a ‘gateway’ from the South East of the surrounding area into central Milton Keynes.

  2. The site comprises of two parcels of land totalling 2.35 acres (0.95 ha). Saxon Court is approximately 1.61 acres (0.65 ha) and the development land to the rear is 0.74 acres (0.30 ha). Saxon Court is a first-generation town centre office building constructed in 1980, providing 3 floors of office accommodation arranged around a large covered atrium.

  3. Socius is a privately-owned mixed-use developer specialising in place-making and urban regeneration. Its current development pipeline includes the regeneration of the Soapworks site in Bristol into a mixed-use district with workspace and over 160 new homes and Edward Street Quarter which comprises 170,000 sq ft of creative workspace and 168 homes in the heart of Brighton. Socius are also preparing plans for a new 250,000 sq ft mixed-use neighbourhood in Cambridge City Centre.

  4. We believe that our proposals for Saxon Court with help Milton Keynes reach its ambition of becoming a truly economically successful city, providing new jobs, new business opportunities, new homes and a renewed confidence in the future.

    Our proposals will be genuinely mixed-use, creating a new community of people who live, work and socialise at Saxon Court. With new civic amenities and space for local independent food, drink, leisure and retail, Saxon Court will be a thriving, vibrant place with a soul and character that reflects the diversity, heritage and innovative spirit of Milton Keynes.

    Furthermore, this will be a flagship sustainable development for Central Milton Keynes, both highly energy efficient and benefitting local biodiversity.

  5. Our vision aligns with the Council’s aspirations for this key strategic site and with the MK 2050 Plan. This will be a flagship sustainable development, aligning with the council’s ambitions to respond to the climate emergency, which was declared by Milton Keynes Council in 2019.

  6. Saxon Court is part of Milton Keynes’ unique history and we will ensure that history is treated with respect and sensitivity. We believe that there is an opportunity to improve the site’s relationship to Avebury Boulevard and create new connections that help to link the area together. We hope that by retaining key features of Central Milton Keynes’ unique infrastructure, such the porte corchere and existing mature trees, in addition to accessible public space and delivering vibrant new uses, we can ensure that Saxon Court continues to have a successful future at the heart of Milton Keynes.

  7. Socius are committed to becoming a net zero carbon company by 2030. As part of this we will be exploring a number of options including sustainable materials, alternative energy solutions and the promotion of sustainable travel options such as walking and cycling.

  8. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) were founded in 1977 by Richard Rogers and are an award winning architectural practice with projects across the world. They have designed a wide range of building types; office, residential, transport, education, culture, leisure & retail. These superior designed developments have received critical acclaim around the globe and include two prestigious RIBA Stirling Prizes.

  9. Saxon Court will provide a genuinely inclusive and welcoming public space for work and leisure in Central Milton Keynes; catering for the community, fostering collaboration and showcasing innovation. Saxon Court’s existing atrium will be enhanced and re-energised to provide an active and publicly accessible indoor space. This atrium will link the front entrance of Saxon Court, from Avebury Boulevard, to a new outdoor public square to the rear.

    This revitalised indoor space will become the ‘beating heart’ of a repurposed Saxon Court, providing integrated facilities and services - accessible to all. This includes flexible offices, shared meeting rooms and event spaces, working lounges, cultural and community spaces.

    Roof terraces are also included on the upper floors, providing opportunities for workers to enjoy a lunch break with a view or meetings in the sun. These southern facing terraces can also host corporate events in the evening, or community events at the weekend.

  10. The repurposed Saxon Court will also provide dynamic new opportunities for emerging enterprises to innovate and will include space for the substantial growth of social impact industries. Supporting an ethical return on investment, the new Saxon Court will provide a platform for socially-minded start-ups, conscientious collaborations and ‘tech for good’ digital developers.

    The future-focussed Saxon Court will integrate with emerging technologies, from Starship robots, Drone deliveries, 5G, autonomous vehicles, electric cars and e-bikes.

  11. Build to rent is type of private rented accommodation. It is designed to create secure and well managed homes for renters in a variety of sizes.

  12. Varied. The local market will dictate the price of these new homes. We are also proposing a number of affordable homes to be included within the new development.

  13. Socius have worked with a number of successful operators in the past and a decision will be made subject to a successful planning consent.

  14. All the apartments will be available for rent and provide secure and well managed homes in a variety of sizes. Each apartment will have dual aspect frontages, enjoying exciting views across the city.

    A vertical series of sky gardens, the first of their kind proposed in the UK, will provide an innovative solution to communal outdoor space. Nine spacious terraces, at triple height, will allow residents to exercise, relax and socialise, throughout 27 storeys of apartments.

    Additional residential amenities include a communal lounge, concierge and gym.

  15. Socius are committed to a scheme that is policy compliant and therefore will be proving 31% of the new rental units as affordable homes. These will be pepper-potted throughout the development, with no poor doors or separate affordable block.

  16. Yes, planning policy stipulates that 5% of all market dwellings be wheelchair accessible and 10% of all affordable dwellings be wheelchair accessible. Our proposals will align with this policy.

  17. A new public square will connect the two new residential buildings with the repurposed Saxon Court. This new outdoor public realm will be an inclusive and accessible civic space; acting as a ‘village green’ for an urban environment. Featuring high-quality landscaping, new plants and trees, the green will host outdoor activities, pop-ups and events, such as street stalls, live music, arts and culture.

    As well as providing a place to pass through, with connections across the site, this welcoming green will include public seating and spaces for people to relax and socialise. This includes areas for exercise and play, promoting health and wellbeing.

  18. We are developing a Social Vale Action Plan to deliver long-term community benefits, prioritising local employment, skills, health, wellbeing and the environment. The Action Plan will cover the lifecycle of the development, from construction to operation. In collaboration with the local community, we will seek to improve the following community outcomes:

    • Promote local skills and employment
    • Support the growth of responsible and local business
    • Create healthier, safer and more resilient communities
    • Decarbonise and safeguard our world
  19. Our sustainable transport proposals for the re-purposed Saxon Gate development are based on Milton Keynes Council’s policies to reduce transport pollution and CO2 emissions, protect the natural environment and promote improved public health and wellbeing.

    Saxon Gate is a highly accessible and centrally located site with strong connections to local public transport connections with Redway routes, bus stops and Milton Keynes Central train station all within a 20-minute walk. Our sustainable transport strategy will build on this and provide:

    • 550 new weatherproof, cycle stands, including in secure residential and commercial locations
    • A ‘bike-hub’ – a cycle themed centre, housing a café, bicycle workshop, bar and exhibition space. The ‘bike hub’ will be perfect for cycle enthusiasts, as well as a great, central location for people to meet friends
    • New signage to cycle parking
    • New facilities, such as a cycle workshop for residents and building users, to create a ‘cycling culture’ with cycle hire, e-scooters and local bike repair
    • Easy access to Car Clubs for those residents and building users who need access to a vehicle
    • Electric Vehicle charging points to be introduced in existing car parking spaces
  20. Saxon Gate is already well-served by surface car parking, so no new car parking is proposed. We are in discussion with the Council to introduce a permit system for the use of the existing parking adjacent to the site. Experience from similar private rented developments elsewhere indicates that it is likely that most of the residents will not own a car and will travel by public transport, bike and occasional use of a car club.

    Our aim is to make walking, cycling, using public transport and electric vehicles the most attractive way of getting to and about Saxon Court and supporting Milton Keynes’ strategy for 2050 which includes ambitions to be a near carbon zero city, with a focus on emission-free travel.

  21. An overarching fire strategy was developed during the planning process in complete compliance, and in adherence to all Government and Council guidance and building regulations. In collaboration with fire experts, strategies are being developed for each of the different buildings which will form part of the MK Gateway development. This includes the integration of appropriate automatic sprinkler and automatic fire detection/ alarm systems within each building, along with the provision of two staircases and an evacuation lift within The Village development. The design of MK Gateway will include the use of non-combustible materials and incorporate adequate access and facilities for the fire service.

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