Proposals to develop an independent, luxury hotel on the edge of CMK overlooking Campbell Park could see the tallest building yet arrive on the city skyline. However the coach park, where Hotel La Tour wants to build the hotel, is defined as “classic CMK infrastructure” in the CMK Neighbourhood Plan. This means that only an “exceptional development” can be considered, which will enhance the national significance of the city and also contribute to the social and cultural objectives of the Plan.
After CMK Town Council met with the hotel company’s directors, they agreed to hold a series of workshops with the local community in order to make their proposal exceptional. “The workshops were extremely informative for the project team,” says Hotel La Tour managing director Mark Stuart, “and we’ve got a much better design as a result.” An alternative design has been developed which is around 13 storeys high (five lower than the original), and with a completely different façade which incorporates a high-technology ‘Midsummer’ sun. Significantly, it includes a new feature for Milton Keynes – a public space near the roof which will open up exceptional views across the city and for miles beyond, plus digital displays which will tell the story of Milton Keynes.
As per the Neighbourhood Plan requirement, local people were invited to vote on which version of the scheme they preferred. 79% of respondents voted in favour of the revised scheme. Following the outcome of the vote, it is likely that Hotel La Tour will file a planning application which will then go through the usual public consultation process and be decided by MK Council. More information can be found at hotel-latourmiltonkeynes.co.uk/feedback.