An aopology from St Modwen: From: Kathryn Edwards <KEdwards@stmodwen.co.uk> Date: Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 5:18 PM
Subject: Response from St. Modwen To: Sally Murrer <email@example.com> - At MK Citizen published last week
Hi Sally, Please see below a response from St. Modwen in respect of your email this afternoon. This should be attributed to a spokesperson for St. Modwen.
Regards, Kathryn Edwards
Response to the Milton Keynes Citizen:St. Modwen responded to Mr Webb’s original subject access request in November 2017 and provided him with all relevant documentation. At that time, the Company wrote to Mr Webb and acknowledged that references to him in the documents were unprofessional and did not meet expected standards. The Company fully apologised to Mr Webb and the matter was addressed internally with the individuals concerned.
Welcome to Wolverton Works online. Site updated 15 September 2018. Below sunset over the Works on 14 Sept and sunrise on 15th Sept. The electical test bay in the East Repair Shop.
The Full Works is the official book published to commemorate the Works' 175th anniversary in September 2013. It is still available from the author priced £6.50 including P&P from: Mr P Marsh, 14 Milton Road, Willen Village, MK15 9AD.
War Memorial fund
Working with Dave Hilliard from Wolverton Works, Phil Marsh has donated £1000 from the anniversary book to the World War One War Memorial fund. Dave has raised several thousands of pounds working tirelessly towards the project completion.
This will commemorate each of the 213 Wolverton Works men who gave their lives in this conflict. For some reason, the LNWR did not erect a War memorial to them. and we resolved to rectify this omission.
Dave Hilliard, supported by Knorr-Bremse, has raised the required amount and the memorial stone will be unveiled. But curiously St Modwen will not respond to questions about the project. Local MP Mark Lancaster has tried to get things moving without success.
Interested in the Royal Train? Visit; www.royaltrain.co.uk Visit the Milton Keynes Miniature Railway at Caldecotte Lake here - www.caldecotteminiaturerailway.co.uk
Historic England’s Wolverton Works’ High Court challenge dismissed
Wolverton Works opened on 17 September 1838 and Knorr-Bremse 5th August announcement that they had sold the rail renovation business there to what is described as a German based holding company called Mutares.
Knorr-Bremse purchased the rail business on 27 August 2013 four weeks after it had entered Administration and have therefore run Wolverton and Springburn for five years.
This sale which many locals consider not coincidental, closely followed the High Court’s dismissal on 30 July of the Appeal made on 23 May this year by Historic England against Planning Consent to demolish 99% of Wolverton Works. St Modwen sold Springburn on 6th August.
The High Court Ruling was descibed as very disappointing by Historic England for two reasons:
1.Wolverton Works is the most complete example of a major UK Victorian railway Works
2.This Ruling means that in theory no Conservation Area is safe from demolition and redevelopment
The Judge, His Honour Mr Justice Dove said in his 44 page Ruling that he considered Milton Keynes Council was in law, entitled to come to the conclusion that the future use of one part of the site for railway-related employment and the replacement of the rest for housing outweighed the retention of the unlisted buildings for the contribution they make to the character of Wolverton.
The key to this decision is that property developers and Wolverton Works’ site owners St Modwen have said they will build a smaller railway works at the eastern end of the 38 acre site. Therefore rail-related employment will continue as the link to the past.
In theory any Conservation Area without listed buildings can now be demolished so long as any industry associated with it’s heritage continues in some form for historical continuity, even in modern buildings.
The World War 1 War Memorial to the 213 Wolverton men who died in that war has now been ready for erection since the start of last year and St Modwen refuse to answer questions about where it can be sited. Wolverton & Greenleys Council have tried to resolve this but only Knorr-Bremse who part funded the memorial, are assisting in this project.
Wolverton Works’ staff arrived at work on 6th July to be given a letter telling them the business had been sold but with no other information. Enquires have suggested that Knorr-Bremse have lost a significant sum in their five years at Wolverton and Springburn with late project delivery.
Their press statement said that Knorr-Bremse is carrying out a strategic realignment of its vehicle services business in the UK market. The agreement between Knorr-Bremse Rail Services sites in Wolverton and Springburn.
Milton Keynes Council Leader Peter Marland has said that the buildings are in a dangerous state and Historic England should work with St Modwen to preserve what's left as much as possible.
He said; “Milton Keynes Council is responsible for making the decision on the Wolverton Works site, but we are not the land owner or applicant, and the Planning Committee needs to make decisions based on the law,"
"Wolverton is my ward and I care deeply about the works, as ward councillor I have tried to moderate and improve the designs the land owner has put forward, and I’m first to agree they are not what I’d have ideally liked, but let’s be clear as well as being historic there are still jobs on the site which need modern buildings.
The works are not just history, they still exist and we need to make sure they continue to exist into the future. Historic England have now failed in the High Court, they have failed with an application to the Secretary of State to “call in” the decision and they have failed to engage constructively at all with reality."
The new owners’ website states that Mutares “is a holding company that typically acquires companies or divisions that are no longer part of the core business of a larger corporation. As an investor with its own consulting team, Mutares specializes in increasing production efficiency, leveraging synergies and enabling growth. In particular, they invest in European companies that have significant potential for development and already possess established business models - often combined with strong brands.
Behind this is the fear that as the kind of rail renovation work carried out at Wolverton comes to an end with the introduction of new train fleets in new rail franchises, bringing wholesale withdrawal of British Rail built trains, there will be no work beyond a few years time there.
The recent signing of a 25 year lease between St Modwen and Knorr-Bremse now seems to have been designed to offer continuity of rail-related work at Wolverton to satisfy planning constraints rather than the probability of such work continuing. The Chinese Railway and Rolling Stock Companies’ flirtation last year with Wolverton is also over so the Works’ future now looks to be bleak.
Historic England told Heritage Railway that they are considering an Appeal to a higher court.
The above shows the WW1 Memorial to the Wolverton men who died in WW1.
St Modwen have declined to assist with its siting despite being a near billion pound listed company.