Love Wolverton has been notified by Historic England of an application to add the Agora Centre to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. HE will now assess the building and prepare advice for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on whether or not the building merits listing.
We are surprised and dismayed that such an application has been made. A huge weight of policy, political and community momentum has built up over many years to seek the comprehensive redevelopment of the Agora. Whatever its status as a visible legacy of the New Town Development Corporation and the optimism it generated in its earliest years, the Agora has proven a long-term social, environmental and commercial failure.
We have discussed this matter with officers of Milton Keynes Council and they have advised that the Council’s commitment to comprehensive redevelopment of the site remains unchanged. The Council will be writing to Historic England to set out its views. As such, Love Wolverton’s programme for the planning and redevelopment of the site will continue unchanged until further notice.
Once it has made its assessment, Historic England will consult interested parties on the factual basis of its recommendations and invite comments and has said it will consider all representations made before finalising its assessment and making its recommendation to the Secretary of State. We will post updates as we hear more.