The article, which is currently their lead story on the BD Online website, focuses on what many of us believe are among the core issues of the proposals made by CMYK and Taylor Wimpey to drop the multi-award winning Oxley Woods development prior to completion.
Among the subjects touched upon is Wimpey’s decreasing debt and increasing profits, countered by their statement these houses (award winning £60k homes and all) are too expensive to build in tough times.
Wimpey’s statement from Peter Gurr, Regional Managing Director reads:
I can confirm that we are in the process of exploring new designs for the final two phases of 29 homes at Oxley Woods with CMYK (Design and Planning) Ltd, a company with whom we work regularly in the design of our more traditional property types.
This process is being carried out with the full knowledge of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, and we are also seeking feedback from residents on the new designs, which are still at the conceptual stage.
The reasons for our decision are twofold: firstly, the cost of housing formed of prefabricated building components becomes expensive in a period of economic hardship, when you cannot predict a steady flow of sales; and secondly, demand for these properties during this current climate has not met with our expectations.
We hope residents realise that this is not a decision which has been taken lightly, and that they understand why it has had to be made. We are committed to building sustainable homes and communities and all Taylor Wimpey homes are highly energy and water-efficient.
Being an architectural publication, the issue of community does not feature so heavily, and while the text makes no mention of cohesive design, placing images of the proposed CMYK housing next to the RSH+P homes we all know provided enough visual evidence of that situation.
The only glimmer of hope to be drawn from any of this at this stage is that RSH+P appear more than happy to continue working on the site, the virtues of which they too have been very vocal about in the past. RSHP director Ivan Harbour, project director for Oxley Woods is quoted by Building Design as saying:
If Taylor Wimpey changes its mind, we would be happy to work together to complete the designs for those homes planned for the final part.
For our part, we have contacted many of the interested parties in the Oxley Woods scheme, from the Milton Keynes Partnership to the local MP and the Homes and Communities Agency, and we’ll be sure to keep residents updated on anything we hear as soon as we can.