Bland or brilliant? A town responds

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READERS have reacted furiously to claims Milton Keynes is spread over 88 square miles of ‘aesthetic pollution’.

Last week Roger Scruton, who lives in the States, launched his blistering attack on the new city referring to the centre as ‘recognisable only by its superlative ugliness’ in a post on a Conservative website.

However, Citizen readers have flooded our newsdesk in defence of MK with messages of support.

Pete Burrett, of Old Farm Park, said: “These are typically ignorant comments made by someone who clearly knows nothing of Milton Keynes at ground level, and has selected the town for his bile based on ‘received wisdom’, or lack of it.”

Mr Scruton, who is described as a writer and philosopher, working as a scholar at the America Enterprise Insitute also said: “In the midst of this urban sprawl residents are ‘trapped in little globules’ between cars.

Anluise Hamilton-Bruce, of Beanhill, said: “The little globules – I assume Mr Scruton is referring to the housing estates – were designed to protect the residents from the fast traffic of the dual carriageways. They keep us safe and free from noise and pollution.”

“I once said I would not live in MK for £1million. Two and a half years later I am still here with no plans to move.”

However, some of our readers agreed with Mr Scruton’s comments with one saying: “I agree with Mr Scruton 100 per cent. People who think we are a city must live very sheltered lives.

“We have very little that you could say makes us a city, the buildings are bland, the shopping centre is one of the worst I have seen, again Mr Scruton is spot on.”

Maria Garvey said: “You really need a car, you do not feel safe walking under walk ways. It’s a very lonely place with a bus service that everyone has given up on. If I could afford to move away I would.”

But it was not just the ‘urban sprawl’ that came under attack with the centre itself receiving some disparaging comments.

Mr Scruton said: “The centre of Milton Keynes is recognisable as only by its superlative ugliness, and it provides the residents with no place of social pilgrimage, no precinct for hanging out. It is simply a place you visit out of necessity.”

> See Letters, page 12 & 13.

> Have your say. Email editorial@mkcitizen.co.uk.