Central Milton Keynes planning group speaks out against Primark plan

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A group tasked with laying out the future of Central Milton Keynes until 2026 has come out against plans for a new Primark at thecentre:mk.

At a meeting to launch its strategy in the Network Rail building last night (Wednesday), the Central Milton Keynes Alliance said it could not envisage circumstances where Secklow Gate bridge could be removed.

CMK Alliance master planner Robert de Grey said it was vital to defend the things that make Central Milton Keynes special, including the grid system which Secklow Gate Bridge is a part.

Mr de Grey said: “We say there is the possibility of exceptional development, something that brings something special and unique. I can’t envisage circumstances where we would break the infrastructure.

“A second Primark is not what we had in mind.”

David Lock told the meeting that the centre:mk did not have a right to take public space to make enhancements to the shopping centre. “The starting point on that is no,” he said.

Mr Lock told the meeting that Robert Hall, director of thecentre:mk had resigned from the working group when the Alliance’s position on the grid system had been made clear. thecentre:mk supports the Primark plan, which has been lodged with Milton Keynes Council.

The Citizen understands the working group had seen some fraught discussions about the way forward.

Although the plan has been agreed, there is far from unanimity.

Paul Hunt, MD of John Lewis, who led the business delegation on the Alliance told the meeting that the question over Primark strikes at the very heart of the issue of the future of the city centre.

“It really is important.” He urged people to consider whether it would be better to have a “freer approach” to development in the centre.

Visit www.cmkalliance.co.uk