City revamp is 'madness'

ONE of the original designers of Central Milton Keynes has branded latest plans for a revamp "madness" and urged the "vandals" behind them to quit the city.

Ken Baker, who worked with the former development corporation and is now director of a leading city planning firm, has hit out at Milton Keynes Partnership's 20-year blueprint to breathe new life into the centre.

MKP recently launched a two-month public consultation on a clutch of potential schemes to zap up the estate between Saxon Gate and Campbell Park.

Mr Baker asks how a proposed 40-metre wide street will be an improvement on existing boulevards, saying it will be a huge waste of taxpayers' money and destroy attractive features – such as avenues of plane trees – in the process.

He pleads with the plan's authors: "Leave the boulevards alone and please take your principles to a more appropriate place.

"They do not belong in Milton Keynes."

He claims MKP plans will involve shifting utilities and drainage systems, car parks and covered walkways.

"This madness has already been perpetrated at Witan Gate.

"They have filled in an underpass to replace it with barriers and a controlled crossing.

"CMK is a unique city centre which needs protecting from these vandals."

Another ex-development corporation planner has savaged MKP's draft plans for new estates.

Architect and town planner Mike O'Sullivan says moves to string 11,000 along the V7 Saxon Street – replacing existing houses with blocks of flats – were a non-starter.

"Evicting thousands of families is not on, and this kills the idea dead in its tracks."

Part of a report dealing with potential demolition of homes was withheld by MKP in the run up to local elections.

It promised publication a fortnight ago, but the controversial document has still to appear.