Future signs could Point to iconic site’s demise

Julian Seymour (Associate Director at PPS) and John Grinnell (Development Manager at Hammerson UK Properties) at The Point, which they plan to re-develop.
Julian Seymour (Associate Director at PPS) and John Grinnell (Development Manager at Hammerson UK Properties) at The Point, which they plan to re-develop.
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ICONIC city landmark, The Point, will be demolished if plans to develop the site are given the green light.

Currently there are no solid plans in place but a public exhibition will be held next week giving people an opportunity to view proposals.

Julian Seymour (Associate Director at PPS) and John Grinnell (Development Manager at Hammerson UK Properties) at The Point, which they plan to re-develop.

Julian Seymour (Associate Director at PPS) and John Grinnell (Development Manager at Hammerson UK Properties) at The Point, which they plan to re-develop.

The suggested redevelopment will see the city’s famous red structure demolished and the Odeon cinema removed to make room for four or five retail units along with restaurants and cafes across two storeys. It is believed the development will help to create several hundred jobs.

John Grinnell, project manager, for developer PPS Group, said: “We know that The Point holds fond memories for long-term residents, but it has been superseded by other leisure developments in the city and no longer meets the needs of the community, or leisure and retail operators.

“We want to revitalise the site with contemporary town centre shopping, cafe and restaurant units which meet the needs of business and which will serve the community for the next 30 years.

“We are holding a public consultation on the proposals over the next few weeks and we would welcome the chance to explain the concept behind the outline plans and discuss the initial designs with members of the community.”

The new development will be a retail led scheme which will provide more open frontages to shoppers visiting the site. It will also offer bigger units ‘providing the quality of space retailers want,’ according to Mr Grinnell.

He said: “There has been an increase in competition in the last decade thanks to developments including Xscape and Midsummer Place and further afield the future proposals at stadium:mk.

“We have reached the end of what we can do with this site and we want to vastly improve the public realm. We want to contribute something back into the town as this is the next generation, life moves on. When the YMCA can’t make things work at this site you know it’s time to move on.”

However, not everyone welcomes the idea of knocking down one of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Linda Inoki is the leader of campaign group Xplain, a group which works to protect the heritage of Milton Keynes.

She said: “It would be such a shame to lose the building. They need to look at ideas that could possibly see The Point moved elsewhere. It has to be considered as a key site in the city and has to be treated with a bit of respect.

“I am very pleased that they will be listening to members of the public but speaking on behalf of Xplain members we are sick to death of developers coming in like bulls in china shops, chopping up our city centre and lifting it to different areas like pieces of Lego.

“Milton Keynes is a unique urban landscape and there is nowhere like it in the country. The unique aspect is what has made it so successful over the years. If the developers listen to the public, respect our heritage and approach it with a fresh mind and a bit of imagination then the proposals could be worth looking at.”

Outline proposals will be on display in the former restaurant site at The Point on May 25 between 12pm and 6pm and May 26, between 10am and 2pm.