PLANS for a new shopping area to be built at stadium:mk will help complete the ground, according to MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman.
Last Wednesday, the Development Control Committee at Milton Keynes Council gave an initial go-ahead for the new plans which will see an additional 22,000sqm of retail space, believed to be for, among others, a new Marks & Spencer store.
Plans were originally agreed nearly five years ago for a huge unit to house a new DIY store, though the downturn in the economy put paid to those.
Following Wednesday’s decision, Mr Winkelman, who was part of the planning application through Inter MK, said he believes the result is a huge step forward for the club – and the investment in the site will mean that stadium:mk can finally be completed.
The ground opened in June 2007, but while the second tier has been built, it has not been fully installed, leaving the stadium with a large open gap around the top, exposing some fans to the elements on match days.
But the chairman is confident that this is the first step in getting the ground finished.
He said: “We still have so many deals to do, and they are massive deals but hopefully in the next six months, I can tell you all about them.
“We had a good day on Wednesday, and you need days like those.
“It is not just about the extra seats in this stadium. What we need to do is finish it – it wasn’t designed to be in two bits.
“In some seats, when it rains, the water runs along the steel struts and drips down on you – that is not the magnificent stadium we designed.
“I’m frustrated that it is still not done. And I have not stopped working to get it finished.
“The economy hasn’t helped, but we hope to finish what we started.”