YESTERDAY’S news that plans to build a flagship Primark store in Central Milton Keynes had been withdrawn sparked plenty of debate among Citizen readers.
The controversial proposal, planned for Secklow Gate, were due to be discussed at last night’s development control committee meeting, but instead the fashion retailer withdrew its application.
The construction of the facility would have seen the destruction of the Secklow Gate Bridge and the movement of the market.
The plans had been opposed by protest group Xplain, as well as local ward councillors and even city MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster.
But thecentre:mk had claimed it would bring jobs and money to the city centre.
Readers on our website, Facebook page and Twitter network inudated us with comments outlining their reaction.
Here are just some of the responses:
Scrumptious: What a shame the Nimbys have won. We’re keeping that smelly old market and the battered old bridge. Would the last shop to leave thecentre:mk please turn off the lights. RIP CMK.
notsonaive: I’m really pleased by this turn of events – I really hope that they can come back with plans that please everyone – they can use the empty sites and that would be more beneficial for our town than what has been proposed and rejected. I know we need investment and no-one is against that, but it must not come at a cost to our current heritage, infrastucture or the ‘flow’ of the city centre and all parties must take this into consideration.
primgate: The news that the Primark application has been withdrawn is good news for CMK. We can only hope that thecentre.mk and their masters understand where they went wrong and now change their attitude to the citizens of CMK. So often they have presented plans as a fait accompli and believe that because it must make business sense to them, nobody and nothing else matters. This mentality has reigned supreme within the shopping centre as many internal changes have been made which many CMK citizens objected to but could do nothing about, despite it being a listed building. I suspect that already new plans are being drawn up to try and bypass those objections that caused the current plans to fail. Let’s hope next time around real consultation occurs and any plans are sympathetic to design, infrastructure and heritage of the city centre. At the end of the day everyone wants a thriving city, we just don’t want MK to end up as a botched up equivalent to so many other new towns where the original vision was lost.
JessMadge: This is great news. It is time now for the council to respond to the national planning guidelines that came out of the Portas review. These say that markets should be supported and enhanced. The market is bursting at the seams it is so successful. But it would be an even bigger attraction if the council now showed its commitment by putting some modest investment into the site. This would reassure traders that a long period of business uncertainty (the fire, the delay, the planning application) is now at an end.
shaunmk: The town will never move forward... the market area needs a total re-vamp. It is dirty and looks like a shanty town.
TheTalkofMK: People are so short sighted. Do you know what Primark would have done to the centre of MK? Simply, bring more people to Milton Keynes and inject a new reason to come to the ‘High Street’. Sorry but the market isn’t even a proper market. It’s dark and dingy and needs a new location, modern look etc – not all markets need to look like EastEnders.
IamOlderThanMK: Is MK competing on heritage now? Good luck with that. We can only compete on having the latest, being the shiniest and newest. That requires constant renewal. Very few towns in the UK can compete with us on that. We have a competitive advange on being new. But trying to save a rusty, forgotten piece of the seventies is not going to help our town. It is a sad day for MK.
Lee John Marley: Good move, stay away lol
Melanie Brown: Great news. Like I’ve said plenty of empty shops for them to go into if they want a shop in the city centre
Mikey Mjp: should build it on the point overspill car park and build an underground car park like Sainsburys
Kayleigh Peach Blackhead: Everyone is saying about lots of empty shops on the shopping centre. The shops that are empty are tiny and the majority have already been let out. Sainsburys clearly isn’t a good unit regardless of size otherwise they would have gone in there already years ago. The city was perfect, perfect for struggling stores like me that have already been in admin, and thank got out of it. I understand people have jobs on the market, but it is never busy. And I’ve actually seen a couple of stalls close this week. I know the rent they pay a week, and they must struggle to make money just to cover that plus pay people. I know it’s difficult in the world we live in now. Stupid decision to withdraw the plans after all of this.
Melanie Brown: There’s a few empty shops that are big enough for a Primark in the city centre and Sainsburys still lease the old Sainsburys building. That’s why nothings gone in there. I love the market, but the main problem was the fact they were going to demolish the bridge that’s used quite a lot for traffic. It would then be mayhem because everyone would have to go the long way round to get anywhere.
Gemma McCann: I don’t understand why it can’t be built somewhere in the empty Food Centre (bring some life into it) or on the old garden centre plot.
Craig Swifty: We have Primark in Bletcley, we don’t need more Primark. We need to nourish and look after our market.
JayStimpson: It’s a tough debate. I just think if MK wants to keep growing then changes have to be made. Can’t always live in the past.
maxbiznetwork: Good solution would be to move the market inside the old Sainsburys. The indoor market in MK used to be good.
A2thaj: Crazy. Keep a market where it is at the expense of a lot more jobs in a hard economic time?
BucksBlackCat: Fantastic news - a victory for common sense.