New centre boss leaves door open to fresh Primark plan

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The new interim director of thecentre:mk says she is still open to the idea of bringing retail giant Primark to the shopping centre – six months after it withdrew a planning application in light of fierce opposition.

Sue Anderson-Brown, who replaced Robert Hall as centre director last month, hinted that the idea of bringing Primark to the shopping centre is still very much alive.

“I think views are mixed on Primark as a retail concept,” she said. “The success of such a retailer on the high street has been phenomenal over the last five years or so.

“Primark is just one of those retailers – it’s cheap chic. So customers from all walks of life love it. Primark is in vogue, quite literally, and I don’t think it’s a retailer that could be sniffed at.

“Primark is in Selfridges – why shouldn’t it be in Milton Keynes, here right in the very heart of the city? But in the same way we are talking to other prestigious retailers.”

The controversial proposal to build a flagship Primark store on the site of the city’s market was withdrawn in February. Protesters against the development said that saving the market and Secklow Gate bridge was of greater importance to the heritage of Milton Keynes than a new Primark store.

The Primark plans were recommended for refusal by council officers, but it was widely tipped that the plans were likely to be given the nod by the development control committee.