Officers recommend approval for £15million Midsummer Place shopping plans

How the new Midsummer Place extension would look
How the new Midsummer Place extension would look

PLANS for a £15million extension to Midsummer Place Shopping Centre have been recommended for approval.

Officers at Milton Keynes Council have spelt out their support for the proposals in documents due to be discussed by councillors later this month.

The council’s development control committee will make a final decision on the planning application at a meeting on February 21.

The improvements, which could add 57,000 sq ft of new retail space to the centre, aim to bring more fashion, restaurants and jobs to the area.

The aim of the changes is to attract more international fashion retailers to Midsummer Place, as well as creating a new restaurant quarter.

It is anticipated the proposals would create a minimum of 150 full time jobs, as well as a further 70 temporary construction jobs which would be needed during the two years the development is built

It is hoped the plans will help address a slip down the national retail rankings for Central Milton Keynes.

In 2003, CMK was the 29th largest retail centre in the country according to the Javelin Venue Score, but it has currently fallen to 39th in the list.

Officers wrote that although the changes were unlikely to substantially increase the number of shoppers, they would ‘result in increased dwell time and spend of existing shoppers’.

If the application is approved, work would be expected to start on Phase One in early to mid-2013.

This construction would take place alongside the delivery of two new restaurant units between Pret A Manger and Burger King for which Midsummer Place owners Legal & General already has consent.