Leading councillor welcomes £1m improvement scheme for town centre in Milton Keynes

An improvement scheme to run in tandem with the proposed £25m Agora development in Wolverton has been praised by a leading councillor.
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The Agora plan, which has yet to go before MK Council for planning permission, is led by developer TOWN and involves demolishing the former shopping centre to build 115 new homes, complete with shops and community space.

Alongside this, MK Council has promised to invest £1m in parking, landscaping and cycling improvements for Wolverton.

TOWN's plan involves cutting back on parking spaces and encourage cycle use instead - but it has been criticised by some residents, who fear it will cause parking chaos for the Victorian town.

Artists' impression of the new Agora developmentArtists' impression of the new Agora development
Artists' impression of the new Agora development

The Citizen published a story last week about their objections. See here .

This week Councillor Rob Middleton, Labour's Cabinet member for Resources and a ward councillor for Wolverton, was enthusiastic in his praise for the council's input.

He said MK Council had been working on the improvements as part a new push to regenerate the town centre, and the scheme will "complement" TOWN's proposals to demolish and regenerate the derelict Agora shopping centre and the surrounding area.

The council's plan will bring a range of improvements to the town centre, including 71 new town centre car parking spaces, a new dedicated cycle route, road pavement improvements, new tree planting, and an new one system on Church Street in a bid to tackle long standing concerns about pedestrian safety,

Developers hope to demolish the AgoraDevelopers hope to demolish the Agora
Developers hope to demolish the Agora

These proposals will be discussed at the meeting of Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council tonight (Tuesday) as part of the discussion on the town centre regeneration plans.

Cllr Robert Middleton will attend, along with other MKC representatives, and residents will have the chance to comment on plans before any final decision.

The councillor said today: “I welcome the £1m investment proposals by Milton Keynes Council as part of a multi-million-pound opportunity to regenerate Wolverton. More parking, better cycling routes, improved safety and a greener landscape are all things residents want.”

He added “The residents of Wolverton are united in their desire to see the Agora demolished and the site regenerated, but some are still understandably concerned about parking provision. These plans will deliver an additional 71 spaces on a currently semi-derelict and underused council car park on St George’s Way and Church Street in the town centre. However, we want to promote more substantable transport and I’m also pleased to see that alongside new car parking, that there are plans to create a new dedicated cycling route, mend pavements & road surfaces, plant new trees, and create a one way a stretch of Church Street near the Agora site to improve pedestrian safety.”

Cllr Middleton concluded: “The regeneration of Wolverton town centre is a long-standing ambition. These £1m investment proposals form part of a package in addition to the £25m development of the Agora area of the town centre which has been proposed but not delivered for decades.

"There is a once in a more than a generation opportunity here, at one of the most difficult times our country has ever faced, to get this done. I’m really excited and will continue to work with residents to make any improvements we can to the plans.”