Plans lodged for Food Centre to be bulldozed to make way for hundreds of flats at Central Milton Keynes
Plans have this week been submitted to demolish the Food Centre at CMK and build hundreds of flats in its place.
The building's owners Hermes has lodged the plans with MK Council, whose planning councillors will decide whether to give the scheme the green light.
The Food Centre, opened in 1988, once housed Sainsbury's and Waitrose, but these moved out years ago, leaving the building largely unused.
Current occupants include Iceland, RBS and a range of independent food outlets. There is also a four-storey multi-storey car park that provides 550 spaces.
The new plan aims to replace the building with a 'residential-led mixed-use scheme' with 422 flats ranging from studio flats to three bedroom apartments.
The multi-storey car park will be revamped to provide 606 parking spaces, and some of the ground floor buildings will house shops and restaurants.
There could also be office space on the site.
Since Sainsbury's quit the Food Centre eight years ago to move to the nearby Hub, there have been calls from the public for the building to be used for homeless accommodation.
But the food giant refused for years to quit their lease, paying a rumoured £1m a year in rent and service charges to stop competitors from moving in.
Two years ago, following a Citizen investigation, Sainsbury's bosses said they were discussing options with Hermes.
Their spokesman said at the time: "Hermes own the site and have placed a number of restrictions on the use of the building. We do not want to see the site lie empty and have asked them to lift these so we can get it back into use as soon as possible.
Unfortunately they have refused to do so and as a result we have been unable to sub-let the building. We are continuing to discuss the matter with them."