Plan to relocate city centre market withdrawn

How the Primark development would look
How the Primark development would look

THE saga of the city centre’s proposed Primark took a sudden twist this afternoon when thecentre:mk board voted to withdraw its controversial planning application to move the market to the side of the shopping building.

But this does not mean the battle is won for market traders, who have been clinging vociferously to their current site under Secklow Gate Bridge.

For shopping centre bosses are still retaining the planning applications for the new 90,000 sq ft Primark building and also the demolition of the bridge.

These bids will still be considered on Thursday by the council’s Development Control Committee.

Now thecentre:mk management and the site owners are busy looking for an alternative location for the market.

The Citizen understands possible sites could include land near The Point, adjacent to the Food Centre or the space once occupied by the former Wyvale Garden Centre.

Another possibility could involve the demolition of The Point itself, but protest group Xplain is already fighting to get that made into a listed building.

Council officers recommended last week that the planning application be refused because they were concerned that losing the market and demolishing the bridge would be detrimental to the city centre.

Councillors now have three choices. They can agree with their officers and refuse all applications or they can rebel and pass the two remaining applications for the Primark building and the demolition of the bridge. The final action open to them is to defer the entire application until a new location for the market can be presented to them.

Meanwhile Primark bosses themselves are determined to go ahead.

“Primark are still very keen to proceed,” said a shopping centre spokesman.