Milton Keynes town's shopping centre regeneration plan decision set to be made in the summer

A decision is set to be made on the redevelopment of a worn out shopping centre site in the summer, a council cabinet member says.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:54 pm

Plans to knock down the Agora in Wolverton and replace it with a new community with 115 new homes have been in Milton Keynes Council’s in-tray since they were lodged just before Christmas.

Cllr Rob Middleton (Lab, Wolverton) is MK Council’s cabinet member for budget and resources and he is leading on what he called a “package of decisions” on the regeneration of Wolverton this year.

The first decision, made at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday), saw Cllr Middleton agree to going ahead with plans to spend £3.71 million on doubling the number of car parking spaces in the St George’s Way area.

It also includes plans to tidy up the streets by replacing cracked pavements.

In July the council’s cabinet will be asked to consider “significant investment to deliver the regeneration of the Agora and Wolverton’s High Street.”

Council officers have been working on how the council can help make the regeneration project financially viable.

Cllr Middleton said: “Then we will be on to the planning committee which will come maybe in July or potentially in August.”

An artists' impression of housing that could replace the Agora
An artists' impression of housing that could replace the Agora

One of the top issues attracting comments for the multi-million pound redevelopment is parking in Wolverton.

Objectors say the Victorian-built railway town will suffer without extra parking.

Cllr Middleton was asked about the parking situation in Wolverton and whether the town would have enough spaces.

He said he is confident that there will be.

But he added: “I’m conscious that it’s always hard for a politician to create as many car parking spaces as people would like to see because I think they would like to see as many car parking spaces as possible

“But by doubling the amount of car parking space I am confident that there should be enough to service the needs of local people in the area.”

He is setting up a Wolverton High Street parking working group where the town’s council and businesses can discuss needs.

The extra parking may not happen by the end of the year though as it’s subject to a public consultation and official sign off and then a procurement process.

One of Cllr Middleton’s officers said the end of the year may be a “little bit ambitious”.

The councillor replied: “The political comment is that I would like to see something happening on the ground by the end of the year.”