Despite objections from the Town Council, the Parks Trust and Historic England, the planning committee at MK Council has given Intu planning permission for their controversial expansion over Midsummer Boulevard. Unless the decision is overturned, nearly half the public open space in the concourse, which was set aside for community use and a future public transport link, will be lost. With development sites lying empty around The Point, next to Intu’s shopping centre, the Town Council argues there is no excuse to build new shops over public open space that is clearly protected from infill development in the new CMK Business Neighbourhood Plan.
“A vital democratic principle is at stake,” says Dr. Rebecca Kurth, Chair of the Town Council. “Central government promises communities that neighbourhood plans will give local people and businesses real power over what kind of development goes where. But, less than 100 days since landslide referendums approved the new CMK Neighbourhood Plan, MK Council has set it aside.”
If this decision is left to stand, MK Council can use the same arguments again to permit infill development on classic CMK infrastructure including grid roads, Market Square and Station Square, as well as on green open spaces.
CMK Town Council has called for a public inquiry. They have referred the matter to the Secretary of State, requesting that MK Council’s decision is ‘called in’ for scrutiny.
How the extended Intu shopping centre would look, clearly showing the narrowed boulevard space restricting potential public transport uses.
The new buildings under the glass arch will further enclose and darken the space between thecentre:mk and Intu.
Electric buses, like these ones already in use in Milton Keynes, could run through Midsummer Place as envisaged when the centre was first constructed.