If approved on 21st Feb, thecentre:mk’s plans to build a new Primark over Secklow Gate will literally smash up the core of Central Milton Keynes, replacing a safe, efficient master-planned city centre with a dog’s dinner of chicanes, dead-ends and dangerous zebra crossings.
For 2-3 years bulldozers and heavy trucks will be carting away rubble from the demolition of the massive elevated junction of Secklow Gate & Midsummer Boulevard. Market Square will be history. For market traders, forced onto a 40% smaller, hopelessly inadequate site, this means immediate job losses and inevitable decline. “The market will be dead before Primark even opens its doors!” says Gary Eaton, who has traded in Market Square for over 12 years.
Short of total demolition, it also means substantial harm for the most important Listed building of its type in Britain: “breathtaking architecture” according to English Heritage, that not only continues to work extremely well but “tells a fascinating story” of the new town movement and 20thC Britain.
All this, and the break up of the city’s famously efficient grid road system, just to build a relatively small chunk of extra retail space that could easily be built nearby.
But public outrage is growing.
Over 1,200 people have already lodged individual objections to the plans, and nearly 16,000 people in the last fortnight have signed the Market Traders petition to stop this madness.
But are your councillors and MPs listening? Or are they sitting on the fence, tempted to grab at any development, no matter what the cost, as long as they can tout it as ‘growth’.
It’s time to put them on the spot. Here’s a link to a non-profit website, which is very easy to use. http://www.writetothem.com/
Just pop in your postcode, and a drop down menu listing your local councillors and MPs will appear. Drop each of them a line saying what you think, and asking where they stand. Are they happy to sacrifice jobs, public infrastructure and living heritage for private profits?
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