If corporate vultures have their way the arteries, nerves and beating heart of Milton Keynes will be handed over on 21st Feb in a senseless public sacrifice to private retail greed.
This is the night a bundle of destructive plans go to MK Council to demolish Secklow Gate, close up the optimistic gateway to Central Milton Keynes, cripple the famous grid road system, kill off the vibrant market and crush the finest and rarest Listed building of its type in Britain.
And for what? Another Primark!
While promising new jobs this scheme will actually destroy around 400 jobs in the market.
While promising ‘growth’ it will isolate nearby development sites, hampering competitors, and leaving thecentre:mk a clear field to extend their retail empire still further.
On 21st Feb, before a watching public, just nine Councillors will decide if the scheme goes ahead.
Worryingly, MK Council has a tainted record regarding this scheme. In 2011 Xplain exposed the scandal of Secklow Gate Bridge, when the Council spent over £500k keeping the fire-damaged highway closed, much longer than necessary, while quietly waiting for thecentre: mk to file new plans to ‘develop’ the site. When Xplain discovered the spiralling costs, senior figures at the Council said they hadn’t known (or thought to ask) about the costs, and hastily decided to repair the bridge. The final bill was over £1,027,000, most of which was spent on propping up the bridge for 18 months.
But a few months later thecentre:mk filed their predatory plans.
As well as breaching many planning policies, English Heritage is strongly opposed to the plans, saying they are simply geared to the needs of Primark. EH insist there is no justification for sacrificing the unique character of the most ambitious new town in British history.
So we still have a chance to fight the vultures off.
What can you do? It’s easy.
First, drop a line to your MP and local ward councillors via this easy to use, non-profit website. Just pop in your postcode and the drop down menu will bring up their email addresses. Tell them what you think and ask them if they are listening to your views.
Next, please help the Market Traders with their petition to keep the market where needs to be, in order to survive, in the public square below Secklow Gate Bridge. Just an hour gathering signatures will really make a difference.
Traders have been doing a fantastic job but they’d appreciate some help with the petition at peak times.
Please contact xplain via this site if you want more info. Or go straight to The Phone Doctor’s stand, run by Gary Eaton, and either he or another friendly trader will give you forms and a clipboard. Gary’s stand faces the main doors from Midsummer Arcade, more or less opposite TK Maxx. Market open every day except Mon & Weds.
Plus, please sign the e-petition on MK Council website. When registering, put in your postcode in capitals with space between as in MK1 2AB