While the fresh green landscape of Milton Keynes is full of hope and life there is one part of the city centre which is anything but! Here, at ‘the John Lewis end’ of the Grade ll-listed Shopping Building, almost all the trees and shrubs have been cut down to make way for a controversial multi-storey car park.
The site had been used as a surface-level car park for decades pending suitable new development. Its welcoming trees continued the grid landscape for which CMK is famed. But in 2014 Hermes Asset Management, which owns Shopping Building, applied to build a huge multi-storey car park on the site. With c. 1400 spaces it was more suitable for an airport than the leafy boulevards of Central Milton Keynes.
Naturally, we dubbed it ‘The Car-buncle’. Not because we were against development, but because a lifeless multi-storey overlooking Campbell Park was such a tragic waste of space.
One of MK’s original architects, Ken Baker of CMK Town Council, even worked up alternative designs . These showed how large numbers of new parking spaces could have been neatly tucked away inside a mixed-use development, offering great views over Campbell Park.
Despite this, and despite opposition from many local residents and even the Milton Keynes Development Partnership, MK Council gave ‘The Car-buncle’ the green light
As one reader who cares about MK’s environment says, “It is a terribly sad act. What butchers!”