Communities secretary Sajid Javid has approved a contentious multi-million-pound redevelopment of Intu’s Milton Keynes shopping centre, 18 months after the project was called in
The scheme designed by 3DReid, which was called in by former communities secretary Greg Clark in late 2015, will add 9,300m² of space to the centre, including a new dining quarter over two levels and a five-screen boutique cinema.
According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, the project also involves the partial demolition of Oak Court, which will be remodelled as a public space.
The scheme will sit next to Milton Keynes Shopping Centre (1979), designed by Derek Walker, Stuart Mosscrop and Chris Woodward, which was Grade II listed in 2010.
However, opponents of the Milton Kenyes project have said the site of the redevelopment is contrary to Milton Keynes’ Neighbourhood plan as it was building on land designated as public open space.
Milton Keynes Council said a lengthy public inquiry, in which it was forced to defend its original decision to approve the scheme in November 2015, had cost £150,000.
‘There are no winners in this decision, as the challenge has inevitability caused some tensions,’ the council said in statement.
‘’Defending the decision was about our ability to balance all the policies of [the council] to ensure we have a vibrant and continually developing city centre that meets the changing requirements of visitors and businesses.’
The DCLG inspector examining the plans said: ‘The proposed development would result in harm to the neighbouring listed shopping building, but this would be less than substantial and, within that classification, at the lower end.
’The public benefits of the scheme would therefore outweigh this harm such that the setting of the listed building would be preserved.’
The Milton Keynes project is part of a £1.5 billion development pipeline for Intu in the UK over the next 10 years.
Stuart Mosscrop and Chris Woodward’s Grade II listed Milton Keynes Shopping Centre (1979),