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21 February 2013, 12:57
Plans to build a massive new Primark store on the site of Central Milton Keynes' Market have been dropped.
Around 11,000 people signed a petition against the expansion plans of The Centre:MK shopping mall, which would also have seen the Secklow Gate bridge demolished. The bridge carries traffic across the middle of The Centre:MK.
Officers at Milton Keynes Council had recommended that the plans be rejected because the Primark store would look out of place tacked onto the Grade II Listed Centre:MK shopping building.
There were also concerns closing the Secklow Gate Bridge would damage the Milton Keynes grid road network. The plans would also have meant the loading bay for the new Primark store would have been visible from the junction of Secklow Gate and Silbury Boulevard.
The proposals would have seen the market moved to a space between the site of the current market and the Midsummer Place shopping centre, but council officers were concerned this site would be too small for the market, leading to the loss of market trader jobs and livelihoods.
The Centre MK had claimed the new Primark store would have provided a £40m boost for Milton Keynes, providing hundreds of jobs.
The plans were due to be discussed at a meeting of Milton Keynes Council's Development Control Committee on the evening of Thursday 21 February 2013.
Plans are still due to be considered at the same meeting for an extension of the Midsummer Place shopping centre, which would see two new retail stores built between Gap and Hollister, across the glass pane on the western flank of 'The Boulevard'.
Those plans were recommended for approval by council officers.