28 Jul 2017

Bond Dickinson acted for the applicant at the intu Milton Keynes call-in inquiry which has now been given the green light by the Secretary of State after plans were called-in in late 2015.

The scheme, which will be one of the most significant retail and leisure development projects that Central Milton Keynes has seen in over a decade, will include a new dining quarter over two levels and a five-screen boutique cinema.

Martin Breeden, development director of intu, said: "We're delighted that our proposals have been supported by the Secretary of State. This will allow us to move forward with our plans to provide an outstanding city centre public space for Milton Keynes.

"The scheme will build on the success of the existing centre, which already attracts 16 million visitors each year. Milton Keynes has a large and growing catchment of affluent shoppers, and our plans will make sure it punches its weight in terms of attracting the best brands and maximising its potential for people to spend their free time."

Stephen Dagg, Managing Associate, said: "We're delighted to have worked with intu on this inquiry and to reach this important milestone for the project and for the development of their portfolio.

"In analysing the decision it should not be seen as heralding a sea-change in the government's direction in relation to neighbourhood planning. Rather it appears to reflect a slightly more cautious, considered approach to the permitting of development affected by Neighbourhood Plans.

"It should also be borne in mind that the intu Milton Keynes application was determined on a discrete set of facts and policies and did not engage some of the more controversial and troublesome issues (such as the lack of a five-year housing land supply) which have led to the refusal of other applications. This was a decisive decision by the Secretary of State and undoubtedly the correct one."

The redevelopment will add a further 100,000sq ft to the prime 430,000 sq ft shopping centre, based in the UK's hottest retail location, according to Property Week. The centre boasts top retail brands such as Victoria's Secret, Apple, H&M, Hugo Boss, Superdry and Zara.