Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Row over shopping centre status

The Centre MK
The culture secretary is to rule on the centre's status before Christmas

Plans to award listed building status to a shopping centre in Milton Keynes have been criticised by its owners.

English Heritage has requested The Centre MK becomes Grade II*-listed on the basis that its 1970s architecture represents a "freer form of design".

But the shopping centre's director said its architecture was "nondescript and characterless" and listing the building would make expansion much harder.

The secretary of state for culture will make a decision before Christmas.

The benefits if it was listed would be short-lived and minimal
Robert Goodman, Centre MK director

The management has said listing the building will cause job losses and make it harder to encourage future investment.

Centre director Robert Goodman said: "If it became listed today, immediately we would have to stop work on the new dining area and that would put 60 construction jobs at risk.

"Medium to longer term it would make it more difficult for us to attract retailers and investment.

"And what I'm really concerned about; the benefits if it was listed would be short-lived and minimal."

But a spokeswoman for English Heritage dismissed the criticism.

"It is quite wrong [as] many of the operational areas of the complex are not of special interest and can be altered. Listing does not preclude change."

Ken Baker, one Milton Keynes' original architects, supports English Heritage.

He said buildings of The Centre MK were of "national importance".

The centre was built between 1975 and 1979 and covers 1.3m sq ft (121,000 sq m).

A Grade II* listing would put the shopping centre in the same category as the Tate Britain art gallery in London.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Lions to play at shopping centre
31 Jul 09 |  Basketball
Funding boost for Bletchley Park
11 Mar 09 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Milton Keynes plans put on hold
15 Jun 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific