Harborough shopping area receives planning commendation

A shopping centre development in Market Harborough has been awarded a commendation from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) this month. The St Mary’s Place development, which saw the former livestock market transformed into a pedestrianised shopping centre, was shortlisted in the 2012 RTPI regional awards for the Jubilee year. The awards took place on Friday 2nd November.

Harborough shopping area receives planning commendation

(left to right) Adrian Eastwood of Harborough District Council and Fritz Graves of Andrew Granger at the St Mary’s Place shopping centre in Harborough

The redevelopment of St Mary’s Place was instrumental in the regeneration of Market Harborough’s town centre commerce and retail. In a bid to prevent out of town retail parks, and to support existing retailers in the town centre who were struggling to compete with neighbouring shopping areas, Harborough District Council made the decision to turn their unprofitable land into a positive feature for the town.

The project, which was completed in the 1990s, included the construction of the Sainsbury’s supermarket and a large public car park as well as a pedestrian walkway over the River Welland and the introduction of the new shopping street. When making the commendation, the RTPI stated that the development “represents a good example of balancing economic, social and environmental issues.”  Planners were also praised for retaining older buildings such as the bus station and market hall as well as the listed cattle Settling Rooms.

Fritz Graves, Head of Planning at Andrew Granger & Co who worked with Harborough District Council on the project, is delighted with the award. “As far as I am aware, this is the first time a project in Harborough has been shortlisted, certainly for such a commemorative award by the Royal Town Planning Institute,” he comments. “The project, instigated by the council, represents the best of visionary planning, demonstrating a thorough understanding of economic, social, and physical issues.”

St Mary’s Place was one of three awards made in the East Midlands region, but was the only project to be nominated from Leicestershire.

Established in 1989, Andrew Granger & Co. (www.andrewgranger.co.uk) is one of the largest independent firms of chartered surveyors and estate agents in the East Midlands. They have three offices in Market Harborough, Leicester and Loughborough.  With a dedicated planning team, the company offers planning advice and makes planning applications for a range of organisations and individuals across the East Midlands.

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