Council redevelopment plans forge ahead
PLANS by Harborough District Council to redevelop its headquarters have taken a step forward after the authority submitted a planning application for the scheme.
The plans involve freeing up ground floor to create space for shops and redeveloping the upper (second and third) floors of the Adam and Eve Street site to provide modernised office accommodation for use by the district council.
Office space will also be available for partner organisations to rent, while rooms will also be available for hire by the community.
The council says independent expert advice on the plans has been sought from Blaby Council’s planning department.
Pre-application discussions have also been held with planning officers and conservation officers from Harborough District Council and Leicestershire County Council and historic buildings advisors from English Heritage.
Cllr Grahame Spendlove-Mason, assets portfolio holder on the council, said: “These are exciting plans for the council, local people and the town centre.
“This refurbishment would retain a strong presence for the council in the town centre while offering new opportunities for other services, such as the museum and the library, and opportunities for retailers in a central location.
“We would also be able to revitalise a valuable listed building in the centre of the town. The plans for the ground floor space include the creation of a new architectural feature, an internal arcade, opening from the existing public entrance from Adam and Eve Street, which will provide a focus for the whole building.
“This will mean a more welcoming opening while returning each floor to a use and design more consistent with the original design and function of the structure of the historic building.”
The plans have come out of a detailed review of council-owned property across the district, which determined the Adam and Eve Street HQ is too big for its needs and in a poor state of repair.
The authority had looked into funding the project by leasing the indoor Market Hall to a major retailer, but will instead use funds from its reserves following huge public outcry over the threat to the market.
The council says a full business case for the refurbishment is now being developed that will need to be approved by full council in October.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
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