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Shopping centre in national award nod

4Commendation...Adrian Eastwood (left), a planning officer at Harborough Council and Fritz Graves, head of planning at Andrew Granger & Co estate agency. Below, St Marys Place under construction in the early 1990s. (Picture below kindly supplied by Mail reader Kathleen Tomlinson)

4Commendation...Adrian Eastwood (left), a planning officer at Harborough Council and Fritz Graves, head of planning at Andrew Granger & Co estate agency. Below, St Marys Place under construction in the early 1990s. (Picture below kindly supplied by Mail reader Kathleen Tomlinson)

A SHOPPING centre has received recognition for its construction nearly two decades after being built

St Mary’s Place in Harborough has been awarded a commendation from the Royal Town Planning Institute.

The centre was developed in a bid to support retailers in the town who were struggling to compete with neighbouring shopping areas.

It saw the former livestock market transformed into a pedestrianised shopping centre

Harborough District Council turned a piece of unprofitable land into a positive place for the town and St Mary’s Place was born.

Cllr Janette Ackerley, environment and conservation spokesman for the council, said: “We are delighted at this recognition of a successful and attractive development which is a major asset to the Harborough district.”

The RTPI said the development represents a good example of balancing economic, social and environmental issues.

They also praised planners of the development for retaining older buildings such as the bus station and market hall as well as the listed cattle Settling Rooms.

Andrew Granger and Co worked with Harborough District Council on the project.

Fitz Graves, head of planning at Granger’s, said: “As far as I am aware, this is the first time a project in Harborough has been shortlisted, certainly for such an award by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

“The project, instigated by the council, represents the best of visionary planning, demonstrating a thorough understanding of economic, social and physical issues.”

Completed in the 1990s, the project included the construction of Sainsbury’s, a public car park and walkway over the River Welland as well as a brand new shopping street.

 

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