Preston market nominated for planning award despite design complaints

Preston Market, Photo by Kieran Ferguson

Stallholders and shoppers have complained about the market’s cold temperatures affecting business and being generally uncomfortable.

In spite of these complaints, the national Planning Awards 2019 have shortlisted the market for a planning excellence award.

The Β£4million building was opened in February 2018 to replace and improve the old market square, and was generally praised as a successful project.

The renovated canopy roof preserves the market’s Victorian history, but an area of open netting beneath it, often causes temperatures to drop in the whole market, especially during the winter.

Nikki Keefe, who works at the ‘Pickles of Preston’ store in the new market said: ‘There is still teething issues with it, regarding the temperature of it. It does affect trade in winter months. As soon as it goes cold, it’s quiet in here.”

Adrian Livesey, who runs his own butchers in the market said: “It’s a five year plan this, we’re only two years into it.

“If the council can do a bit to help us with the cold and that, I think we’ll do alright. The market will be grand”.

The council are currently working on other parts of their market development project, such as the demolition of the old indoor market which is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Peter Moss, Deputy Leader of Preston City Council said the council planned for a cinema and and restaurant complex to be built in its place, next to the new market.

Although he declined to comment on the specific complaints regarding the market temperatures, he left the door open to action by saying: “We’re looking forward to further opportunities to plan and design and improve the area generally”.

As part of Preston City Council’s bid for the award, they highlighted the markets ‘Attractive and vibrant European-style’.

They also noted the restoration of the Victorian canopy ‘has been carried out to a very high standard preserving and celebrating the quality of the historic structures’.

The market is certainly not without praise, as many shoppers were clearly won over by the design of the building, and thought it was deserving of the award.

Shopper Ails McCondichie said that she had a very positive opinion of the market.

She said: “It’s very impressive, certainly when you walk up the street, it’s very noticeable and it looks quite inviting really.”

The full nomination title of the award category is ‘Best use of publicly-owned land and/or property in placemaking.’

‘Placemaking’ represents a broad approach to planning, design and management of public spaces, as the market is only one aspect of the council’s expansive renovation of the surrounding area.

The market has already won one regional award from the Royal Town Planning Institute, for creating economically successful places, last September.

The Planning Award 2019 winners will be announced on June 4th, with the Preston market up against seven other projects.