Magna Square shortlisted for prestigious town planning award


Magna Square

Egham's forthcoming Magna Square development has been shortlisted for a prestigious award in recognition of its likely positive impact on the town and its residents.

The development, at the junction of Station Road North and High Street will create a new town square and provide 34 affordable flats as well as 67 apartments for private sale or rent, along with a supermarket, cinema and other leisure uses. There will also be  student accommodation to cater for people studying at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The scheme is up for the best mixed-use development trophy within the Planning Awards' Placemaking category, the only development outside London to be shortlisted in this section. Magna Square will be competing against schemes in Southwark, Waltham Forest, Ealing and Oval.

The placemaking category recognises developments which positively influence the physical or environmental quality of a place, or the economic or social wellbeing of a community.

The awards are run by Planning Resource, a highly influential magazine and website seen as a home of excellence in the town planning sector.

Announcing the scheme as a finalist on its website, Planning Resource said: "Magna Square is a development that will benefit the local community hugely - as well as its provision of mixed tenure housing, the addition of new retail and leisure facilities will anchor this location as an important community hub.

"The residential elements of this development will ensure that homes are accessible for a wide range of local customers."

Magna Square is being built for Runnymede Borough Council on land it owns in the town centre. It will support local people and improve the Borough's local economy by increasing footfall to existing businesses and providing premises for new retailers and leisure operators to open. It is being built in partnership with place making specialists Places for People.

Cllr Nick Prescot, Leader of Runnymede Borough Council, said: "The whole aim for Magna Square is to improve the quality of life for people living in the town, and to give extra opportunities for businesses. To hear a panel of experts agree with us and say that it will benefit the local community hugely is very rewarding.

"When construction work is finished next year and residents have a brand new cinema and a new square, as well as more choice of homes to live in, I believe they will be pleased with how their town centre is growing.

"Magna Square will be the next destination location in our part of Surrey, and a hub for all, from students to families to  lifelong residents. It will re-invigorate the centre of Egham, drawing on the design 'language' of the past to create a contemporary location to enjoy.

"The fact we are representing the whole of England outside London is also something to be very proud of. Whether we win or not, being recognised as among the very best in the country is a real accolade."

Sammie Steele, Managing Director, Placemaking and Regeneration, at Places for People said: "The quality of design and the striking nature of the buildings we are creating will provide a new focal point for Egham's town centre. Bringing together homes, businesses and leisure facilities means the town should see a significant bounce at a time when it is sorely needed following the challenges of Coronavirus. We are grateful to all our contractors and colleagues who have contributed to the development and are impressed by the Council's boldness in its vision for the scheme."

Winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges and will be announced at a virtual ceremony on 9 and 10 June.

Follow Magna Square's new Instagram to watch the construction work in progress and see how the finished buildings will look. Search for Magna Square in the app.