Vacant Royston shops to be renovated


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TWO more vacant town centre shops are being renovated to provide housing as well as retail space.

Royston Town Council’s planning committee approved plans for the former Marcelle’s clothes shop and the ex-Howarth’s shoe shop at their meeting on Monday.

Both buildings will house two, one-bedroom, flats on the upper floors, with the ground floors continuing to provide retail space.

Both sites are listed buildings, and councillors called for any development to be sympathetic to the history of the buildings and the surrounding area.

Cllr F John Smith said: “The Howarth’s building is probably the oldest building in the town apart from the church, having been built in the 14th century after the great fire of Royston.”

Howarth’s has been vacant since 2008, while Marcelle’s closed down last year. A new tenant has yet to be found for either shop.

Last month councillors approved plans to convert the first floor of the empty shop formerly occupied by Peacocks into flats.