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Unanimous Approval for the new Lidl Store – Knaresborough

September 2017

SMR Architects has recently assisted in gaining a unanimous decision for a full planning approval for the new Lidl Store in Knaresborough.  Acting on behalf of Lidl UK GmbH, the new store on Chain Lane will provide a new modern food store of circa. 23,000 sq.ft with dedicated car parking and landscaping; this scheme replaces the existing Lidl on York Road, which has become too small to meet growing demand in the town.  Approval for the development was also welcomed by Knaresborough Town Council who announced their support during the committee meeting on September 26th 2017.

Graham Burr, Lidl’s Regional Head of Property said: “We are delighted that Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee have given the go ahead for our new store proposals in Knaresborough. The new store will enable us to enhance the shopping and welfare facilities for both customers and employees, whilst positively impacting the local economy with new jobs. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the local community for their continued support over the past months. We will now look to bring the project forward as soon as possible.”


Beth Piggott, Lidl Acquisitions Consultant noted: “SMR Architects  have been responsive and proactive throughout the planning process. They have taken on board comments from both the residents and Lidl, to evolve the scheme and assist Lidl in attaining a viable store design to replace the existing Knaresborough Lidl store. Having secured unanimous approval from the council, we are keen to quickly progress and build out the Store.”

SMR welcomed the decision by Harrogate Borough Council to approve this valuable, much needed amenity for Knaresborough residents and look forward to working with Lidl to bring this project to completion.

Completion of Beck Retail Park – Wakefield

Beck Retail Park

SMR Architects recently completed the reconfiguration and refurbishment of Beck Retail Park – Ings Road, Wakefield. The works at Beck Retail, included; re-cladding and re-roofing of four existing retail units, plus a re-design of the entire car parking area and service yard arrangement. Unit entrances and sub-divisions were re-organised to suit end-user / operator requirements and existing utility services were rationalisation or relocated.

The Units now total; 115,000 sq.ft of retail floorspace; creating added value for the Clients existing Retail Park.  Operator / Tenants include; B&M, Matalan & Home Bargains.

The £5M renovation is based on SMR’s design, which responds to the Client’s brief; giving a new ‘lease of life’ to a previously rather tired Retail site. The rejuvenated site has a more fresh and contemporary feel; facilitated by modern Rainscreen cladding, new glazed main entrance features and quality hard landscaping throughout.

Mathew Smalley, SMR Director said, “A great Team effort, working in collaboration with; 21|10 ConsultGleedsFairhurst, iTS Consulting with McLaren Property (employer’s agent) and Nu Construction (main contractor); we’re proud of this regeneration project. Beck Retail Park has effectively been transformed over the last 2 years.”

SMR are delighted to disclose that The Beck Retail Park scheme has been recognised by BUILD Architecture Awards 2017: Best Retail Refurbishment Project. These Awards endeavour to recognise the amazing work completed by designers and visionaries, this year the awards were sponsored by LANDSCAPE.

Flaxby Green Park Approval

SMR Sketch 2 website


SMR Architects have recently assisted in gaining unanimous outline planning approval for the Masterplan of a new business park development at Junction 47 of the A1 near Flaxby.  Acting on behalf of Forward Investments Ltd, Flaxby Green Park will provide for development of up to 610,000 sqft of B1 Office space and associated retail/leisure uses.

The vision for the site is to create a unique business park that will champion green technologies through innovative and challenging design, and seek to blend high quality business environments into the natural setting.  Development of the site has led to a landscape driven masterplan which provides ample areas of open woodland and public open space for the benefit of office users and visitors to the park.  The site has the potential to deliver a sustainable environment where the extensive woodland areas are managed in order to enhance biodiversity and to increase accessibility for the enjoyment of both employees at the site and wider public use. Development plots would sit within a robust structured landscape plan with buildings that adhere to a design code that pays due consideration to the heritage assets both within and outside of the site while creating positive natural environments for users of the park to enjoy.

The chairman of Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee meeting, Councillor John Mann, said: “The proposal received unanimous approval as we thought it was an excellent plan for the jobs it will bring. There is a currently a shortage of economic land for firms to use in the area and these 100 acres will be a viable addition for this.”

We welcome the unanimous decision by Harrogate Borough Council to approve this landmark employment development.  This approval represents a leap forward in the provision of modern, innovative design opportunities for new and existing businesses, ensuring future investment growth and jobs for Harrogate and our wider District.


Additional publications on the approval can be found here:

Yorkshire Post:

BBC News:


Pannal Bellway Survey

March 2017

A public exhibition was held at Pannal Village Hall, February 16th to present the latest development for the former Dunlopillo Factory site.  The site was granted outline approval in 2014 for a mixed-use scheme including housing, B1 office space, retail and a new roundabout and spine road connecting the A61 to the village centre.  Representatives from Bellway, Addison Planning and SMR Architects were on hand to answer the residents questions.  The latest proposals include 128 new homes, a mixed-use centre forming a series of small office buildings near the train station and a small gathering of retail units.

The public exhibition boards are below.  If you would like to share your views on this proposal please visit this link:

The proposals are expected to be submitted to Harrogate Borough Council this Spring.



















Newest Recruits


Andra and Jonno are our newest recruits at SMR and have been settling in for the last few months.

Born in Romania, Andra is trilingual and studied Architecture in Bucharest and Venice, gaining skills, experience and inspiration, Andra completed her Masters in 2014.  Currently living in Wakefield her commute will soon be over as she is moving into a flat near the beautiful Valley Gardens.

Jonathan enjoys all aspects of architecture and has experience on a wide range of Design and Build and Traditional contracts which have enabled him to develop skills across all RIBA stages.  Jonno is looking forward to his first family holiday to Florida this month.

We are still recruiting, please see the current positions available below and come and join our team!

Senior Technologist

We are currently looking for a dynamic professional to join our established Retail teams.  This ambitious candidate will work closely with the Directors; to ensure projects continue to be delivered to a high standard and will be capable of further developing the workstream.


  • Demonstrable Job Runner experience on minimum £5M projects and dealing with the demands of key clients
  • Must be technically minded with specific detailing experience and have aspirations to grow within the company
  • Ability to lead and mentor others

In addition, the candidate we seek must have:

  • Qualified MCIAT Technologist
  • 10 years’ experience as a technologist or technical Architect
  • Knowledge of current building regulations
  • CAD – Must be very proficient
  • Revit (preferable but can provide training)
  • CDM knowledge is advantageous
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills

We look forward to receiving application CVs and Revit based portfolio (< 5MB) from candidates meeting the criteria to  No agencies.


Are you graduating a BSc in Architectural Technology and looking to take that next step into the market? Are you looking for a close-knit team and CIAT support? Then we’re looking for you…

Our practice has an exceptional opportunity for two Graduate Architectural Technologists. You would join our well established teams, and be supported & mentored to ensure that you achieve your best. You be assisting with a number of major projects.

Ideally you will have a BSc in Architectural Technology (2:1 or higher), any previous experience would be advantageous, you will need to demonstrate excellent communication skills.

For you hard work, you will be offered a competitive package, CIAT support and a great team environment with frequent social activities.

If you are interested in joining our team and working on our exciting projects, email your CV and portfolio (< 5MB) to

APS Corporate Membership


SMR Architects are pleased to announce their new APS Corporate Membership in the field of construction project health and safety.

Mathew Smalley has been accredited APS Incorporated member (IMaPS).

Founded in 1995 APS strive to continuously improve and promote the professional practice of design and construction health and safety risk management. 

Amongst APS members are the country’s leading architectural, engineering, health and safety, project management and surveying professionals.

The members are all required to maintain their skills, knowledge and experience by undertaking Continuing Professional Development programmes each year, which means APS members are some of the UK’s most trusted, leading experts. 

Our mission is to continuously strive to improve and promote the professional practice of design and construction health and safety risk management by:

  • Setting standards;
  • Raising performance;
  • Providing guidance;
  • Educating and training; and
  • Working in partnership with others
  • with the aim of construction workers and others returning home safely. 

SMR is delighted to announce that following a formal re-assessment, Smalley Marsey Rispin Architects Ltd has been confirmed once again to be Compliant on the CHAS accreditation database, under the CHAS Health & Safety Pre-Qualification Scheme, for the Designer and  Principal Designer role.


Our Team is Growing

Jess & Jake

20th October 2015

Jessica Harden joined the SMR Team in July as an Architectural Technologist, having spent a year at Allen Construction Consultancy after qualifying from  The University of Derby.

Jess decided to relocate to Harrogate with her partner to be closer to family but originally comes from Coxhoe near Durham. Jess joins us to support the growth of our Developer feasibility team.

We are also delighted to welcome Jake Thompson back this month after a busy year in London.  Jake worked for B & R Architects in Islington during that time but wanted to move back to Harrogate after the arrival of his new baby.

Jake has 6 years experience as an Architectural Technician, he was previously our colleague at Smith Smalley Architects, and it’s nice to have him in our team once again. Jake has joined us to work as part of the  logistics team and share with us his BIM knowledge and experience.

Leeds Business Week – The Big Debate


15th October 2015

SMR Architects were delighted to be invited to the IoD’s Big Debate. As part of Leeds Business Week, the IoD held an open house event at their newly refurbished Leeds Hub facility at Old Broadcasting House.

The ‘Big Debate’:  Five months on, what have we learned since the Election?

Panel Chair    Greg Wright Deputy Business Editor, Yorkshire Post

  • Cllr James Lewis Deputy Leader Leeds City Council
  • Bill Adams Regional Secretary of the Yorkshire and Humber Trade Union Congress (TUC)
  • Amanda Marsey Director, SMR Architects
  • Jimmy McLoughlin  Head of Policy, Institute of Directors
  • Etta Cohen OBE Founder of Forward Ladies

The debate was engaging and lively and covered a number of topics impacting upon the region’s growth and development. Many of the panel voiced the concern that the nation’s obsession with a EU referendum could deflect attention from Northern Powerhouse, discussing how to progress towards achieving the Northern Power House and how we can bridge the growing skills gap. We discussed whether Yorkshire and the North can genuinely work as one! The panel also discussed the growth and positive impact of Enterprise Zones within the region, followed by a passionate discussion regarding women in business.

Amanda Marsey, Director at SMR Architects, said

It was great to examine key areas affecting our region, and add an SME’s perspective to the debate. The evening saw passionate debate on women in business, the EU referendum and our progress towards re-balancing the North/South divide through a much needed Northern Power House.

Natalie Sykes, Regional Director at Institute of Directors, says

We were delighted to welcome Greg Wright and such an eminent and opinionated panel to the IoD Big Debate. The prospect of an EU Referendum presents many implications to government, society and business and ultimately it is our responsibility as citizens to engage with this debate.

Student Work Experience

Work Experience - Sam07 July 2015

On the run up to the summer holidays, SMR Architects have enjoyed coaching two potential architects of the future through work experience placements. Both students completed a brief to design their ‘dream home’ (which obviously included the mandatory games room, cinema and swimming pool with slide), initially fleshing out the brief, sketching layouts, detailing the scheme using CAD software and finally creating 3D visialisations.

We regularly accept school requests and believe that being a proactive local practice, it is important we ‘give back’ a little. All members of the team get to be involved in the process and it’s a real boost for the students to see an end result from their week with us.

Our latest student clearly enjoyed himself.  Sam Tipping of Harrogate Grammar School said

I have enjoyed my time doing work experience at SMR Architects because I have learnt lots of new skills such as using computer programmes (CAD) and also design skills. The experience has helped me decide what job I want to have in the future because I enjoyed the work. I enjoyed seeing my building progress, over the week, from sketches to a 3D version on SketchUp. I also learnt how architects work and the different skills needed to do the job and the steps they take to design a building.

Jane Hinkins, Personal Development Co-ordinator of Harrogate Grammar School said

“Work experience provides a valuable insight for young people in the world of work.  At SMR students are provided with a very well planned programme giving a range of experience.  We are really grateful to the companies that give this opportunity”Harrogate-Grammar-School