Ben Hamilton-Baillie, one of the country’s leading town planners, has been signed up as an advisor on the Hereford regeneration project, a move welcomed by city councillor, Mark Hubbard, who said: "His reputation precedes him. He’s an excellent human-centric town planner and a very respected figure in urban design."

He has been appointed by Stanhope, the developers for the £210m retail and leisure project on the old livestock market, to re-evaluate parts of the scheme, due to start in 2010.

The Bristol based planner is a recognised expert on street design and one of his first challenges will be to re-assess the plans for downgrading the existing inner ring road dual carriage way which is currently a barrier between the historic city centre and the redevelopment sites. He will also be looking at ways of creating better links between the established Maylord shopping centre and the new retail quarter.