Coun­cil set to buy land plot near Alder­ley Park

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR PICTURES - KAREN BRIT­TON

THE COUN­CIL is to buy up a piece of green belt farm­ing land near Alder­ley Park, it has been re­vealed.

Coun Michael Jones, Cheshire East leader, told the Ex­press the coun­cil has had an of­fer ac­cepted to buy the land op­po­site Alder­ley Park on Con­gle­ton Road.

The au­thor­ity is buy­ing the 10-acre site from drugs firm As­traZeneca – which is based at the site.

The sale has not yet been com­pleted.

Coun Jones said the coun­cil is buy­ing the land to pro­tect it from de­vel­op­ers, and as a ‘strate­gic pur­chase for Alder­ley Park.

Cheshire East bought a 10 per cent stake in the Alder­ley Park site ear­lier this year in a deal with Manch­ester Sci­ence Parks, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment that As­traZeneca is mov­ing its re­search and de­vel­op­ment op­er­a­tion to Cam­bridge.

It has been work­ing to at­tract new sci­ence com­pa­nies to the site in ef­forts to pro­mote Alder­ley Park is a lead­ing bio­science hub.

Res­i­dents and rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Nether Alder­ley Parish Coun­cil ex­pressed con­cerns after hear­ing that Cheshire East is buy­ing the ad­di­tional green belt site across the road, which is just past the en­trance to Alder­ley Park next to Bent­ley House. Coun Jones was due to at­tend a parish coun­cil meet­ing on Tues­day to ad­dress con­cerns. He said: “We have zero plans to build any­thing on this piece of land, we are against hous­ing in the green belt.

“There’s a ru­mour about build­ing an ac­cess from the by­pass to Alder­ley Park, it’s in no way my de­sire to do that. We buy green­belt agri­cul­tural land be­cause we are pro­farm­ing in Cheshire East. We have a £1.5m pot to ac­quire farm­ing land. This land should not be in the hands of a de­vel­oper, that would want to put hous­ing on it. It’s strate­gic for Alder­ley Park. We want to make sure, as Alder­ley Park de­vel­ops, that we have con­trol over the ac­cess around it.

“If Alder­ley Park is a suc­cess and some­one wants to de­velop it fur­ther we can dic­tate what hap­pens.

“They will have to work with us as landowner on Alder­ley Park and now this piece of land. We can con­trol the des­tiny of the site.” Coun Jones would not dis­close how much the coun­cil is pay­ing for the land.

Alan Clarke, Nether Alder­ley Parish Coun­cil chair­man, said: “We asked Coun Jones to come to our meet­ing after hear­ing from some­one who wanted to buy the site but was out­bid by the coun­cil.

“We want to know why the coun­cil is in­ter­ested in this prime piece of green­belt and what plans there are for the site.”

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