Work pre­pares for King’s homes plan

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

GROUND­WORK has started ahead of a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for homes at King’s School’s his­toric town site.

Con­trac­tors used drilling equip­ment to carry out ground tests at the West­min­ster Road play­ing fields this week.

This is part of King’s School’s main Cum­ber­land Street cam­pus and is ac­cessed via a foot­bridge.

The front of the cam­pus in­cludes the his­toric build­ing which the school moved to in the 1850s.

The work was to pre­pare for a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for houses later this year so the site can be sold to a de­vel­oper.

It’s part of the school’s ma­jor plan to close Cum­ber­land Street and the girls’ school at Fence Av­enue and move to a new sin­gle-school site by 2020.

King’s has signed an agree­ment to buy 70 acres of green belt next to its Derby Play­ing Fields in Prest­bury to build the £50mil­lion school.

It an­nounced ear­lier this year it would have to sell off Cum­ber­land Street and Fence Av­enue to pay for the new school.

A spokesman said a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion is also be­ing drawn up for Fence Av­enue, a green belt site in­cluded for 220 homes in Cheshire East’s Lo­cal Plan, which is yet to be signed off by the plan­ning in­spec­torate.

The spokesman said: “We have three plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions be­ing drawn up. One for the new school at Prest­bury, one for hous­ing at Fence Av­enue and an­other for West­min­ster Road.

“No de­ci­sion has been made about the his­toric school build­ings at Cum­ber­land Street.

“We have con­ducted geo-tech­ni­cal and other sur­vey work at West­min­ster Road in readi­ness for the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion.

“We have been clear about our in­ten­tion to sell off the sites for the new school.”

The West­min­ster Road site in­cludes re­cently re­fur­bished astro turf pitches and rugby pitches. It’s not clear how many houses will be built.

Lisa Ham­mond on Face­book said: “Won­der if the new homes will be new so­cial hous­ing which the town des­per­ately needs.”

Coun Janet Jack­son, Cen­tral ward coun­cil­lor, said: “There is a bal­ance to be struck. We want open spa­ces but there is a real pres­sure for hous­ing.

“The school is a land­mark and peo­ple will be in­ter­ested in what hap­pens to the his­toric build­ings.

“It’s my view that we are in des­per­ate need of a ho­tel. I’m on the plan­ning com­mit­tee so will treat the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions with an open mind.”

‘We have been clear about our in­ten­tion to sell the sites’

●● Win­cle School pupils with head­mas­ter Mr Allen in the 1890s and the school in 1955

●● The drilling work at West­min­ster Road play­ing fields

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