Historic buildings set to become arts venue
APLANNING application to create new community and arts facilities in Grade II listed town centre buildings is to be debated by councillors.
The plans would see the covered butter market and old police station refurbished.
Cheshire East Council has applied to create a venue for community groups featuring a central ground floor cafe in buildings at the rear of the town hall.
It would have a social space connected to an external courtyard and a large multi-use hall for activities such as ballroom dancing, yoga, taichi, lectures and fitness classes, as well as for weddings and other functions.
There would be a variety of large and small group rooms with IT facilities and storage for meetings, community groups and classes and a large arts and crafts space on the first floor with adjacent storage and toilet facilities.
However members of the Activity In Retirement charity, which is due to be relocated from its current home at the Senior Citizens Hall on Duke Street to make way for the town centre regeneration plans, say the new venue is not suitable for their requirements and the group is opposing the application.
A spokesperson for the charity, run by retired people for retired people, said: “The plans look wonderful but we object to the building of the new facility on the grounds that there would be insufficient parking.
“The parking space behind the town hall is very small compared to that we have on Duke Street.”
The application, which is due to be decided at a meeting of the Northern Planning Meeting, states that the proposed works would ‘facilitate the fur- ther community use of the building’ and that all proposed extensions would be ‘appropriate in scale to the existing buildings’.
It adds that ‘any modifications to the Grade II listed buildings would be ‘in keeping with the existing fabric’ and states that the ‘sympathetic nature’ of the development would ‘conserve and enhance a known heritage asset which is currently redundant and under threat from neglect.’
The proposals were due to be discussed in Macclesfield today (Wednesday) and were recommended for approval.
●● Macclesfield Youth Brass Band won the inaugural Tameside Youth Championship at the Whit Friday marches
●● The old police station forms part of plans to create a new community and arts venue