‘We should now get some­thing more suit­able’

Macclesfield Express - - TOWN CENTRE SPECIAL REPORT -

COM­MU­NITY lead­ers have wel­comed the new scaled back plans for the Mac­cles­field town cen­tre re­de­vel­op­ment.

Bev­er­ley Moore from Wake Up Mac­cles­field, a cam­paign started by peo­ple con­cerned about the Wil­son Bow­den pro­pos­als for re­tail­based re­de­vel­op­ment said she was pleased with the new scaled back plans.

She added: “We should now get some­thing more suited to the town.

“It’s bril­liant, the town can now have con­fi­dence the orig­i­nal scheme won’t hap­pen – that kind of cer­tainty is what’s been lack­ing for years.

“The re­tail de­vel­op­ment planned was too big for the town, we just couldn’t see the re­tail units be­ing filled and were afraid we’d be left with a white ele­phant.

“Now we feel very op­ti­mistic.”

It has been ten years since town cen­tre re­gen­er­a­tion plans were first dis­cussed, a de­lay Cheshire East Coun­cil leader Michael Jones has de­scribed as ‘un­ac­cept­able.’

Coun Jones said the new plan would hap­pen ‘as quickly as pos­si­ble’ and would be sen­si­tive to the town’s her­itage, adding that de­vel­op­ers had al­ready made of­fers. Clare Hayward, chair­woman of Make It Mac­cles­field, said: “I think plans now re­flect peo­ple’s opin­ions who live here rather than out of town de­vel­op­ers.

“The town has been blighted by in­de­ci­sion but the coun­cil seem com­mit­ted to the new plans.”

She added that she hopes for a leisure-led of­fer­ing in­clud­ing restau­rants and a ho­tel, which the town ‘des­per­ately needs’.

David Rut­ley, MP for Mac­cles­field, said the new plans would make the town cen­tre more fam­ily friendly and that the con­tract with Wil­son Bow­den had held back the town’s re­gen­er­a­tion.

He added: “We now need to move for­ward at pace with the new plans.”

●● Bev­er­ley Moore from Wake Up Mac­cles­field

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