New town centre plan is revealed
£90m Silk Street regeneration scheme is scrapped by council Car parks sell-off will pave way for leisure development
NEW plans to redevelop Macclesfield town centre have been revealed – after council bosses admitted the controversial £90 million ‘Silk Street’ plan has been scrapped.
Proposals have been unveiled to sell off one of two town centre car parks to the developer which comes forward with the best leisure plan for the sites.
The move will see a vastly scaled down scheme developed for the town centre.
It comes as it was revealed that the Silk Street plan to create a major new shopping centre, with Debenhams as an anchor store, had been aban- doned. But council bosses said that the town could still get a new cinema if it was included in the successful developer’s proposal.
The move has been met with a mixed response. But Beverley Moore, of Wake Up Macclesfield, which opposed the Silk Street plan, said the new proposals were better suited to the town.
NEW scaled back plans to regenerate Macclesfield town have been centre revealed.
Council bosses have unveiled proposals to sell off two sites in the town centre – the Churchill Way car park and Duke Street car park – in order to allow developers to come up with their own plans for leisure schemes on the plots.
However, Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones said it’s most likely that only one of the sites will be developed.
The move has revealed how much plans for a £90 million redevelopment of Macclesfield have been scaled back since council bosses announced that its deal with developer Wilson Bowden had been put under review in March.
That news came following the blow of anchor store Debenhams pulling out of the deal.
Each of the proposed sites is just a third of the size of the previous development area.
Councillor Jones said the new scheme will be focused on leisure, with a cinema still ‘possible’ if developers come up with proposals to accommodate one.
He said the plan will happen ‘as quickly as possible’.
He added: “We are putting up both sites to give maximum opportunity for developers to come up with leisure-led schemes, which will be sensitive to the heritage of Macclesfield.”
Coun Jones said the council had already received offers from developers.
The previous ‘Silk Street’ scheme had more focus on retail, with plans for around 20 shops and a Debenhams department store, as well as a town square and the leisure element.
The new plans were
announced by council bosses after Coun Jones revealed its contract with Wilson Bowden had ended within the last few days.
Town centre regeneration was first mooted a decade ago and residents have been sceptical about whether a new scheme will go ahead.
Coun Jones said: “Ten years was unacceptable. Had we moved earlier the Debenhams scheme may have gone ahead.
“It’s nothing to do with Macclesfield, it’s to do with the way things are in retail and economics. But now the timing is right and we have fantastic momentum.”
A Town Centre Vision Design Board, led by commercial property expert Nick Hynes, has been working with town groups and retailers to advise the council. Council bosses have also released an artist’s impression of a developer-led leisure development in Corby in Northamptonshire.
The scheme will provide a new Savoy Cinema and three adjoining restaurants which have now been let to Nandos, Prezzo and Spurs Steakhouses.
●● This vision of a new cinema for Macclesfield was part of the scrapped Silk Street scheme but the council says a cinema is still an option under the new proposals
●● This leisure scheme in Corby, designed by Bollington architects NBDA, is being used as an example of what could be possible in Macclesfield
●● Council leader Michael Jones
●● Cheshire East council is prepared to sell off one or both of these car parks to developers who can come up with suitable leisure proposals