Concerns over car parking in new town plan
TOWN centre business owners have spoken out against plans to sell off car parking spaces for the town centre regeneration.
Last week Cheshire East Council unveiled new plans to sell off one of two sites in the town centre - the Churchill Way car park or the Duke Street car park - in order to allow developers to come up with their own plans for leisure schemes.
And while Council Leader Michael Jones says it is most likely only one car park will be developed, Kevin Wilshaw, from Richard Delaney ironmongers, said there is already a lack of parking in the town.
He said: “My concern with the plan is parking, there is not enough anyway. We could get people into town but if car parking charges stay as they are, they won’t come back.
“I rarely shop here though because of the cost of it.”
Dan Slater, 30, owner of the Comic Book Shop, added: “The town could do with leisure facilities - it has very little in the way of leisure, but if they build them on the car parks, where will people park? People will come in from Leek and Congleton and jam up the centre of town.”
He added that while the town needs leisure facilities, it would take away the town’s character.
He said: “I think the original town centre plan was a total farce.
“What the town needs is a polish and money putting into what we already have instead of all these fancy ideas. Otherwise we’ll just end up with another bog standard building.”
Karen Lawrence, 54, manager of the Ye Olde Kings’ Head, is also concerned about retaining the town’s character.
She said: “I think Cheshire East have got Macclesfield completely wrong.
“If they build a leisure complex it will take away the character of the area.
“The council just don’t take the traffic element into consideration either.”
But Nigel Read, partner and head of the Macclesfield office for law firm SAS Daniels, is in support of the new plans, saying the town had been ‘crying out for a cinema for ages’.
He added that he didn’t think the parking problem would be significant if just one car park was built on and that he hoped the new plans would encourage retailers to return and occupy the ‘huge number of’ empty shops and buildings.
Speaking to the Express last week, Coun Leader Michael Jones said it is most likely only one car park will be developed as part of the scheme.
●● Kevin Wilshaw