Relocation plans are ‘onlyl option’i ’ for the school’s future in the town
THE HEADTEACHER at King’s School has said its relocation plans are the only option for a future in Macclesfield.
Residents were invited to public consultations at the school this week to learn more about the three sets of plans to allow the school to move to a new single-site school by 2020. It wants to close its sites at Fence Avenue and Cumberland Street and sell them off for housing and build a new school on a 70 acre green belt site next to its Derby Playing Fields at Prestbury.
Residents have complained about the encroachment into the green belt.
But Simon Hyde, headteacher, who met visitors at the consultations this week, said this is the only solution.
He told the Express: “The new school would only take up five per cent of the green belt site, so it would protect the rest from housing.
“We have to accept we need more housing, it must make sense to put its close to the town centre, in a sustainable location where people can help regenerate businesses in Macclesfield.
“We’ve had independent assessments and the school is worth £12million to the local economy and provides 450 jobs, both direct and knock-on.
“We want to keep our links to Macclesfield and have looked for other options but this is it unless we want to move away. “There is no brownfield site big enough for us. We either move away from Macclesfield or into the green belt.”
The plans for Derby Fields include a new sports hall, sports pitches and pavilion, drama studio and music recital room. There will be a two-way access and junction improvements on Alderley Road.
The plan for Cumberland Street is for up to 150 homes on the Westminster Road part of the campus, with no plan for the historic buildings yet. At Fence Avenue there would 275 homes spread across the whole site. This includes an area earmarked as ‘protected open space’ in the council’s Local Plan which is still being finalised.
Dr Hyde said: “We could cram houses in but we want a more open site. The Local Plan isn’t decided but we need to carry on with our plans. This has been our vision for more than a decade.”
The last exhibition is at Derby Fields Pavilion today (Wednesday), 12.30pm to 7pm, before a planning application later this year. Visit kingsmacdevelopments. co.uk.