BIG PIC­TURE

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

HOUS­ING NOT MORE SHOPS

YET an­other threat to the vi­a­bil­ity of Mac­cles­field town cen­tre.

As oth­ers have said, if the plan for a re­tail de­vel­op­ment on the Bar­racks Mill site goes ahead that will just cut trade for the Ch­ester­gate, Grosvenor Cen­tre, Mill Street and Park Green shops.

More fast-food out­lets and cof­fee shops – how is that sup­posed to “boost eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity” when shops are al­ready ly­ing empty?

The site needs sort­ing out, but it should be used for hous­ing – this town needs places for peo­ple to live, not more shops.

An even worse threat is the pro­posed “South Mac­cles­field De­vel­op­ment Area”.

Ma­jor out-of-town shop­ping precincts have sounded the death-knell for many a town cen­tre.

Worse still, this one is planned to be built on the north­ern side of Danes Moss, an area of rare low­land wooded wet­land.

Not only would ir­re­place­able wildlife habi­tat be de­stroyed, but build­ings would be plagued with flood­ing and sub­si­dence prob­lems; ask the res­i­dents of the ex­ist­ing Moss Es­tate.

To say that green ways would be left open for walk­ing and cy­cling is hugely miss­ing the point – nar­row grassy strips hid­den away be­tween the high walls of re­tail ware­houses would be no sub­sti­tute for the rich ecol­ogy that ex­ists now, the mix­ture of trees, shrubs and reeds, home to frogs, newts, fish, dragon­flies, wa­ter­v­oles and many other forms of life.

If we lose that, we make the world a poorer place for all of us. John Knight Cheshire East Green Party Fountain Street Mac­cles­field ●● See col­umn

●● This week’s Big Pic­ture shows the first snow of the sea­son in Mac­cles­field. Sun­set over Wind­way Ken­nels on Satur­day, Novem­ber 21, by Meg Robin­son from Tyther­ing­ton. Email your im­ages to mac­cles­field­ex­press@men­media.co.uk or up­load them to Flickr at flickr.com/groups/mac­cpics. We’ll print the best ones

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