£15m vision for town centre
THIS is how part of Macclesfield town centre could look in two years’ time under new £15 million plans revealed this week.
Proposals have been put forward for a six screen cinema and restaurant development, which could open its doors in 2018.
It is the latest plan for the town after the collapse of the £90m Silk Street proposals, which were abandoned by Cheshire East Council last year after almost 10 years of planning.
The new plans were revealed after developer Ask Real Estate was selected by Cheshire East Council to boost the ailing town centre.
Council chiefs have agreed to sell the Churchill Way car park for the development.
The design includes a public realm surrounded by restaurants, cinema, a retail unit and a café pod.
It is hoped that the layout will help existing business by creating strong pedestrian links to Castle Street and Exchange Street.
A watertight contract is being drawn up to safeguard against another repeat of the Silk Street debacle. It is hoped final plans for the new scheme will be submitted for approval after these negotiations are concluded in May.
Subject to planning approval building work could start before the end of the year and construction completed by spring 2018.
Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member in charge of housing and planning, who is also a ward member for Macclesfield, said: “The council made it clear to the proposed purchasers that they wanted a scheme which delivers on local people’s aspirations for a development which brings a sympathetic high-quality design alongside significant regeneration benefits.
“We were not interested in simply looking for the highest price. I am delighted that the council has looked to lead by example in seeking to support high-quality design, which delivers sustainable, environmental, social and economic benefits.”
The Wake Up Macc group, which opposed the Silk Street scheme, say they will discuss the plans at meeting next Monday.
To overcome a potential loss of car parking, the council said it could create multi-storey car parks on one or more of the remaining town centre car parks it owns.
The cost of the scheme will be borne by the developer, not the council.
Ask Real Estate, which was behind the First Street scheme on the southern approach to Manchester city centre, was chosen by the council from 19 bidders.
Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member in charge of regeneration, said the agreement was ‘a significant step’ towards the council’s promise to regenerate the town and increase footfall for retailers and businesses.
He said: “This is by no means the only project we are pursuing. The council will continue to work collaboratively with landowners and other local stakeholders to ensure that local residents and businesses have a town centre they can be proud of.”
A spokesperson for Make it Macclesfield said: “We are pleased that a decision has been made and it is critical that we move forward with this development as soon as possible.
“Hopefully this is just a start of the level of investment we will see in the town and the beginning of
●● The Churchill Way car park is to be sold