£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

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