King’s plan delayed again
A DECISION on three major planning applications to allow a new King’s School has been delayed again.
The school has submitted applications to merge its sites at Fence Avenue and Cumberland Street into a new school on 70 acres of green belt next to its Derby Playing Fields in Prestbury.
To pay for the new school, it has plans for 300 homes at Fence Avenue and 150 homes at Cumberland Street, on the Westminster Road playing fields which form part of the campus.
The applications were due to be heard by the Strategic Planning Board last month but were removed from the agenda to be heard today (Wednesday) after the council said discussions were ongoing between the planning department and the school.
But now there has been a further delay after the applications were left off this week’s agenda.
The school says there have been no changes to the plans and a council spokesman gave no explanation about what has caused the delay.
The next meeting of the Strategic Planning Board is on Wednesday, April 20, but it’s not clear if the applications will be heard.
A Cheshire East spokesman said the agenda for the meeting will not be made available until approximately ten days before and until then the council cannot confirm whether King’s School will be on it.
Residents are keeping a close eye on the applications because they threaten green belt. The new school would be built on green belt as well as the homes at Fence Avenue.
Residents at Fence Avenue object because the housing was originally only earmarked for the curtilage of the school buildings, but now it spills across the site.
Eileen Furr, from the Land East of Fence Avenue campaign group, said: “We are looking to see the decision either rejected or at the very least deferred, as otherwise it will have circumvented the Local Plan.
“If they are minded to accept the applications we will be looking to get the applications called in by the Secretary of State.
“This would be normal given the huge amount of Green Belt affected.
“The development should be confined to the curtilage of the school.”
Dr Simon Hyde, headteacher, has previously stated the school brings economic benefits to Macclesfield and the plans are the only option for keeping it in Macclesfield.
●● Plans include a new junior school at Derby Fields, Prestbury