King’s plan de­layed again

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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