£14m land deal could see area transformed
COUNCIL bosses hope to strike a deal to finally bring about 1,100 new homes, a supermarket, school and link road in the south of the town.
Cheshire East Council wants to drive forward proposals for the South Macclesfield Development Area (SMDA), between Congleton Road and London Road, which has suffered from numerous false starts over the last two decades.
The authority, which owns 26 hectares of the 63 hectare site, is proposing to do this by forging a partnership between Cheshire Engine of the North, the council-owned business tasked with developing land for housing and employment, and TG Limited, which owns the majority of the remainder of the land.
Together they will be create a masterplan which would regenerate the southern gateway to the town, including:
l Up to 1,100 residential dwellings;
l A 7,500 sq m retail development including food store;
l A new link road connecting Congleton Road to London Road;
l Improved playing fields and new community facilities; l A new primary school. However, questions still remain over whether the plans includes a new stadium for Macclesfield Town.
The council argued the only alternative – a piecemeal strategy – will suffer from considerable delays.
It also claims the subsequent housing and retail developments could boost coffers by £14m.
Coun Neil Puttick, who represents the south ward on Macclesfield Town Council, said the plans were exciting, but urged consultation with the town. He said: “A wellplanned and consulted development south of Macclesfield will help the area and the wider town and I’d welcome ways to move forward more effectively. At the same time, it’s important that any development is well-made and considers the existing needs of people in the area for accessible green space and amenities – access to goods, cash machines, places to play, enough nursery/primary school places, parking spaces, bicycle lanes.
“I also think its important that we don’t let Cheshire East Council leaders think of themselves too much as estate agents and remember to consider their role providing quality services.”
The first phase of the SMDA – for 325 homes, a supermarket and leisure facilities – which will form part of the masterplan, was approved in October 2015.
The proposed ‘collaboration agreement’ is due to be rubber stamped by Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for regeneration, on Monday.
In a report Heather McManus, a director of Cheshire Engine of the North, said: “In order to facilitate the comprehensive development of the whole site, where a developer-led link road will be delivered, it will be necessary for CEC to enter into a collaboration agreement with the adjoining land owners TG LTD to submit a joint outline application.”
Mark Blower, chairman of Macclesfield Town FC said the club still wanted to be part of the SMDA. He added: “The football club has worked on and off with the council and its various leaders since 2005 to build a new stadium which the club and the town clearly needs. We are speaking to the council again this week in order to maintain a dialogue and hopefully get some momentum into an important project for the club and the community.”
The Express was unable to contact TG Limited for comment.
‘A well planned and consulted development will help the area and the wider town’
A council document showing phase one of the South Macclesfield Development Area plan (SMDA)