£14m land deal could see area trans­formed

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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)

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