Town lead­ers to get first look at £15m cinema plan

Macclesfield Express - - CHARITY TOTAL UP AFTER BIG DROP - STU­ART GREER

TOWN lead­ers are poised to get a first look at long-awaited plans for a new £15m cinema scheme.

Coun­cil­lors Janet Jack­son and Bev­er­ley Doo­ley have been in­vited to a meet­ing with Cheshire East plan­ing of­fi­cers and Ask Real Estate, the de­vel­oper cho­sen to build a six screen cinema and six restau­rants in Mac­cles­field town centre.

The meet­ing, due to take place in late June or early July, gives ward coun­cil­lors the first op­por­tu­nity to com­ment on the ‘leisureled’ scheme which could be built on Churchill Way car park.

Pro­vided there are no ma­jor is­sues with the pro­pos­als, Ask is then ex­pected to launch a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be­fore sub­mit­ting its fi­nal plans for ap­proval.

It is an­other grad­ual step to­wards mak­ing the development a re­al­ity since it was an­nounced in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

The project has been de­layed be­cause of vig­or­ous con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Ask and Cheshire East, with the coun­cil keen to avoid a re­peat of the Silk Street flop.

The coun­cil agreed to sell the car park in Jan­uary and pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion was ex­pected in the spring.

These fur­ther de­lays mean the prospect of the cinema and res­tau­rant scheme open­ing by the end of 2018 are re­mote.

Coun Jack­son said she is pleased that the project is pro­gress­ing and is look­ing for­ward to see­ing the pro­pos­als.

She said: “They’re go­ing to have a pre-ap­pli­ca­tion dis­cus­sion with of­fi­cers and as ward mem­ber I have been in­vited.

“I un­der­stand that there have al­ready been a num- ber of meet­ings with of­fi­cers and this next one will be in mid June or early July. Typ­i­cally these meet­ings in­volve the de­vel­oper show­ing the plans that they in­tend to sub­mit. They put them past us. Then there is some tweak­ing and the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion begins with ex­hi­bi­tions of the plans. I am guess­ing this will be at the end of the sum­mer. I would hope to see some­thing by then. The orig­i­nal tar­get of get­ting the cinema up and run­ning was by 2018. If they want to reach that tar­get they need to get a move on.”

The cinema scheme is ex­pected to be based around dif­fer­ent sized screens and not like the stan­dard box-shape of most mul­ti­plexes. Ask has agreed terms with a cinema com­pany and has dis­cussed a po­ten­tial ‘an­chor ten­ant’ for the re­tail scheme. Ask de­clined to com­ment.

This im­age pre­vi­ously re­leased shows a vi­sion of the new cinema com­plex

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