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