In­quiry starts on Bar­racks Mill plans

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

THE fu­ture of a derelict mill site hangs in the bal­ance as a pub­lic in­ves­ti­ga­tion into devel­op­ment plans be­gins.

De­vel­op­ers Cedar In­vest want to build a new re­tail park with four large shops on the for­mer Bar­racks Mill site on Black Lane.

They say it will cre­ate more jobs and investment in the area.

But coun­cil­lors on Cheshire East Coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee re­fused per­mis­sion, say­ing it would have an ad­verse af­fect on the town cen­tre.

Yes­ter­day (Tues­day, July 11) the Govern­ment’s plan­ning in­spec­torate launched a pub­lic in­quiry into the plans.

The of­fi­cer will spend the next five days go­ing though the whole ap­pli­ca­tion in de­tail be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion on whether the plans should be al­lowed.

The site has been un­used since 2004 when fire rav­aged the build­ings.

But the £13m scheme to re­vive the area di­vides opin­ion, with ob­jec­tors ar­gu­ing it will di­vert trade from the town cen­tre.

Coun Liz Durham, who pro­posed the ap­pli­ca­tion for re­fusal, said: “Mac­cles­field de­serves to try and re­gen­er­ate it­self with­out the hin­drance of this devel­op­ment.”

Speak­ing to the Ex­press ahead of the in­quiry, John Whate­ley, di­rec­tor at Cedar In­vest, said: “We have un­der­taken a full re­tail im­pact as­sess­ment, which has been re­viewed by two in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tants on be­half of the coun­cil, and both con­firmed that that scheme would not have a sig­nif­i­cant ad­verse im­pact on Mac­cles­field town cen­tre.”

Esme and Con­nor Clay­ton with Anna and Olaf

Lau­ren Roberts with daugh­ter Emily (left) and Sil­ver and Lyla Atkins with their cer­tifi­cates

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