Apart­ments plan at for­mer home of jus­tice

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - ALEX SCAPENS

IT used to be the place in Mac­cles­field peo­ple would most dread go­ing - but de­vel­op­ers now want to turn it into some­where you can call home.

Mac­cles­field Mag­is­trates Court, on Hi­bel Road, saw thou­sands of de­fen­dants face jus­tice un­til it closed in Septem­ber 2016.

It has re­mained va­cant since but now a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion from Gary McLel­lan, of Bolling­ton­based Nab Con­struc­tion seeks to change that.

The com­pany has asked Cheshire East Coun­cil for per­mis­sion to con­vert the build­ing into 12 apart­ments.

If ap­proval is given the con­ver­sion would re­quire some struc­tural changes in­clud­ing an ex­tra story added and the re­moval of the court’s jail cell.

A re­port by plan­ning con­sul­tant An­drew El­lis, has been sub­mit­ted with the ap­pli­ca­tion.

In it he says: “The pro­posal makes an ef­fec­tive use of pre­vi­ously de­vel­oped land within an edge of town cen­tre lo­ca­tion and would con­trib­ute to­wards an in­crease in hous­ing sup­ply. The site is lo­cated within a highly sus­tain­able lo­ca­tion and is suit­able for re-de­vel­op­ment of this na­ture.

“Although not an em­ploy­ment scheme, the de­vel­op­ment would cre­ate con­struc­tion jobs and hous­ing and thereby con- tribute to the lo­cal econ­omy.

“The main phys­i­cal al­ter­ations to the build­ing would in­clude the re­moval of the steel cage at the rear of the build­ing and the con­struc­tion of a roof top ex­ten­sion.”

A de­ci­sion on the ap­pli­ca­tion is ex­pected by March next year with Wednes­day, Jan­uary 9, the fi­nal date for peo­ple to sub­mit com­ments on it.

The con­ver­sion would cre­ate seven one-bed­room apart­ments and five two-bed­room apart­ments and have 12 park­ing spa­ces.

The de­vel­oper ar­gues his plans fit in with the hous­ing strat­egy for Mac­cles­field town cen­tre of bring­ing ‘empty or un­der­utilised prop­er­ties back into a us­able con­di­tion’.

Among those to have com­mented on the plans are Mac­cles­field Civic So­ci­ety.

It has said: “This is an in­ter­est­ing pro­posal. The con­ver­sion works make the most of the ex­ist­ing build­ing though the new se­cond floor does not have a set back (that) would im­prove the ap­pear­ance of the scheme.

“In prin­ci­ple the scheme has merit but some de­tails need at­ten­tion.”

Plans have been sub­mit­ted to turn the for­mer Mac­cles­field Mag­is­trates Court on Hi­bel Road into 12 flats

The fright­en­ing in­ci­dent took place on Foun­tain Street

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