Hillcrest won consent for the site's redevelopment last February. Credit: via planning documents

King’s School plans deferred

A proposal for 115 homes on the former site of King’s School in Macclesfield has been deferred amid concerns over lack of affordable housing provision and potential impact on air quality.

Cheshire East’s strategic planning committee on Wednesday debated Hillcrest Homes’ the application, which had been recommended for approval, and ultimately deferred it pending further detail from the developer on the plans.

The application is expected to be brought back to committee in the coming months.

Draft comments submitted to the council, which are yet to be validated, call for: a more thorough viability appraisal; an increase in affordable housing provision; the necessity of the inclusion of an internal footpath; a redesign of three house types; further review of heritage assets; and consideration of using community funds to pay for a sports and recreation facility and upgrades to the children’s play equipment at West Park.

Hillcrest proposes converting the existing 20th century school building into 29 one- and two-bedroom apartments with a contemporary extension to the rear, along with 42 apartments for elderly people. The plans also propose 34 houses on the site.

The grade two-listed library and gatehouse would be retained and converted. The library would contain seven two-bedroom homes while the gatehouse would become a three-bedroom house.

An additional 12 two- and three-bedroom terraced houses would be built on Pownall Street on the site of the school’s Percyvale Science Block and its prefabricated maintenance building, both of which would be demolished under the plans.

If approved, work would not begin on the scheme until the school relocates to Prestbury in May 2020.

Multiple objections were raised, including from Macclesfield Town Council, which claimed the development would result in the loss of the cricket pitch, impact air quality and breach the local plan’s parking policy.

Avison Young is planner for Hillcrest, while Project3 is the architect and Exterior Architect is the landscape architect.

Housebuilder Redrow’s application for 190 homes on a 38-acre site off Northwich Road in Knutsford was approved at yesterday’s meeting.

The preliminary work for the project has begun. Once complete, the scheme will comprise of 133 market homes and 57 affordable homes.

Barton Willmore is acting as planner.

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