Consolidated Property Group is planning to start on site with its retail and leisure scheme at a former RAF base next to Handforth Dean Shopping Park by the end of this year.
CPG’s plans were approved by Cheshire East Council last week after 18 months of wrangling.
The proposals were spread across three planning applications, which will be referred to the Secretary of State. Subject to the necessary clearance and final issue of a decision notice, CPG said work on preparing the site could start later this year, with the restaurants trading by summer 2018 and the retail units by summer 2019.
The new development by the Alderley Edge-based developer will provide 240,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants, cafes and drive-thrive outlets.
CPG also applied to extend retail space within the first phase of the shopping park, which is dominated by a flagship Next store and was sold earlier this month to Aviva Investors for £15.8m.
Martin Ridgway, CPG’s managing director, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for Handforth and Cheshire East generally that will provide one of the largest investments in the area for many years and a real boost for the economy. There was no credible interest for employment uses despite the best efforts of Engine of The North to market the site. The Shopping Park will fill the void and bring a long redundant site into valuable economic use and with widespread employment benefits including apprenticeships.
“It goes without saying that we hope the applications are cleared by the Secretary of State so that we can start as quickly as possible and contribute to the local community and economy during a time of uncertainty.
“It was made clear at committee that the jobs are badly needed locally and this scheme is a great opportunity to bring the site back into use after nearly 20 years of dereliction. It will be at least two years before the park will be up and running and by then the North Cheshire Growth Village will be starting to take off so the Shopping Park will help serve the many new houses coming forward.”
CPG was advised by HOW Planning; Cameron Rose Associates, highways consultants; and Leach Rhodes Walker for design and architectural services.