King’s Macclesfield has sold its Cumberland Street site in the town centre to developer Hillcrest Homes to help fund the delivery of its new 80-acre campus near Prestbury.
The site on the approach into the centre from Macclesfield District General Hospital comprises the grade two-listed main school building, erected in the 19th century and now a library, and another school building dating from the 20th century.
Having bought the site for an undisclosed fee, Hillcrest is now proposing to restore the period buildings into luxury apartments, while a number of new-build homes are also planned. The school gates and a large area of the cricket green fronting the school are proposed to be retained as part of the scheme.
The proposals follow detailed negotiations with King’s, and Altrincham-based Hillcrest will deliver the project in partnership with the school.
The developer is planning to hold a consultation on the plans in autumn this year, with an application to be submitted to Cheshire East Council by the end of 2018.
Hillcrest managing director James Payne said: “The buildings are steeped in history and are held in high esteem by local residents and current and former staff and pupils. It is not in our nature, as a business or individuals, to disregard this heritage.
“By giving them a new lease of life as prestigious and comfortable homes, we aim to prolong their history, King’s legacy and our own whilst creating an inspirational place for people to live and thrive.”
The sale of the site, alongside the disposal of sites at Fence Avenue and Westminster Road, will be used to support the delivery of King’s new campus, incorporating both its primary and secondary school alongside a sports centre featuring a swimming pool, sports pitches, and a performance hall.
Working with Pick Everard on the designs for the project, the school has already purchased a 50-acre plot off Derby Fields, as well as Fallibroome Farm and its paddocks, which will provide a campus of around 80 acres.
Dr Simon Hyde, headmaster of The King’s School, added: “It was very important to us that our chosen development partner for the historic Cumberland Street site would approach it with sensitivity and respect.
“Hillcrest has demonstrated its ability to deliver residential schemes that serve the requirements of residents whilst protecting the aesthetics of their location to benefit the wider community; both now and in the future. Their plans for the site are very exciting.”
Savills advised King’s School, and a spokesperson said: “We’re pleased that the proposal between King’s and Hillcrest is coming to fruition. The terms of the proposal were subject to detailed negotiations with Cheshire East Council and a broad agreement has been reached which meets both the needs of the school and the council in terms of its housing requirements.”