New Macclesfield retail plans due this year

A revised development agreement with Wilson Bowden is due to be submitted to Cheshire East Council's Cabinet in the coming weeks and a planning application submitted in the autumn, according to Cllr Jamie Macrae, cabinet member for prosperity.

Wilson Bowden Developments submitted an application in November 2008 for a 500,000 sq ft mixed-use retail-led development, having been appointed by the local authority in 2005.

The developer and council have been busy revising the scheme during the downturn and, says Macrae. He adds: "We took a big step back and looked at how we could take this forward concentrated on a commercially viable retail development.

"Wilson Bowden are still on board and we are concluding the legals negotiations on the revised development agreement which I will present to Cabinet in late April or early May. If that is approved we would ask expect the revised planning application by the autumn of 2011."

Macrae declined to discuss the size or configuration of the revised scheme other than to confirm it would be reduced significantly, perhaps as much as by 50%.

Meanwhile, a separate masterplan for the South Macclesfield Development Area between Congleton Road and London Road, written by CB Richard Ellis for the council, has been approved and a public tender process to appoint a developer is expected to begin by the end of 2011. The mixed-use scheme includes a new stadium for the football club, retail, leisure, housing and a new link road passing through the existing stadium site.

CBRE also said Market Square and the Chestergate and the upper part of Mill Street should be reinforced as the heart of the town centre.

No one at Wilson Bowden was available for comment.

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