Kings Development
The King's School site was sold to Hillcrest homes in 2018

Plans for King’s School site set to be approved

Dan Whelan

Proposals by two different developers to build 300 homes in Macclesfield and Knutsford are recommended for approval by Cheshire East Council next week.

The first scheme is Hillcrest Homes’ plans for 115 homes on the former site of King’s School in Macclesfield, which is relocating to a £60m development under construction in Prestbury. Hillcrest bought the 5.3-acre site in July 2018.

Under the plans, the existing 20th-century school building will be converted into 29 one- and two-bedroom apartments with a contemporary extension to the rear, and there are plans for 42 one- and two-bed apartments for elderly people.

The plans also propose 34 houses with a mix of two, three, four and five bedrooms.

The grade two-listed library and gatehouse will be retained and converted; the library will contain seven two-bedroom homes, while the gatehouse will be restored to become a three-bedroom detached house.

An additional 12 two- and three-bed terraced houses are to be built on Pownall Street on the site of the school’s Percyvale Science Block and an existing prefabricated maintenance building, which are both to be demolished.

There have been several objections to the scheme, including from Macclesfield Town Council, which claims the development would result in the loss of amenity in the form of a cricket pitch, impact the air quality of the area and breach the local plan’s parking policy.

Work will not begin on the project until the school has relocated to its new site, work at which is currently being undertaken by Vinci and is expected to complete in May 2020.

Avison Young is acting as planner on Hillcrest’s scheme, Project3 is the architect and Exterior Architect is the landscape architect.

The King’s School is to vacate two further sites on Fence Avenue and Westminster Road, which are also to be redeveloped for housing.

A 190-home scheme by housebuilder Redrow on a 38-acre site off Northwich Road in Knutsford is also slated for approval.

The project, for which preliminary work has begun, comprises 133 market homes and 57 affordable homes.

The market homes will be a mix of two- to five-bedroom properties, while the affordable homes will range between one and four bedrooms.

The scheme also features allotments, a community orchard and a playing pitch.

The application was deferred last October so that officers could consult further with Knutsford Council to address concerns over the scheme’s compliance with Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan and Knutsford Design Guide.

Revisions were subsequently made, including the relocation of affordable homes and the inclusion of 38 Lifetime Home-compliant units.

Redrow acquired the site from Crown Estates in early 2019, after outline planning consent had been secured.

Barton Willmore is acting as planner.

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Relocation should never have been approved. Very special green belt circumstance? Educating rich kids near fields? A joke.

By Bert