Macclesfield Silk Street

Revised plans submitted for Macclesfield town centre

David McCourt

Wilson Bowden Developments has submitted revised plans to Chesire East Council in respect of its current application to redevelop Macclesfield town centre.

Plans for the £90m Silk Street development feature a public open space called Mulberry Square, a children's recreation area off Exchange Street called Roe Square, a department store, 19 high street shops, a cinema complex, restaurants and a multi-storey car park.

The proposals were initially submitted in March 2012 but have since been modified in response to a public consultation.

The 200,000 sq ft scheme has been adapted by developers to include a reduction in height of the Cineworld building of between 1.7m to 5.2m, to enable views of Christ Church Clock Tower. The Churchill Way fascia of Debenhams, the scheme's anchor retailer, has also been diminished in height by 2.5m.

The plans now include more green spaces, with tree planting in Mulberry Square and Churchill Way, and continuation of the Heritage Walk to the Silk Museum.

Under the revised plans, the cinema complex features back-lit undulations on its rear exterior as a reference to the warp and weft of the town's silk roots. The copper incorporated in the design of the cinema building is broken up by light boxes to reference the perforations on Jacquard cards historically used in silk production.

The proposed 718 space multi-storey car park off Churchill Way will be encased by greenery called "living green screens."

Patrick Arthurs, planning director at Wilson Bowden Developments, said: "We have continued to work closely with partners, stakeholders and members of the public and have made every effort to reflect their comments in our revised planning application.

"Macclesfield needs to take this opportunity to boost its town centre offering, as part of the wider redevelopment of the area. We know established retailers have an appetite to invest in the town but this won't happen unless we create high quality spaces and demonstrate the town's credentials. It's time to raise the bar and ensure Macclesfield fulfills its potential as a destination town."

Cllr Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for prosperity and economic regeneration, said: "I welcome the changes made to the original plans, following discussions with our officers, to ensure the scheme is more in keeping and sympathetic towards the rich history and heritage of the town.

"I hope the people of Macclesfield will embrace this exciting keystone to unlocking the town's potential and future prosperity and give it their support during the consultation period."

A formal consultation period began on 11 January and runs until 22 February 2013. A Cheshire East Council planning officer will be available at Macclesfield Town Hall to answer queries on the application from 12.30pm-1.30pm daily during the formal consultation period, by appointment only.

Detailed plans are available to view on the Cheshire East Council website.

Macclesfield Silk Street

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