October approval for Macclesfield masterplan
A series of development opportunities in the town centre will come forward as Cheshire East prepares to sign off its vision for the future of Macclesfield in early October.
The strategic framework for Macclesfield outlines a number of opportunities around the town centre, with the council looking to attract new developers to the town to bring forward a variety of different schemes.
A public consultation has already been held on the masterplan, and the document is due to be scrutinised by Cheshire East’s environment and regeneration committee next week, before heading to cabinet for final approval. According to the committee, this will be on 8 October.
The masterplan focusses around repurposing existing space in the town centre, as well as developing brownfield sites for a mix of uses, including residential.
Around Chestergate at the town’s historic core, the vision is to refurbish and repurpose existing buildings, primarily for housing; neighbouring plots around Jordangate are also targeted for redevelopment, with the masterplan outlining “aspirations for the modernisation” of the existing Jordangate car park.
Around the railway station, which the report states “does not currently create a good first impression”, there are ambitions to develop leisure, business, and residential schemes. There is also the potential to provide a plaza at Waters Green and to reinstate public green space around the station.
Meanwhile, the retail core is to see some repurposing and re-use of vacant space for food and drink offerings, with residential on the periphery.
Churchill Way is seen to be a key route through the town and has been earmarked for a “greener boulevard”; the report said this would “enhance first impressions of the town, improve legibility and wayfinding, and reduce car dominance, resulting in pedestrian prioritisation at key junctions”. Infill residential schemes are also among the options here, while consolidation and improvement of car parking is seen as a priority.
Sunderland Street and the Silk Quarter to the south are targeted as mixed-use areas with an ambition to deliver retail, residential, employment, leisure, and night-time economy uses.
Cheshire East is set to lead on the SRF with roles potentially including land assembly, site preparation, bidding for funding, and engagement with stakeholders.
The SRF also mentions working with existing developers in the town – with Hillcrest, Peaks & Plains, and Huntsmere Construction all namechecked – while a number of national and regional developers are also said to have identified an interest in developing in the town centre.
Some development plans have come forward in Macclesfield, including by Nick Johnson to create an Altrincham-style market in the town’s Picturedrome; plans were also approved last year for a Lidl superstore. However, last summer, developer Ask pulled out of plans to build a cinema and leisure-led project on Churchill Way, citing “ongoing challenges with the food and beverage sector”.
The SRF was prepared by a team of Cushman & Wakefield, WSP, and Open to draw up the vision last year, supported by the Institute of Place Management at MMU.