Letter to councillors: Development inevitable?

Email sent to all Cheshire East councillors 10/11/2012.

You can copy and paste this and write to your own councillor.

Dear Councillor

We hear it is not possible to break the partnership agreement with Wilson Bowden. However, this is exactly what happened in Cheshire West in 2011.

Quote from the article:

“The Weaver Valley Partnership said the decision to end an agreement with the developer was due to the prevailing market conditions impacting on the viability of Wilson Bowden bringing forward the regeneration scheme as envisaged by the agreement.”

Quote from the article:

Geoff Hope-Terry, chairman of the Weaver Valley Partnership, said: “We inherited the agreement with developers Wilson Bowden but unfortunately Wilson Bowden hasn’t been able to take the scheme forward because, from their perspective, it isn’t financially viable because of the credit crunch. We weren’t happy with the situation. We agreed to terminate the contract – it was by mutual agreement and there were no hard feelings on either side. From Wilson Bowden’s point of view they were worried about making enough money but the difference with us taking control is that it’s about putting regeneration first.”

We understand Cheshire West made a payment of several million pounds to Wilson Bowden, and that it would cost Cheshire East a similar amount to break their own contract with the developers. But if Cheshire West could accept that the long term interests of Northwich were better served by not proceeding with the agreement, so can Cheshire East.

The original idea for increasing retail space in Macclesfield town centre dates from the 1990s. The first Wilson Bowden plans come from 2005. So much has changed in that time, with the  increasing recognition that reliance on retail is leaving towns across the UK with more and more empty buildings rather then bringing about regeneration.

We ask you therefore to consider whether it is now time to accept this was yesterday’s idea, and to seize the opportunity to find alternatives that will have a chance of being economically sustainable for the long term.

Thank you

Beverley Moore
Wake up Macclesfield

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