Nov 13th 2015 update – Lots of news

Updates on:

1. Leisure development plans.

2. Lidl plans – planning application submitted

3. A new business support initiative for Macc.

4. South Park plans – questionnaire to complete.

5. Barracks Mill proposals – developers want to build retail park next to big Tesco.

6. South Macclesfield development and new supermarket – planning permission granted.

7. Next Make it Macclesfield breakfast meeting

1. Leisure development

CEC have received 19 proposals for a development on either Churchill Way or Duke Street car park. All include a cinema and restaurants; some include other elements too.

The decision making process 

An assessment panel has been formed bringing together people from inside and outside CEC with (to quote CEC) ‘significant combined experience in planning, regeneration, land sales, development delivery, development financing, local knowledge of the site, the town centre and the Town Centre Vision, as well as stakeholders aspirations for the town centre.’

This panel comprises:

BNP Paribas, Director, Development Consulting
Sanderson Weatherall, Partner, Property Section
CEC Delivery Executive for Macclesfield Town Centre Vision
CEC Director of Growth and Regeneration
CEC Head of Regeneration
CEC Project Director Macclesfield Regeneration (Jo Wise, who has been very involved with the Stakeholder Panel)

The panel will make a recommendation as to what they consider the best option based on the ‘overall benefit’ to the town centre. Criteria include deliverability, regeneration benefits, fit with planning policy and vision, and price achievable.

Members of the stakeholder panel are being asked to consider the submitted proposals and give individual comments so the views of the various stakeholder groups can be taken account of in the discussions.

Details of the schemes are, however, not being made public at this stage.

This is because – in the council’s words – ‘it is important we do not allow any images or details of any content of any submission to leave our care – aside from possible copyright issues, there is a risk that any disclosure could be argued to give an ‘edge’ to another party should they  learn the details of another’s submission. We must ensure the integrity and fairness of the process is not in any way undermined.’

Authority to make the final decision has been delegated to the Executive Director of Economic Growth and Prosperity (Caroline Simpson) in consultation with the Portfolio Holders for Macclesfield, Regeneration and Assets and Finance and Assets, and the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Legal Services.

I am hopeful that following the experiences of the last few years and our discussions at the stakeholder group there’s a better understanding now within CEC of what ‘overall benefit’ actually means in the context of Macclesfield town centre.

The chosen scheme will still of course have to go through the planning process, at which point all details will become public and people can give their views.

2. Lidl plans

Lidl have finally put in their planning application for a store at Park Green.

The documentation is a bit confusing. The images at the start of the design and access statement are nothing to do with the Macclesfield plans. It’s not clear what the proposed store would actually look like. They give us the three images that were shown in the public consultation and say that the preferred was the ‘new traditional’, but don’t confirm that this is in fact what they are planning to build. The only images of the actual proposals I can find are the elevation drawings. I’ve asked the planning department if they can request something more but haven’t heard back yet. We understand that insufficient information is a valid reason to object to a planning proposal.

Deadline for comments is 25th November.

See plans on CEC website

3. New business support initiative – Enterprising Macclesfield

Enterprising Macclesfield is a new initiative being launched by the Make it Macclesfield team as a focal point to encourage and support social and commercial enterprise in the area. The aim is to provide support and funding to entrepreneurs with an ambition to develop sustainable enterprises. The group will support both startups and established enterprises, provided they can see how this support will deliver measurable benefits to the community.

There’s an open launch event on 17th November at the Heritage Centre – agenda as follows.

19:30 – Reception & refreshments
20:00 – An introduction to Enterprising Macclesfield – Tim Shercliff, Chair, Enterprising Macclesfield
20:15 – Encouraging enterprise – Rt Hon David Rutley MP
20:20 – Funding Grants – Zoe Sheppard, Chief Executive, Cheshire Community Foundation
20:30 – How can you help?
20:40 – Networking and informal discussion
21:30 – Close

4. South Park

Plans have been drawn up for new facilities at South Park. The idea is to create an ‘Action Station’, with a wide range of sporting and fitness facilities. S:Park (Friends of South Park) have put together a questionnaire to find out what people think of the ideas.  Whether you’re currently a South Park user or not, please do take a look at the plans, see what you think, and fill out the quick questionnaire.

See the proposals (PDF)

Questionnaire

Word version of questionnaire – if you can open Word, this is the easiest. Save onto your own PC, type onto, email back as an attachment

PDF version of questionnaire – if you can only open PDFs, you can print this version, write on it, scan and email back as an attachment.

Alternatively, you can print off the form and drop it in at the Park Tavern.

5. Barracks Mill

Cedar Invest and Castlemore Securities Private Directors Pension Scheme Ltd are proposing to apply for planning permission for four retail units, a fast food outlet and a coffee shop at the Barracks Mill site off Black Lane – the derelict factory next to the big Tesco. There’s no doubt something needs to be done on this site, but a proposal such as this clearly goes against town centre first planning guidelines.

There will be an initial public consultation at Hurdsfield Library (7 Hurdsfield Green, SK10 2RJ) on Thursday 19th November between 4pm and 7pm.

6. South Macclesfield development

The Cheshire East strategic planning board have approved an application for redevelopment of the open land and playing fields off the Congleton Rd, south of Moss Lane. The plans include up to 325 residential units, a class A1 retail store of up to 80,000 square feet, and  replacement sports facilities.

The split between convenience (food and other day-to-day items) and comparison goods (everything else) to be sold in the supermarket was agreed at 70:30. A new out of town store selling such a wide range of goods will potentially have a significant impact on the town centre, and the decision raises big questions about the application – or not – of  ‘town centre first’ policy.

7. Next Make it Macclesfield breakfast meeting

The next of the regular MiM breakfast meetings will be on 20th November at 8.00 am in the town hall.  Updates from the town council, the Stakeholder Panel, and MiM.  All welcome but there’s limited space so you need to book.  See MiM breakfast meeting details here.

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