Cheshire East sets out its latest masterplan for the town

The council’s vision for the town centre has reached a final draft setting out seven core areas featuring development opportunities in offices, retail, and housing.

The strategic framework for Macclesfield outlines a series of development opportunities around the town centre, with the council seeking to attract new developers to the town to introduce schemes.

The vision involves refurbishing and repurposing existing buildings around Chestergate primarily for housing; neighbouring plots around Jordangate 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’s environment and regeneration overview scrutiny committee is due to examine the final draft of the SRF next week, before it heads to cabinet for final approval in September 2019.

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 Chestergate’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

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