Macclesfield Civic Society



Working for a town to be proud of



Keith Smith – 57 Orme Crescent – Tytherington – Macclesfield – SK10 2HU – 01625 424101










The Macclesfield Civic Society was established in 1962 and its main aim is to stimulate public interest in the town, encourage high standards of development and design, the protection of buildings and places of historical and architectural interest and the town’s environs. The Society is not anti-development but seeks to ensure that any change results in the right form of development, in the right place and at the right time. The Society contributed at all stages of the Local Plan process and appeared at the Examination in order to discuss any outstanding concerns. As a matter of record the society objected to the allocation CS11 – Gaw End Lane in the Local Plan Strategy.


The Society submits the following representations based on an examination of documents accompanying the outline application.



Planning Statement


We note the intention to truncate through use of Gaw End Lane and the intention to reroute the majority of traffic generated by existing residential and other uses onto the 7.3m carriageway roads within the development site. The new footway and cycleway provision is welcomed. We note the residential led scheme together with new community building and play areas and welcome the extent of open space provision and adoption of the SUDS system for surface drainage. We also welcome the adoption of 33% affordable housing provision within the development based on the 65:35 split between rental and intermediate housing. 99 affordable units would be well placed to serve housing needs in the southern part of the town (subject to our reservations about public transport access).



Landscape and visual impact


Much will depend upon the quality of landscaping, in the broadest sense, within the scheme – however, the extent of open space and provision of play space should result in some enhancement. The SUDS concept also would bring benefits to landscaping within the site. The retained open area to the south of built development would have to be sensitively managed to secure ecological and landscape benefits/enhancement.



Noise Assessment


The appraisal covers all sources of noise and assesses the potential impact on occupiers and users of the site post development. We make two points. First, the future use or development of the former Council Depot is unknown at this stage so the assessment is incomplete notwithstanding the noise attenuation measures built into the proposed residential developments in terms of siting, noise insulation of dwellings etc. Second, the noise source identified on the Lyme Green Business Park could affect garden areas and occupiers of dwellings to the south of the Canal – it would be unwise to introduce noise sensitive occupiers into a situation where there could be complaints and potential nuisance situations. Could this be addressed by developer funded mitigation at source ?



Air Quality


We note the assessment of air quality taking into account traffic growth to 2028 and having regard to the combination of traffic growth from this site (330 dwellings) and South Macclesfield Development Area [SMDA] (950 dwellings and commercial uses). The conclusion of imperceptible impacts is perhaps questionable. It appears to the Society that the majority of adverse impact would take place in the area between Byrons Lane and Waters Green having regard to the nature of built development along this length of the A523 – for considerable lengths of road there are terraced dwelling at the back of pavement with main windows and doorways opening out onto a narrow pavement. Traffic passes by at close quarters and pollution is evident by way of soiled paintwork and brickwork – would Cheshire East consider (subject to data collection) having to declare an air quality management area [AQMA] along this length of road as a result of extensive development, including the present site ?



Transport Assessment


We note the main access will be provided from the A523 with a 7.3m carriageway and footways each side, together with a right turn lane within the A523. We strongly support the idea of reducing the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph together with the provision of pedestrian refuges and the Toucan Crossing and new footways along the west side of the A523. We do not share the conclusion of the assessment that the current level of public transport provision (hourly or two hourly services into and from Macclesfield) is either adequate or a sustainable alternative to the use of the private car. Given the size of the development should not the possibility of some penetration of the site by public transport be examined (the 7.3 m roadways would be eminently suitable) ?


Having (briefly) scanned the assessment of future flows and capacity issues at defined points we would register a major concern that the impact of traffic flow from this and the SMDA developments on the capacity and performance of the Hibel Road/Silk Road/Hurdsfield Road junction has been excluded from the assessment. Why is this ? We also note that the effect of development by the Kings School appears ruled out by the astonishing conclusion in paragraph 7.4.3 of the Assessment ! Which King’s School development is referred to – is it just Fence Avenue ? There are committed schemes at Westminster Road and new residential proposals for schemes at Coare Street and Cumberland Street which will impact on this junction which is being examined for potential improvement works taking into account a number of development proposals both commercial and residential.



Keith Smith


Chairman, Macclesfield Civic Society


6 August 2018