Macclesfield Civic Society
Working for a town to be proud of
57 Orme Crescent Macclesfield SK10 2HU 01625 424101
2 October 2018
Macclesfield Civic Society Comments on application 18/4540M – development at Coare Street for McCarthy and Stone
Having examined the documents submitted with the application the Civic society would comment as follows.
The scheme involves the provision of specialised housing for the elderly close to the town centre on a site currently occupied by part of the Kings School, Macclesfield. All existing buildings would be removed from the site. The provision of 59 “Care” units and 32 apartments for retirement living would free up housing in the town and around through downsizing thereby enabling the availability of a range of open market dwellings. This would benefit social mobility. The scheme involves a mix of one and two bed-roomed accommodation with on site care facilities and recreational space in the form of landscaped gardens. This would bring a good mix of accommodation.
Design and Access
The context is a high density residential development close to the town centre with on site parking and easy access to public transport services along Westminster Road. Such a scheme would be acceptable subject to the impact on the townscape and adjacent development being acceptable. The character of adjacent development is mixed with a development site for market housing to the north on the current playing fields; a supermarket and car park to the west, albeit well screened by mature trees; the Kings School main site to the south of Coare Street (set at a higher level) with prospective redevelopment for residential purposes and to the east established terraced housing, mainly two storey in scale.
The building profile is L shaped along the road frontages with a central
parking (63 spaces) and landscaped garden area. The separation from existing development and from prospective developments yet to take place appears appropriate. The elevations show a stepping
down of the building profiles to the north and east – are the bulk and height of the 4 storey buildings acceptable in scale for integration into the townscape – this should be examined critically
and assessed carefully.
The landscaping along the road frontages should take into account considerations of air quality, particularly the ability of trees and low shrubs to intercept PM2.5 particulate matter generated by road transport emissions.
The model conditions appear appropriate but do not include such conditions as may be necessary because of site specific considerations (see below). A section 106 obligation may be required to deal with the specific nature of the occupancy of the scheme and this is normal practice.
The site can be served by public transport with a bus route adjacent along Westminster Road. Walking and cycling to the town centre and other facilities would be a possibility depending upon the preferences and physical abilities of residents and staff. A key question is whether Coare Street should remain as a through route (with a continuation of the problems of “rat running” at all times of the day but particularly at peak times) or closed off just to the east of the proposed access. The Civic Society would urge the highway authority to seriously consider such a measure.
There is no air quality assessment taking account of traffic flow emissions and the impact upon the occupants of the buildings and users of the amenity space. Landscaping may be one way of achieving mitigation, coupled with building design and construction methods to prevent penetration of the living accommodation.
The surveys undertaken indicate external noise levels from traffic require mitigation to secure reasonable living conditions for residents. Construction measures, including window design and installation (with benefits for energy efficiency also) will be required together with attention to the design, installation and operation of any fixed plant, such as heating or ventilation systems. These matters could be secured by way of a planning condition.
With best wishes I remain
Macclesfield Civic Society
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