Your reference number is FS-Case-150166123.

Date: 14 October 2019

Thank you for submitting Comment on a planning application

Title: Mr

First name: KEITH

Surname: SMITH (FOR MACCLESFIELD CIVIC SOCIETY)

your address: 57 Orme Crescent, Macclesfield, SK10 2HU

Application reference number (this must be correctly formatted: for example 10/1234M ): 19/1068M

 

Application site address: KINGS SCHOOL, CUMBELRAND STREET, MACCLESFIELD

 

What do you wish to do?: Object to the proposal

Please make your comments:

 

The Civic Society have considered the latest revisions to the scheme and have concluded, with reluctance, that an objection should be lodged. Whilst supporting the principle of a residential after-use for the site we are disappointed that despite several positive discussions with the developer there remain a number of outstanding issues that yet have to be addressed and resolved by both the developer and Cheshire East Council.

 

Despite a number of reminders we have yet to see that the traffic and air quality implications of this development have been addressed - the assessments submitted are incomplete as they ignore the neighbourhood effects of this and other schemes related to the Kings School in the locality). To be blunt they appear to amount to a "fingers crossed and something will turn up" approach. This is unsatisfactory. Specific traffic management and air quality mitigation measures should form part of the decision making process - this requires joint effort by the developer in cooperation with Cheshire East Council - for example the redevelopment of sites places further traffic on surrounding streets yet measures to mitigate the impact on residents of the site, Coare Street, Pownall Street, Cumberland Street and Westminster Road are conspicuously absent. On air quality mitigation measures in the form of landscaping, both within and outside the site, have not been forthcoming and there is no indication of any attempt to secure modal shift or promote more ecologically friendly forms of transport. To this extent the Society supports the reservations and objections expressed by both local residents and the Town Council.

 

In relation to the current amendments to the scheme put forward by the developer - we note the increase in onsite parking provision but consider the level reached should be the upper limit otherwise the scheme becomes dominated by the need to accommodate vehicles rather than provide good living conditions for occupants. The changes to the elevational treatment of proposed buildings are noted but very careful consideration should begiven to the choice of materials in terms of type, colour and texture. There is a strong vernacular tradition in the locality of brick/stone and tile/slate and this should be respected in the materials palate selected.

 

We welcome the re-routing of the Cumberland Street footway inside the site and the retention of the wall/gates. We have been advised that the access from Cumberland Street will be managed to secure a "left turn in and out" arrangement and the gates perhaps set back as a safety measure. We have not seen any revised plans to reach a final conclusion on this matter. Similarly we do not know what the Highway Authority's view is on these matters- their consultation reply is a significant omission from the documents necessary to appraise the scheme. In addition no response has been made to the concerns expressed by the Almshouse Trustees regarding damage by noise and vibration - this may require action by Cheshire East Council - is this to be considered - if so when and how ?

 

This brings the Society to the issue of the Memorial Pavilion. We did not wish this to be the issue on which the merits of the scheme hinges but it appears that we are in this situation and we regret having to place the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the Kings School. The pavilion is the School's Memorial - they could have taken it to the new site at Prestbury, or built a replica at Prestbury using as much recovered material as possible, or made it a condition of sale to the developer that it would be preserved where it is, or be preserved and relocated to another part of the site where it could be re-used as a community building for the benefit of residents of the scheme and the locality. Instead the building is to be abandoned and only a token element taken to Prestbury and a small (totally inadequate) memorial garden provided. This seems to ignore or discount the fact that the building itself through its construction, use and recent restoration is the memorial - the clue is in the name "Kings School Memorial Pavilion"!

 

It is saddening that the Society has to comment that for an institution which has an ethos of respect, good citizenship, service and sacrifice (in the case of those former pupils who are commemorated) it is reprehensible that the ethos is abandoned in such a brutal and insensitive manner. If proceeded with then Kings must bear the reputational damage.

 

Attach a supporting file: (Maximum of 3 files, Attachments should be no larger than 3MB in size in total).:

What is your interest in the application?: Local group

 

 

 

 

Macclesfield Civic Society

 

Working for a town to be proud of

July 2019

 

Macclesfield Civic Society briefing note for discussions on applications 19/1068M and 19/1069M – development at Kings School, Cumberland Street/Coare Street/Pownall Street for Hillcrest Homes 

 

Having examined the documents submitted with the application to date and noting the many representations the Civic Society consider that the following issues require attention. 

 

Land Use 

 

The scheme involves the provision of a range of housing types on the Cumberland Street site and would complete the process of redevelopment of the School’s estate at Cumberland Street, Coare Street, Pownall Street and Westminster Road. Accordingly this is a major and important scheme for redevelopment and re-use which will shape the future of this part of Macclesfield, just outside the town centre. The site is prominent and distinctive with a range of building types and styles extant set within landscaped grounds. Accordingly there is an expectation that any scheme for the site should be of outstanding quality. 

 

It is accepted that the major land use should be residential in the form of both new build and conversion, particularly of the historic buildings and other site features. The details of conversion works in relation to the Listed Buildings and other features (such as the Memorial Gateway) are the subject of application 19/1069M. 

 

Layout, Design, Landscaping and Access 

 

The context is a residential development close to the town centre with on-site parking and easy access to public transport services along Westminster Road. Such a scheme should be acceptable subject to the impact on the townscape, important site features and adjacent development being appropriate. The character of adjacent development is mixed with a development site for market housing to the north on the current playing fields and a sheltered/retirement housing scheme (as yet undetermined) on the north side of Coare Street. To the east is an area of established terraced housing, mainly two storey in scale. 

 

There have been representations regarding the future of the War Memorial Pavilion which is not retained in the current scheme. Given the issues of sentiment and symbolism that this raises (and may be deeply felt by residents of the town) the Society recommends that consideration be given to relocation of the Pavilion to the new campus at Alderley Road. This issue remains to be resolved. 

 

 

The landscaping along the access road frontages within the site should take into account considerations of air quality, particularly the ability of trees and low shrubs to intercept PM2.5 particulate matter generated by vehicle emissions. This brings the Society to mention of the walled frontages to Cumberland Street, Westminster Road and Coare Street – the stone walls are an important feature in the townscape and should be retained so far as possible. We would recommend that consideration be given to the possibility of “greening” the walls to secure the trapping of particulates, perhaps in conjunction with proposals for such mitigation towards the Hibel Road Air Quality Management Area [AQMA]. Additionally the open area adjacent to the roundabout on Cumberland Street should be replanted with heavy or dense shrubbery to secure some capture of particulate emissions, having regard to the many times of the day when traffic is standing and vehicles idling. 

 

Transport 

 

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. 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 via Pownall Street. The Civic Society would urge the highway authority to seriously consider such a measure. It was raised in our representations on the McCarthy and Stone scheme (as yet undetermined). 

 

Additionally, there are important implications for the wider highway network bearing in mind current traffic conditions along Cumberland Street, problems of congestion at the Sainsbury roundabout junction, traffic queues which form between Churchill Way roundabout and the Sainsbury roundabout as the Pelican crossing operates and issues of vibration and building damage occur to the Alms Houses on the south side of Cumberland Street opposite the site. If these issues are not considered before any permission may be granted then the issues will remain unresolved for the foreseeable future and highway network may operate in a sub-optimal and congested manner. Therefore the Society recommends that alternative access options be considered such as an access off the Sainsbury roundabout; widening of Cumberland Street to ease traffic flow and allow for some protection to be given to the Alms Houses; rerouting of the footpath on the north side of Cumberland Street behind the wall; relocation of the Pelican Crossing and resurfacing of Cumberland Street with noise and vibration reduction surfaces. 

 

We appreciate that these may require some alterations to the scheme, to a greater or lesser extent, but there will only be this one opportunity before the future pattern of development is fixed, should permission be granted. We would suggest and urge a joint investigation of options by the Highway/Planning Authority and the developer. 

 

Air quality

 

There is only a limited 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 failure to satisfactorily evaluate the impact of particulate emissions, both in the locality and within the site, arising from vehicle movements is not only unsatisfactory but also complacent give current societal concerns regarding pollution and its health impacts. Having considered the later material submitted on this topic by both the developer and the planning authority the Society is not convinced that a satisfactory degree of mitigation would be secured, hence the comments set out above. 

 

Noise 

 

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. However, given that the assessment concludes that environmental noise levels are high and may impact upon prospective residents’ amenities it is recommended that a detailed noise attenuation scheme should be prepared to encompass both “hard” (construction details and ventilation of buildings, boundary features such as walls and fences to garden and other open spaces) and “soft” (timing of deliveries within the site, control of vehicle speeds within the site, restrictions on idling engines) measures. 

 

Heritage 

 

Given the presence of Listed Buildings and Structures it is recommended that preservation, conservation and modification of important features are secured by conditions on the Listed Building Consent application 19/1069M. See above for comments with regard to the Memorial Pavilion. 

 

Affordable Housing 

 

It is noted that the scheme envisages 10 affordable housing units to be erected on Pownall Street, to replace the former Science Block. The Society considers that this provision should be increased to reflect to policy objectives of the Cheshire East Local Plan. Given that affordable housing requirements were relaxed (in some cases very relaxed !) on other schemes promoted by the Kings School then further shortfalls could only be justified by exceptional circumstances – these are not apparent or convincing from the scheme documents. 

 

 

Keith Smith 

 

 

Chairman, 

Macclesfield Civic Society 

[ keith76079smith@yahoo.com ]

 

 

 

 

 

Macclesfield Civic Society 

 

Working for a town to be proud of

 

 

57 Orme Crescent 

Macclesfield 

SK10 2HU 

01625 424101 

2 April 2019  

  

Planning@Cheshire East

 

Macclesfield Civic Society Initial Comments on applications 19/1068M and 19/1069M – development at Kings School, Cumberland Street / Coare Street / Pownall Street  for Hillcrest Homes

 

Having examined the documents submitted with the application the Civic Society would comment as follows. Please note these are initial views – The Society’s Committee will consider the schemes at its meeting to be held on 9 April and further views may be submitted afterwards.

 

Land Use

 

The scheme involves the provision of a range of housing types on the Cumberland Street site and would complete the process of redevelopment of the School’s estate at Cumberland Street, Coare Street, Pownall Street and Westminster Road. Accordingly this is a major and important scheme for redevelopment and re-use which will shape the future of this part of Macclesfield, just outside the town centre. The site is prominent and distinctive with a range of building types and styles extant set within landscaped grounds. Accordingly there is an expectation that any scheme for the site

should be of outstanding quality.

 

It is accepted that the major land use should be residential in the form of both new build and conversion, particularly of the historic buildings and other site features. The details of conversion works in relation to the Listed Buildings and other features (such as the Memorial Gateway) are the subject of application 19/1069M.

 

Layout, Design, Landscaping and Access

 

The context is a residential development close to the town centre with on-site parking and easy access to public transport services along Westminster Road. Such a scheme should be acceptable subject to the impact on the townscape, important site features and adjacent development being appropriate. The character of adjacent development is mixed with a development site for market housing to the north on the current playing fields; a sheltered/retirement housing scheme (as yet undetermined) on the north side of Coare Street; a supermarket and car park to the west, albeit well screened by mature trees and to the east established terraced housing, mainly two storey in scale.

 

There would be a change of character and appearance of the site arising from the proposals. The central open space, formed by the historic cricket pitch, would be reduced and terraced or linked dwellings would be constructed on both the west and east sides. Provided these are of high quality design this could be accepted and the open space area remaining would from a valuable amenity space for prospective residents. We would hope there would be a degree of public access to this space as a general amenity for this part of the town – to this end we would recommend that the existing access through the Memorial Gates should be restricted to pedestrians only – with access for cars and service vehicles taken from Coare Street/Pownall Street. This would require some adjustments to the submitted layout and landscaping plan. There have been representations regarding the future of the War Memorial Pavilion which is not retained in the current scheme. Given the issues of sentiment and symbolism that this raises (and may be deeply felt by residents of the town) the Society recommends that consideration be given to relocation of the Pavilion to the new campus at Alderley Road.

 

The landscaping along the access 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. This brings the Society to mention of the walled frontages to Cumberland Street, Westminster Road and Coare Street – the stone walls are an important feature in the townscape and should be retained so far as possible. However, there may be other considerations dealt with under the Transport heading below.

 

Transport

 

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. 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 via Pownall Street. The Civic Society would urge the highway authority to seriously consider such a measure.

 

Additionally, there are important implications for the wider highway network bearing in mind current traffic conditions along Cumberland Street, problems of congestion at the Sainsbury roundabout junction, traffic queues which form between Churchill Way roundabout and the Sainsbury roundabout as the Pelican crossing operates and issues of vibration and building damage occur to the Alms Houses on the south side of Cumberland Street opposite the site. If these issues are not considered before any permission may be granted then the issues will remain unresolved for the foreseeable future and highway network may operate in a sub-optimal and congested manner. Therefore the Society recommends that alternative access options be considered such as an access off the Sainsbury roundabout; widening of Cumberland Street to ease traffic flow and allow for some protection to be given to the Alms Houses; rerouting of the footpath on the north side of Cumberland Street behind the wall; relocation of the Pelican Crossing and resurfacing of Cumberland Street with noise and vibration reduction surfaces.

 

We appreciate that these may require some alterations to the scheme, to a greater or lesser extent, but there will only be this one opportunity before the future pattern of development is fixed, should permission be granted.

 

Air quality

 

There is only a limited 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 failure to consider particulate emissions both in the locality and within the site arising from vehicle movements is unsatisfactory and complacent give current societal concerns regarding pollution and its health impacts.

 

Noise

 

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. However, given that the assessment concludes that environmental noise levels are high and may impact upon prospective residents’ amenities it is recommended that a detailed noise attenuation scheme should be prepared to encompass both “hard” (construction details and ventilation of buildings, boundary features such as walls and fences to garden and other open spaces) and “soft” (timing of deliveries within the site, control of vehicle speeds within the site, restrictions on idling engines) measures.

 

Heritage

 

Given the presence of Listed Buildings and Structures it is recommended that preservation, conservation and modification of important features are secured by conditions on the Listed Building Consent application 19/1069M. See above for comments with regard to the Memorial Pavilion.

 

Affordable Housing

 

It is noted that the scheme envisages 10 affordable housing units to be erected on Pownall Street, to replace the former Science Block. The Society considers that this provision should be increased to reflect to policy objectives of the Cheshire East Local Plan. Given that affordable housing requirements were relaxed (in some cases very relaxed !) on other schemes promoted by the Kings School then further shortfalls could only be justified by exceptional circumstances – these are not apparent or convincing from the scheme documents.

 

Further representations may follow, particularly if there are to be amendments to the scheme.

 

With best wishes I remain

 

Yours faithfully

 

Keith Smith

 

Chairman,

Macclesfield Civic Society

[ keith76079smith@yahoo.com ]