Digging and drilling is due to start at a town centre car park to test the ground for a proposed new cinema and leisure scheme.
Churchill Way car park is being dug up ahead of an imminent planning application for a £15million scheme for a six-screen cinema, restaurants and shops around an area of public space.
Developer Ask Real Estate is working on the planning application after Cheshire East council agreed to sell the car park for the project.
The council, which supports the application, says it will revitalise Macclesfield town centre.
As part of ground preparation work the developer will begin to drill boreholes and ‘trial pits’ later this month, methods used to excavate the ground to study the composition of the ground underneath the surface.
A council spokesman said the car park will not close completely during the work and the council will ‘take measures to minimise disruption’ and details will be revealed soon.
Coun Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, who is also a Macclesfield ward member, said: “I am delighted that progress is being made towards delivering a scheme with the potential to significantly enhance the town centre.”
Residents have raised concerns about the loss of parking spaces in the long term when the leisure scheme is built.
The council states that research shows there is enough parking in the town centre to meet requirements, but that it will continue to monitor this.
The development will be subject to the normal planning process, which will start once contracts are exchanged, but no date has been set for a final planning application.
Other regeneration initiatives include funding of £1million for enhancing public areas in the town centre and a grant scheme to improve shop fronts, this time for properties around the south end of Mill Street, which will be launched shortly.
Coun Don Stockton, Cheshire East cabinet member in charge of regeneration, said: “The council will continue to work with landowners and other local stakeholders to ensure residents and businesses have a town centre they can be proud of.
“We’re committed to seeing this exciting regeneration project move forward towards a successful planning application.”