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Developers told think again over derelict site

A DEVELOPER has been told to "go back to the drawing board" to redesign plans for eight apartments at a derelict site currently used as a bolt-hole by local shoplifters.

A DEVELOPER has been told to "go back to the drawing board" to redesign plans for eight apartments at a derelict site currently used as a bolt-hole by local shoplifters.

An application to demolish an empty shop and two unoccupied semi-detached houses close to the town's football ground on London Road, Macclesfield, to make way for a two-storey block was refused by members of the East Area Planning Committee because it would not be in keeping with surroundings.

But fears were raised over the unlawful use of the empty properties which attracted undesirables - especially shop thieves who sought a hiding place after they had struck.

The original application was refused last August on highway safety grounds and although the resubmitted application by Clarion Holdings Ltd addressed those concerns, it was still unanimously refused.

Councillor Brian Puddicombe told members that he thought it was a shame that the application was not up to the required standard.

"I remember refusing this back in August," he said. "The objections that the highways department had then have been addressed sufficiently, but this is still not acceptable.

"This particular road is used by thousands of people every day. The site is often used as a hiding hole for people who had been shoplifting at the Late Shop. There is a problem there."

Coun Puddicombe said that he didn't think that the land was big enough for the size of the development that had been proposed.

A report stated that the two-storey building would be much higher than the neighbouring residential properties and would create a "dominating structure" in the street scene. Concerns have also been raised about an area of unused and overgrown land at the rear of the shop which could eventually result in an environmental nuisance attracting vermin.

Coun Puddicombe added: "The land behind the Late Shop does need addressing. On the issue of an oversupply of housing, unfortunately this application doesn't fit in with the exceptions. We should refuse this and ask that the developer goes back to the drawing board."

Coun Steve Carter agreed that the site was in desperate need of improvements and said that the committee should work very hard with the developer in order to agree on a suitable proposal.

He added: "This site is less than 40ft away from the football ground so it is not going to be that dominating. However, I think we should suggest that they go back and return with something a bit better."

 

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