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Hillcrest finalises purchase of Historic King’s School site

Hillcrest Homes has completed its purchase of The King’s School’s historic Cumberland Street site and buildings following the relocation of the School to new premises on Alderley Road in Prestbury.

The King’s School’s Cumberland Street campus was widely considered ‘the jewel in the crown’ in the 500-year old independent school’s extensive estate and is home to the oldest of its buildings. The purchase paves the way for the sensitive redevelopment of the six-acre site into a thriving new residential community carefully integrated into the heart of the town with a combination of sympathetic retention and conversion of the site’s listed and most historic buildings alongside high-quality new build, bespoke homes.

The scheme was recommended for approval by Cheshire East planning officers in December but a final decision was deferred. This has allowed Hillcrest to engage in further consultation with local authority planners, local residents and The War Memorial Trust. It is hoped that refined plans for the development will be presented for review by The Strategic Planning Board in the Spring.

Says Hillcrest Managing Director, James Payne; “This is a cherished landmark for Macclesfield and for us, and it has to be right. We’ve invested considerable time and care to align our vision for the development with the Council’s aspirations for the future of Macclesfield and have met with, and actively listened to, the wishes of the local community, heritage groups and other stakeholders. Our refined proposals reflect this collaboration, whilst remaining faithful to our principals of high quality placemaking driven by innovation and progressive design.”

John Kennerley, Chair of Governors at the King’s School explained, “Former pupils, staff and governors of the school will remember the Cumberland Street site and its historic buildings with great pride. The School’s Governing Body fully supports Hillcrest Homes’ plans to sensitively develop the site by providing high quality homes and later living facilities in the centre of Macclesfield”.

Should planning be approved in the Spring, Hillcrest hopes to commence restoration and construction works before the end of the year. Whilst planning is on-going, Hillcrest has brought in CBRE to manage the site and a full-time security team to protect the buildings and grounds.