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Marks and Spencer Closure and Barracks Mill

Published on: Monday October 4, 2021

Press Release – 30th September 2021

In recent weeks, it has been announced that Marks and Spencer’s will be leaving the Town Centre and will open a food hall at Barracks Mill.

Macclesfield Town Council continues to work with stakeholders and has been instrumental in setting up the Macclesfield Town Centre Recovery Working group which, after extensive consultation with businesses and residents, has produced a recovery plan that can be found here:


The Town Council is working hard on:

  • the public realm, providing flowers and plants to make the town attractive and extending the Town Rangers Service.
  • funding parks and play areas across the town, including recently a decision to help fund the BMX track at Windmill Street Park.
  • helping create areas for outdoor hospitality to help independent businesses, primarily one at the beginning of Market Place.
  • working with many groups to make the town ‘greener’ and more environmentally friendly including hosting an ‘Eco Summit’ in May 2021.
  • doing the best despite Covid – 19 restrictions to support and hold events to bring people into the town.
  • supporting the wonderful organisations and charities across the town, who deliver many services to residents.
  • developing a vibrant town centre supporting local businesses, leisure, entertainment and in-town living.

For clarity, Macclesfield Town Council is a statutory consultee for any planning applications in Macclesfield. In 2016, a planning application was put in by Cedar Invest Ltd for a development at Barracks Mill, Black Lane, Macclesfield, Cheshire as follows:

Outline planning application with all matters reserved except for access for the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of three units with mezzanine floors for Class A1 retail use (c12,000 square metres GIA) plus external sales area; one food retail unit (Class A1) including mezzanine (c1,200 square metres GIA); two units for Class A1/A3/A5 uses (c450 square metres GIA); and works to create new access from The Silk Road, pedestrian/cycle bridge, car parking, servicing facilities and associated works

The details can be found here:

Planning Application 15/5676M

Macclesfield Town Council opposed this application for the following (and many further) reason(s):

The expected negative economic and social impact on the town centre, its vitality and viability, serious highways concerns and the potential negative impact on the amenity of residents

The full official objection can be found here:

Macclesfield Town Council Objection

Cheshire East Council then opposed it and the planning permission was refused.

The developer appealed this decision to the Planning Inspectorate, a national government body that deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework in England and Wales.

The Planning Inspectorate overturned the decision made by CEC and objected to by Macclesfield Town Council on 27th September 2017, thus letting the development go ahead.

This decision leads us the current situation, with retailers looking to move to the Barracks Mill site from the town centre.

Macclesfield Town Council is listening and understands the concerns of its residents with regard to Barracks Mill development and retail leaving the Town Centre, which is why the Council thoroughly opposed the development.

The Town Council has also appointed a Town Centre Manager, Abigail Sherratt. Abi is always out and about around the town and can be contacted on with any suggestions and ideas of how we work together to help the town and its centre in these changing times.