Cabinet backs sale of Handforth site for retail led scheme

Cabinet members today (Tuesday, March 3rd) voted to go ahead with a proposal to dispose of 14-acre plot off Earl Road, Handforth.

Cheshire East formed an arms-length company, Engine of the North, to develop and market sites for housing and employment purposes and to maximise capital receipts received for the Council's land assets.

During 2014, Engine of the North and its commercial property advisers CBRE undertook a comprehensive marketing exercise for Council land off Earl Road – which generated expressions of interest from 37 parties and 53 offers.

Darran Lawless, managing director for Engine of the North, said: "A detailed evaluation and due diligence exercise was undertaken, concluding in a recommendation to the Council that CPG Development Projects Ltd be selected as the authority's preferred purchaser for the 14-acre site off Earl Road."

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cabinet member for finance, said: "This Council is undertaking a comprehensive delivery programme of activities to sustain economic growth and ensure Cheshire East has a strong and resilient local economy that delivers long-term and enduring prosperity for local people.

"As a local authority, we put the needs of our residents first and we are working hard to get the maximum value for local taxpayers from surplus assets.

"This proposal fits in well with the Council's strategies for creating jobs and nurturing economic growth and will give a significant boost to the Cheshire East economy.

"The proposal from CPG unlocks a key development site for an 'exemplar' mixed-use development scheme, which will generate a substantial number of jobs, both during the construction phrase and beyond."

CPG Group is a substantial property investment and development company based in Alderley Edge, specialising in retail and mixed-use schemes.

Part of the Earl Road site already has planning permission for a Next plc retail store. CPG's proposals for the remainder of the site include the development of further retail along with a public house and drive-through restaurants.

The site, which is adjacent to the A34 and Handforth Dean Retail Park, is part of the former 61 MU RAF Handforth maintenance and storage depot.

Cheshire East Cabinet, CPG Development Projects, Handforth