Construction of a major new retail development will begin soon following the completion of a multi-million pound deal secured by Cheshire East Council's development company Engine of the North.
It has the potential to create 1,200 jobs in the retail and restaurant sectors, subject to planning but will not be leisure-led.
The Alderley Edge-based retail property developer Consolidated Property Group (CPG) has entered into an agreement to purchase the 15-acre site next to the Handforth Dean retail park.
Construction of the first phase is due to begin in December. This will see the opening of a large-scale Next fashion and homeware store, for which planning permission has already been granted, with the creation of 220 jobs.
Further phases of the project at the former Airparks site, off Earl Road, will be the subject of a planning application that is due to be submitted after the developer has completed a consultation with the public.
Residents will be able to find out more about the proposals and comment on them at a public exhibition to be held in the near future.
If approved, the further phases could take the whole scheme to around 320,000 sq ft of retail space, including shops, 'drive-thrus' and restaurants, plus car parking and a gym.
The deal between the Council and CPG followed a marketing exercise earlier this year to identify a suitable company and scheme.
It could be at least three years before the entire development is completed but phase one is expected to be finished by next summer.
The whole development will be a significant addition to the existing Handforth Dean Marks and Spencer and Tesco complex nearby, creating an out-of-town shopping city.
Councillor Jamie Macrae, chairman of Engine of the North, the Council's wholly-owned development company, said: "This is the best possible use of this land and we are delighted that it will make such a significant contribution to the economic and commercial prosperity of the Borough.
"The Handforth Dean development has been a tremendous success for Cheshire East and has proved to be extremely popular with our residents and the residents of other boroughs, such as Stockport and Manchester.
"I am also pleased that it will be a local business, CPG, that will carry forward this scheme, which will create in the order of 1,040 jobs, when completed."
Martin Ridgeway, group managing director at Consolidated Property Group, said: "It is really important that local people, councillors and community groups engage in the consultation process and help shape any proposals that come forward.
"We look forward to holding public consultation events before any further planning application is submitted.
"We are delighted to be working with Cheshire East Council's Engine of the North in creating this landmark scheme, which will deliver a high-quality destination, providing maximum number of jobs and choice for shoppers."