The Executive are currently exploring all options to secure the long term viability of Macclesfield RUFC as a club at the heart of the community. To this end, some of you will be aware that a current consultation process being carried out by Cheshire East Council, has identified Priory Park as a potential site for redevelopment purposes.
This consultation process is looking at all potential options for the development of Macclesfield as a whole over the next 15-20 years. As part of this process, the Club have engaged with the council and it has become apparent that there may be an opportunity to relocate and provide the improved facilities the Club requires going forward, which will also allow us to strengthen and grow our position as a community focussed club. I think you will all agree, we are reaching (or already have reached) saturation point at Priory Park, having to rent pitches from The King`s School to accommodate Mini/Junior teams on a Sunday morning, and car parking becoming an issue at times.
We would like to emphasise that no applications have been made for any firm development and nor are we yet in a position to clearly set out exactly what the development may offer. We are at the start of a consultation process in which we needed to engage if we wanted to secure the best interests of the club going forward. The consultation process will continue over the next 3-6 months and is twofold;
- The Council is currently undertaking a consultation process to determine how the Macclesfield Local Plan will develop over the coming years.
- In parallel with that is a consultation on what Cheshire East are looking to deliver at South Macclesfield Development Area (SMDA – an area between London Road and Congleton Road) which could include a relocated Macclesfield Rugby Club. This process will continue over the next 6 months and we consider it important that we continue to engage positively within it.
The Executive Committee consider it vital that we have a mandate from the club as a whole, and consequently will be looking to hold an open meeting at the club to explain the process in more detail, and make it clear that we are not committed to anything at this stage.
The executive have formed a general development committee, together with members of the rugby club who are specialists in this area, to advise on this process and they will be present to detail this process and what needs to be done going forward.
We would like to seek confirmation that you are happy for us to continue in this process as clearly, there will be cost implications going forward. We will advise shortly on a date to present the options in more detail and then we are simply seeking a mandate to continue this process.
We are clear that we will need to return to the membership in due course to present any formal proposals and seek further agreement to pursue them.