Chief Exec blog: Supporting customers and planning for the future

Mark Howden met with MP for Macclesfield, David Rutley, to explore ways of supporting residents and encouraging growth where it's needed.

Last week I met MP for Macclesfield and Minister for Welfare Delivery and we went on a tour of Macclesfield’s Sunderland Street to discuss a wide range of topics from our plans for that part of town,and housing need to the cost of living and partnership working.  

We started at Crossings, the Trust’s new development of 67 apartments in Macclesfield town centre, where we discussed the real need for more choice and affordability in housing locally.  

In particular, we spoke about the challenges of doing this in the area in which we operate and the Trust’s commitment to keep this at the heart of our future plans. 

We discussed town centre living and agreed on the benefits this can bring for people and businesses alike. People and homes, and not just shops and restaurants, are needed to create the vibrant town centres of the future. Above all I wanted to stress the real need for choice and affordability in the housing market and a move away from a reliance on out-of-town developments and the challenges they can bring for people. 

To make this happen the planning process needs to be aligned to these broad aims, which put people first. A smoother process that encourages innovative, small-scale developments built on disused or unloved sites could benefit everyone 

The Trust has done a huge amount to improve the area around Sunderland Street and has ambitions to do more. We have established a strong brand for the area, which has been adopted by businesses along the street.  

But there is only so much we can do on our own, we are keen to see more from partners, businesses, and the council too. Working together I know that this part of town can become a great place to live, work and play.  

The cost of living crisis was also on the agenda and I was able to outline the support that our teams can provide for our customers who are facing real hardship. We discussed the welcome support that government is providing, but we agreed that our communities are facing significant challenges and that better partnership working is key to helping alleviate hardship where we can. 

Peaks & Plains has shown that they really understand the pressures facing residents today and the transformative effect of having an affordable and stable place to call home. I’m impressed with the work that they continue to do in our communities across Cheshire East and for the significant part they are playing in the regeneration of Macclesfield Town Centre.


David Rutley

The Trust is currently working on its new corporate plan and as part of that we are keen to talk to a wide range of stakeholders who operate on our patch and value our purpose – to address housing need in the communities where we operate. 

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