Old Macclesfield Crematorium chapel could be converted back into one

By Belinda Ryan - Local Democracy Reporter

15th Apr 2024 | Local News

The Prestbury Road plans can be responded to until May 1, with a decision to follow after. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)
The Prestbury Road plans can be responded to until May 1, with a decision to follow after. (Image - Macclesfield Nub News)

A former chapel which has been used as offices could now be converted back so it can hold funerals.

Macclesfield Chapel is a Cheshire East Council maintained building, located within the grounds of the town's cemetery.

The grade II listed building, which was built in 1866, was most recently used as offices until 2017.

Now the council has submitted a planning application to convert it back to chapel use.

The chapel at Macclesfield. (Image - David Trowler Associates)

A design and access statement, submitted by David Trowler Associates on behalf of the council, states: "Cheshire East/Orbitas wish to reinstate the interior of the building to allow the building to be used as its original intended use as a Chapel of Rest.

"To the exterior of the building, level access will need to be provided to allow all users attending a service to access the building without assistance.

"The external area surrounding the building will also need to be altered to provide suitable parking for the funeral cars and hearse."

The document states the council and Orbitas – the council-owned company which runs bereavement services, cemeteries and crematoria – have identified the need to reinstate the chapel back to its original use so predominantly funeral ceremonies can be operated from the building.

It adds: "The proposal will ensure continued use of the building and provide much-needed maintenance and restore the building to its previous use."

At the time of writing, one Macclesfield resident has written to the council to object to the scheme.

The resident said: "We don't consider this application to be either justified or a priority for East Cheshire Council at this time of extremely tight public finances.

"The council is fighting against hard public spending budget cutbacks and simply cannot afford to spend on unnecessary or low priority projects, such as this, at this time."

Cllr Joy Bratherton, speaking as chair of Orbitas, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "The chapel at Macclesfield has stood unused for many years and this is an attempt to reinvigorate the building and increase the capacity for services and other events at Macclesfield Cemetery."

The LDRS has contacted Cheshire East to ask how much the scheme would cost, if approved, and how it would be funded.

The planning application, number 24/1184M, can be viewed on the planning portal on Cheshire East Council's website.


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