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Private library for champagne set

A VILLAGE where millionaires are thick on the ground is to get a new library.

A VILLAGE where millionaires are thick on the ground is to get a new library if a locally-based building company wins permission to demolish a 110-year-old public hall and replace it with flats in a £100,000 three-way deal.

Jones Homes has been revealed as the developer behind a move to provide Alderley Edge with a privately-financed replacement library.

The Cheshire village is home to celebrities like the Beckhams and more champagne is reputed to be sold than anywhere else in the country.

Now thanks to a deal between the company, Cheshire County Council and the trustees of The Institute in London Road, the area is to get the new library it wants.

Villagers were angered when the county council announced the Edwardian library in Heyes Lane, converted from a former police house, was too small and expensive to keep open, yet did not have money in its coffers to pay for a replacement.

At the same time the trustees of The Institute, once aligned to St Philip's Church, were seeking a solution to expensive repairs and its underuse.

The Institute trustees have now agreed to sell the site for an undisclosed sum, and in return Jones Homes has applied to Macclesfield Borough Council for planning permission for a scheme to build flats over the new library and houses on the current library site in Heyes Lane.

The county council has agreed to the deal and will sell the existing library site for £100,000 to Jones Homes. In return the company will build a ground floor library on the site of the institute and rent it to the trustees for a 125-year peppercorn rent.

The payment for the old library site will be used towards fitting out the new library and the balance will go into county council coffers.

Robert Payne, chairman of the institute trustees, said the sale of the building would be of great benefit to the local residents. In a statement the company said they had designed the scheme so as to complement the existing architectural styles and building materials on London Road while the county council would provide modern library facilities on one level to replace the ageing split level library.

The Institute closed it doors to bookings last year and has been temporarily let as a furniture showroom.

Barbara Armitage, a parish councillor and one of the trustees, said both the library and institute were important village resources and they hoped they had brokered an ideal solution.

When work was finished the trustees hoped to have funds over to establish a charity and use it for the benefit of the village.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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