A MAN who recently moved to Middlewich is in the process of making a counter proposal to a large and controversial town centre development.

Developers Henderson Homes and McCarthy and Stone submitted a planning application to Cheshire East Council to build 29 homes, 50 retirement flats and three shops on the derelict land behind Tesco in Southway.

Mike Smith saw the plans for new houses in Wheelock Street and decided that he wanted to submit his own proposal which he believes is more suitable for the area.

Mike said: “Once those planned houses are built there’s no turning back and history will be lost.

“I employ my own architect who is superb at the design element of town centre spaces having worked and lived with projects in London, Barcelona and Santiago, in addition to recently being a Royal Institute for British Architects award winner for a project in Tallinn.”

The land, which was earmarked for expansion by Tesco in 2009, has been left to become an eyesore in the centre of the town, and has prompted councillors and the community to call for the land to be developed for several years.

The decision target date for the original plans was Monday, August 6, as of yet the decision has not been made.

Mike has a background in economic geography and town planning.

He has also been running his own property development and regeneration firm over the last eight years, which specialises in formal garden designs as well as, Edwardian and period properties, such as those potentially being demolished.

Mike said: “In my plans all the mature trees which should have tree protection orders would be kept and incorporated into a formal garden design.

“For me this is not only in keeping of the historic appearance of the area but would environmentally be beneficial, especially when the town centre is lacking any substantial green space.

“There would still be room to develop five new detached houses and more importantly use this opportunity to better connect the town with an additional car park connected via Newton Heath Road.

“I don’t ask for any funds as I’m seriously that determined to make a difference that is good for the town.”

Mike objects to the current plans which have been controversial with Councillors, suggesting that they were unsustainable for the area.

Mike said: “The current plans only focus on short term profit and is a drop in the ocean in terms of improving and expanding Middlewich’s housing stock.”

Mike is hoping to arrange a meeting with Cheshire East Council to sketch out his plans which he believes ‘will make a far greater positive impact on the town.’