The council is keen to see 200 homes built in the short term

Cheshire East progresses Middlewich masterplan

Neil Tague

The local authority looks set to adopt a development framework for the Brooks Lane area as a supplementary planning document, strengthening its ability to shape the area around an initial 200 houses and potentially a railway station.

Two six-week consultations have been held, the output of them forming the basis of a report by Barton Willmore that goes before Cheshire East’s cabinet next week. The council is looking to set a context to guide planning decisions in a now under-used industrial area that has seen several contested schemes proposed in recent years, such as at the Intertechnic UK site.

The requirement for a masterplan for the area is now written into Cheshire East’s Local Plan strategy, and if adopted, the site will house around 200 homes in the site’s southern part; and leisure and community facilities to the north of the site, including “appropriate retail”, with green infrastructure, walking and cycling infrastructure, and potentially a 20-berth marina on the Trent & Mersey Canal also included.

There could also be land allocated for a railway station – Middlewich has been without a rail connection since the 1960s Beeching cuts. Cheshire & Warrington LEP commissioned a feasibility study for rail projects including Middlewich in 2019.

Cheshire East is looking for 200 homes to be brought forward in the shorter term, to meet Local Plan requirements. Redevelopment of the wider site in the longer term could mean a further 250 homes, with the council keen to see a broad mix of tenures including family homes, starter homes and older persons’ accommodation.

That phase one housing can be accommodated in full while businesses in the area remain operational, but it is noted that “a more significant regeneration proposal could see more of the site coming forward for redevelopment in the longer term, extending beyond 2030”. The railway station could be the key, with part of the longer-term development area marked as a station “gateway” development area.

To the north, the town centre gateway is described as the part of the site where “an acceptable relationship between employment and new residential uses will need to be achieved”.

Your Comments

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About time. A welcome proposal that needs to go ahead in every respect…

By John Bird

This is a must for Middlewich its needs this

By Mr Leon Burchell

I hope that these plans will include new schools as at this moment in time they are overcrowded and also more doctors. All we are seeing is more housing and no infrastructure. Its time to get your act together and make this town a better place to come to and not the poor relation of cheshire east.

By Anonymous

Interesting that CEC see the area as an “under- used industrial area” and a “short term opportunity”. We have just let 4 acres on a 25 year unbroken lease and another 3.5 acres on a 10 year unbroken lease. Both tenants are local businesses. Engaging with the market would make sense before promoting a master plan that cannot be delivered in the medium term never mind the short term.

By Matt Pochin

Really struggling to understand what happens to the existing businesses that are well and truly established in the Brooks Lane area. Its not commercially viable to move them so why would they move? Several occupiers on VERY long term leases. Its just doesn’t make any sense to us?

By Stephen Wade Legat Owen

Not to be negative, but nowhere in this proposal can I see mention of the much needed and much promised bypass. This proposal can only cause more congestion and more pollution in a town already struggling to cope. Please please please get the basics done first, the bypass, water mains pipework already stretched to their limits and schools.

By Stephanie McAleer

Always about the houses! Is Warmingham lane full? no town infrastructure, more congestion.
How many will be made unemployed when all the businesses have to move out?
Walking and cycling infrastructure, a real money maker and a 20 birth marina is that so people won’t have to moor up by the stink site on Cledford lane.
Could be fun when the main bridge in town gets closed due to the amount of cracks underneath and in the walls on top.
Not one local I have spoke to has positive views on this but will no doubt be overruled by non locals.

By Me

Excellent news

By Marc

What a load of tosh. 1 Beeching didn’t close the Middlewich Line 2 a marina for 20 boats that would take away 10 already established moorings 3 who wants their house next to a chemical plant 4 a railway station don’t make me laugh they can’t run the trains they already have. The whole idea of redeveloping this site must have cost someone a rather large brown envelope.

By John