Pochin gains more time on Midpoint 18

Pochin Developments has secured extended planning consent for the third phase of its business park in Middlewich, Cheshire, in conjunction with the completion of the Middlewich eastern bypass.

Manchester-based planning consultancy HOW Planning, acting on behalf of Pochin Developments, gained an extension to the original planning consent for phase three of Midpoint 18, which was initially granted permission by Congleton Council in June 2008.

The original outline planning application for the third phase of development at Midpoint 18 incorporated office, industrial and storage/distribution uses with appropriate leisure and tourism elements. It also included the completion of the final section of the Middlewich eastern bypass and associated landscaping and enhancement works.

Completion of the bypass, from the end of Pochin Way through to the A533 Booth Lane, a distance of just over a mile, will serve a mixture of employment, leisure and tourism development on both sides of the new road.

The fresh planning permission was needed to retain and extend the permission first granted before the economic downturn.

Jon Suckley, associate at HOW Planning, said: "This is great news for Pochin as it allows greater time for the market to rejuvenate and confidence to return. The original planning consent came at a time when the economy was hit very hard, but the time extension ensures all types of development outlined in the original application can be brought forward over the next few years."

The continued expansion of the business park to the south of Cledford Lane will comprise over 1.5m sq ft distribution, production, office and hotel facilities.

The bypass aims to alleviate congestion in Middlewich town centre, in particular along the A54 and Lewin Street, and improve the residential and commercial environment of the market town.

The application follows consultation, co-operation and discussions between Pochin, How Planning, Middlewich Town Council and Cheshire East Council.

Brian Reay, Pochin property director, added: "This decision will allow more time to deliver economic growth to Middlewich, ultimately providing thousands of new jobs to the area. The Bypass will relieve town centre traffic congestion, particularly heavy lorries and will provide a safer road with dedicated pedestrian and cycle routes.

"For any distributor, an excellent transport network is vital. As such, access to Midpoint 18 will be improved significantly and there will also be the opportunity for rail freight and more activity on the existing railway.

"With planning now achieved, delivery of the Bypass will be shared between the public and private sectors, followed closely by the new development."

Lamonts and Matthews & Goodman are joint agents on Midpoint 18.

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