21 November 2019 16:35
Homes and businesses have been evacuated in Cheshire as engineers work to fix a damaged gas main. Police are asking people to avoid Holmes Chapel Road in Middlewich while the gas leak is stopped and the pipe is repaired. Cadent Gas says a Starbucks, a Shell garage and a number of homes in the area have been evacuated as a precaution. Cadent Gas tweeted: "We're being supported by Cheshire Police in keeping everyone safe, including closing the road for foreseeable future – we know that's going to cause a lot of traffic issues, but safety is priority." Cheshire Police says the A54 is closed between Kings Street and Leadsmithy Street. The closure is expected to be in place "for the foreseeable future", according to police.
A gas leak has caused businesses and homes in Middlewich to evacuate this morning. The A54 in Middlewich, Cheshire, has shut following the leak and police are warning people to avoid the area. Engineers from Cadent Gas are currently at the scene of the leak on the A54 Holmes Chapel Road. Cheshire police have said the A54 is closed between Kings Street and Leadsmithy Street in Middlewich. Cadent Gas said on Twitter: "As a safety precaution, we've evacuated the Starbucks, Shell garage and some homes on Holmes Chapel Road, while we stop a leak of gas and then repair the pipe.
The move follows Cheshire East Council's attempts to become carbon neutral in six years' time – approved at May's full council meeting – to support the national climate emergency declared in Westminster. At Monday's town council meeting, Cllr Mike Hunter, Labour, said: "There are other town councils that are doing this to try and put more pressure on CEC to fulfil what it has promised. As part of the move, Middlewich Town Council will also look to improve its own recycling within its offices and cut down on the number of single-use plastics used at future FAB Festivals. Both the internal and external committees of Middlewich Town Council will consider other ways to help improve its carbon footprint. COUNCILLORS were left 'stuck between a rock and a hard place' as they approved plans for a Holmes Chapel development 11 years in the making.
Cheshire East Council's strategic planning board gave Anwyl Homes the green light to build 138 properties at the Victoria Mills site, in Macclesfield Road, at Wednesday's meeting. The long-awaited scheme – first submitted to the former Congleton Borough Council in 2008 – will see wallpaper manufacturer Fine Décor relocate from the site to Congleton. But while some councillors had concerns about the development's access and small number of affordable homes, the committee's hands were ultimately tied due to previous planning decisions made for the site over the last 11 years. Cllr Les Gilbert, Conservative CEC member for Dane Valley, welcomed the plans as a way of losing 'an outdated factory' and praised Fine Décor's 'good sense of corporate social responsibility'. But he had concerns about the access to the site from Macclesfield Road, which was agreed in 2012, and asked CEC to consider a mini roundabout instead. Cllr Gilbert said: "The problem is its location and the face that it adds a T-junction to the busy Macclesfield Road. Holmes Chapel Parish Council also argued that the scheme is now out of date, with a traffic assessment conducted by the developer before the first plans were submitted in 2008. The original plans approved in 2012 required 15 per cent affordable housing along with Fine Décor's relocation within Cheshire East – but that figure was twice cut down to five per cent. Councillors were told that it would not be viable for Anwyl Homes to provide more affordable housing, as it is contributing £2 million for clearing contaminated land from the site and a further £1 million towards Fine Décor's relocation. Officers explained to the committee that they could not change details over financial contributions, affordable housing or access as these were already agreed in the first 'outline' application and subsequent legal agreements. Instead the committee could only comment on the design of the homes – and Conservative Cllr Steven Edgar admitted that left members 'stuck between a rock and a hard place'. Opening the debate, Cllr Steve Hogben, Labour, added: "This is an ancient application. He said: "This is a new application and it should be bob on.