Middlewich Eastern Bypass (MEB)
Middlewich is one of the Key Service Centres for Cheshire East, providing homes, employment opportunities, retail, education and health services.
The town centre currently suffers from severe traffic congestion due to its location at the junction of two major roads; the A54 which links to the M6, Winsford and Chester, and the A533 to Sandbach and Northwich. Cheshire East Council has been working since 2015 to develop options for a bypass which will reduce traffic congestion in the town centre whilst supporting employment and housing growth in the area as a whole.
The current programme (subject to planning and final funding approvals) is for the main works to start late 2022, with an estimated 22 month construction period.
The current estimate for the cost of the scheme is £73.5 million including prior years spend to develop the Outline Business case.
The scheme has full planning consent with conditions.
Planning Permission 20/2064C amended the original permission 18/5833C, and 20/2162C formed a new permission extending the boundaries of the scheme for revised ecological mitigations and other minor changes to the design.
Two applications for minor material amendments to the permissions are currently awaiting determination. These are 21/2044C and 21/2073C.
Full details of all applications can be found on the planning portal.
Prior to works commencing on site a number of the planning conditions need to be formally discharged by the Council’s Planning Department and the work to achieve this is at an advanced stage in relation to proposed early construction works described below.
On the 21 September 2021 the Highways and Transport Committee resolved to authorise the Director of Governance and Compliance to withdraw the made and sealed orders known as The Cheshire East Council (Middlewich Eastern Bypass) Compulsory Purchase Order 2021 and The Cheshire East Council Middlewich Eastern Bypass) (Classified Road) (Side Roads) Order 2021.
The Orders as they are currently drafted do not achieve the ambitions of the Council in being able to bring this Scheme forwards to enable the construction to commence. Read the report on Modern.gov.
All landowners affected by the withdrawal of the Orders have been informed. It is envisaged that the Highways and Transport Committee will consider a new report on 16 November 2021 to make a new Order.
A programme of preliminary works, including the construction of a Rail Road Access Point (RRAP) to access the site, archaeological investigations, and environmental works including habitat creation (creation of ponds), strengthening of hedgerows, and landscaping, has been developed in order to minimise the duration of subsequent highway construction works. These works are due to commence in summer 2021.
Ground investigation surveys are now complete.
The Outline Business case was submitted to the Department of Transport (DfT) in March 2017. The scheme has been accepted onto the DfT’s Large Local Scheme programme.
Public exhibitions relating to the scheme were held on Wednesday 28 March, Saturday 10 April and Thursday 19 April 2018 at St Mary’s Church Hall in Middlewich to inform members of the public and others with an interest in the scheme of the Council’s proposals and receive feedback for consideration in the further development of the scheme. Further information can be found on the exhibition boards (PDF, 3.8MB) and consultation brochure (PDF, 1.8MB) created for the consultation.
A detailed report on the findings of the consultation can be found in the supporting documents for the CPO under the Statutory Orders page.