Policy INF 6: Protection of existing and proposed infrastructure
- To assist in supporting existing development and securing planned growth, development will only be permitted where it is unlikely to adversely impact on existing infrastructure or the delivery of proposals for new and improved infrastructure in the borough, as identified in the strategies or plans of the council and other statutory infrastructure providers.
- The land required for the construction of the following highway and public transport schemes as shown on the adopted policies map, is safeguarded:
- Middlewich Eastern Bypass;
- A500 Barthomley Link Road;
- North West Crewe Package; and
- Middlewich Railway Station.
- Development proposals that would prejudice or undermine the delivery of these schemes will not be permitted.
10.15 This policy complements LPS Policy IN 1 'Infrastructure', which sets out the integrated approach that will be taken towards land use and infrastructure planning and delivery. Policy INF 6 adds further detail to ensure that existing, important infrastructure is suitably protected and that the opportunity to either improve existing or provide new infrastructure that will support sustainable development in the borough is safeguarded.
10.16 Examples of the strategies and plans where infrastructure is identified include:
- the South East Manchester Multi Modal Study (SEMMMS);
- the council’s infrastructure delivery plan;
- the council’s local transport plan;
- the council’s green infrastructure plan; and
- the investment plans of the council, utility and other infrastructure providers
10.17 The policy lists a number of important highways and transportation infrastructure schemes that are integral to the successful achievement of planned growth set out in the LPS and seeks to safeguard the land required for their delivery. Each of them features in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan Update (2016) that accompanied the LPS.
- Middlewich Eastern Bypass: A priority scheme in the Cheshire East Infrastructure Delivery Plan Update and proposed to unlock the planned growth at Middlewich in the LPS including the Midpoint 18 (Ma6nitude) strategic employment site as well as addressing traffic congestion and removing heavy through-traffic from the narrow streets of Middlewich town centre. The anticipated scheme cost is £74 million of which £48.2 million will be funded through the Department for Transport’s Large Local Scheme programme. The balance is to be met from the council’s capital budget and developer contributions. Planning permission was granted for the scheme by Cheshire East Council in July 2019 and by Cheshire West and Chester Council in September 2019. Main works are expected to start in late 2022 with an estimated 22 month construction period.
- A500 Barthomley Link Road: A priority scheme in the Cheshire East Infrastructure Delivery Plan Update, comprising an upgrade of the section of the A500 between Meremoor Moss roundabout and M6 junction 16 to dual carriageway standard. The scheme is aimed at addressing existing congestion issues at peak times, increasing resilience and improving safety, as well as supporting economic growth in and around Crewe. It will also assist the construction and operation of HS2. The estimated cost of the scheme is £68.7m which is anticipated to be met through a requested £55.1m grant from the Department for Transport and a local contribution (developer contributions and from the council’s capital budget) of £13.6m. Planning permission was originally granted for the scheme in April 2019 and granted for a revised scheme in August 2020. In May 2020 the council’s Cabinet resolved to take further steps to acquire the land necessary for the scheme including through the making of a compulsory purchase order. Subject to DfT final funding approval, the main works are expected start in 2022, with an estimated construction period of 27 months.
- North West Crewe Package: A priority scheme in the Cheshire East Infrastructure Delivery Plan Update, which includes a new spine road and junction improvements to unlock key sites for business, jobs and housing in north-west Crewe; particularly the strategic sites LPS 4 'Leighton West' and LPS 5 'Leighton'. A further key feature of the scheme is the delivery of improved access to Leighton Hospital for emergency vehicles, staff and visitors. The council has been awarded £5m of the National Productivity Fund (Local Roads element) and secured a £10m Housing Infrastructure Fund grant towards the estimated scheme cost of £36.5m. The remainder of the cost (£21.5m) will be met through developer contributions and the council’s capital budget. Planning permission was granted for the scheme in July 2019. In May 2020 the council’s Cabinet resolved to take further steps to acquire the land necessary for the scheme including through the making of a compulsory purchase order. Main works are expected to start during 2021, with an estimated 24-month construction period.
- Middlewich railway station: A priority scheme in the Cheshire East Infrastructure Delivery Plan Update. The safeguarding of land for the provision of a new railway station at Middlewich builds upon and adds detail to the LPS promotion of this scheme. LPS Figure 15.49 identifies a broad area in which a future railway station will be sited. Policies for the strategic allocations to either side of the rail line in this area, LPS 43 'Brooks Lane' and LPS 44 'Midpoint 18', seek the provision of land for a new station. There is strong support locally to re-open the Sandbach-Middlewich- Northwich rail line for passenger services, which would also involve the construction of new rail stations in Middlewich and Gadbrook Park in Northwich. A Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) has been requested by the Department for Transport with a view to identifying government funding to progress the project. As a precursor to the SOBC, the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership commissioned consultants WSP to carry out a feasibility study into the re-opening of the line for passenger services and the provision of the two new stations. The report was published in 2019 and the more detailed area now safeguarded on the adopted policies map linked with this policy is drawn from that work.
10.18 The Authority Monitoring Report summarises progress made on the priority infrastructure needed to deliver the policies and proposals of the LPS. The council is also preparing an Infrastructure Funding Statement, which will identify infrastructure needs, the total cost of this infrastructure, anticipated funding from developer contributions, and the choices the council has made about how these contributions will be used.
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