TOWN councillors are being reassured that any land purchases for the Middlewich eastern bypass will be done above board.

Last month, Cheshire East Council referred a matter relating to the acquisition of land in Cledford Lane for Ansa’s environmental hub to Cheshire Police.

Middlewich Town Council has since written to CEC, asking for the authority to confirm any land acquisitions will be ‘carried out above board and scrutinised from start to finish’.

The issue was raised by Cllr Jonathan Parry, Labour member of Middlewich Town Council, at a recent meeting.

He said: “I want reassurance from CEC that the land acquisitions for the bypass, when we arrive at that stage, will be fully scrutinised.

“We do not want anything to go wrong with this project, we don’t want any more police investigations – especially with our town’s name attached to it.”

Cllr Simon McGrory, CEC member for Middlewich, added: “I think any transaction that the council makes should be transparent.

“We do support a call to ensure that the council carries it out in the way that they told us they would carry it out. It’s right that any future acquisitions are properly scrutinised.”

But CEC has moved to put town councillors’ fears at ease on the matter.

“We wish to make it clear that matters referred to Cheshire Police concerning land acquisitions have not, as yet, led to any formal police investigation,” a CEC spokesman said.

“Any land acquisition relating to the proposed Middlewich eastern bypass will be undertaken in accordance with all legal and constitutional requirements and will follow robust due diligence.”

Cllr Rachel Bailey, CEC leader, said last month that the council has been ‘as open as we possibly can be’ after it referred the matter regarding Cledford Lane to police following an audit.

The council also referred concerns about other land purchases to the police last September.