COUNCILLORS have taken another step towards making sure the Middlewich eastern bypass comes to fruition.

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of Cheshire East Council’s cabinet agreed to give Frank Jordan, executive director of place, the authority to begin working with Balfour Beatty on the project.

And the cabinet reaffirmed the council’s commitment to meeting the remaining £11.7 million cost of the project – on top of the £46.8 million proposed by the Government – through a combination of developer contributions and the council’s coffers.

Cllr Rachel Bailey, CEC leader, told the cabinet she was only too happy to support a project that will help secure 6,500 new jobs, 1,950 new homes and environmental benefits for the town.

“It is no secret that it has been a long-held ambition of the council and Middlewich residents to secure the delivery of the bypass to ease congestion in the town centre,” she said.

“The council has responded to the concerns of residents and businesses by seeking means to secure the delivery of the Middlewich eastern bypass by taking control of delivery of the bypass from the private sector in 2015, and commencing an intense programme of work since then to achieve that objective.”

CEC is currently waiting for a planning decision on the bypass from both its own planning chiefs and Cheshire West and Chester Council – with the planned road sitting in both boroughs.

Cllr Bernice Walmsley, Middlewich First, told the cabinet: “We are all pleased to see this item on the agenda, bringing the Middlewich eastern bypass ever closer to becoming a reality, moving into the pre-construction phase and early contractor engagement.”


The progress was also welcomed by Cllr Sam Corcoran, CEC’s Labour opposition leader, although he does have concerns about the road’s impact on his own ward.

He said: “While the Middlewich bypass is undoubtedly a good thing and will benefit Middlewich a lot, speaking for Sandbach, there will be problems caused.

“The new road will generate extra traffic down Middlewich Road – where there is already an air quality management area.”

Cllr Bailey suggested this should be addressed after planning decisions have been made.

The council hopes the £58 million road will be ready for traffic by winter 2021, with construction beginning next summer.