MIDDLEWICH town centre could take a severe hit if revived plans for Cheshire Fresh are approved, councillors have warned.

DBS Pochin wants to build industrial units and offices alongside a vet, restaurant, farm shop, and a ‘box park’ retail hub on a 47-acre site off Holmes Chapel Road, in Sproston.

The scheme, which was first proposed in 2013 with a promise of 700 new jobs, was shelved two years ago before being revived by DBS Pochin earlier this year.

Cllr Russell Watkinson, Labour member on Middlewich Town Council, told Monday’s meeting that he feared the plans could be tweaked to become a fully-fledged retail park in future.

He said: “What I would be really concerned with is if this is approved and then we have really subtle switches of planning use, and then it becomes a retail park.

“We are really concerned about what may end up there that could damage our town centre – it is already under pressure, some shops have sadly closed.”

Cllr Jonathan Parry, Labour, added: “I am quite passionate about getting my own town centre back up and running – it has died a death over the last few years.

“If you look at Crewe town centre, how much the retail park there has affected the centre, the same would happen to Middlewich.”

Middlewich Town Council objected to the scheme, with members also raising concerns about its impact on road safety and traffic congestion.

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The planning application is being considered by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

To view and comment on the plans, search for 19/00652/REM on CWAC’s planning website.