A CORDON and road closure have been lifted following an earlier gas leak in Middlewich.

Homes and businesses including Starbucks, Shell garage and Hero Renewables were evacuated this morning following the leak.

Cadent Gas engineers attended the scene to deal with the gas leak, caused by a third party.

The A54 was also closed, however the closure - and cordon - was lifted before 4pm today, Thursday.

Winsford Guardian:

Police and firefighters are at the scene Picture: Hero Renewables

As of 1pm today, Thursday, a small number of homes and businesses had been evacuated.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: "As a precaution, a small number of homes and businesses within 50m (the darker pink circle) of the gas leak in Middlewich have been evacuated.

Winsford Guardian:

"A cordon is in place preventing access to the wider surrounding area (the lighter pink circle), with road closures on the A54 Holmes Chapel Road from the Salt Cellar roundabout to the Town Bridge traffic lights, and also at King Street.

"We’ve been advised that the gas is not likely to adversely impact people’s health but we recommend keeping windows and doors closed as a precaution."

A spokesman for Cadent Gas said this morning: "As a safety precaution we've evacuated Starbucks, a Shell Garage and some homes on Holmes Chapel Road while we stop a leak of gas and then repair the pipe."

Winsford Guardian:

Motorists are being advised to review their journeys and look for diversions Picture: Hero Renewables

The A54 Holmes Chapel Road was closed between Kings Street and Leadsmithy Street in Middlewich.

Lewin Street and surrounding side streets were also closed, with diversions in operation.

Winsford Guardian:

Firefighters are working with the police at the scene Picture: Hero Renewables

A police spokesman said this morning: "Various agencies and the police are currently dealing with a gas leak on A54 Holmes Chapel Road, Middlewich.

"This is on-going and road closures have been placed on Lewin Street and surrounding side streets.

"Potentially this could be for a few hours whilst the leak is assessed, please do not try to travel to this area. We suggest reviewing your journey and look for diversions."

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Hero Renewables, a national renewable energy company was forced to evacuate from their head office on Holmes Chapel Road.

Managing director Jill Oldham said: “This is of course a major incident and it would be inappropriate for me to speculate on the cause, however the irony that a UK leading renewable energy company has been forced to evacuate due to a gas leak is not lost on my team and I.

Winsford Guardian:

Staff at Hero Renewables have been evacuated following a major gas leak Picture: Hero Renewables

"This is a timely reminder for all that renewable energy alternatives are a far safer option than traditional fossil fuels.”