A MASSIVE new warehouse at MA6NITUDE that would require a brook to be rerouted could be given the green light despite flooding fears in Middlewich.

MA6NITUDE wants to expand with a 458,000sq ft unit, of which one-third would become home to Swizzels, the firm behind classic sweets like Love Hearts, Parma Violets and Drumsticks.

It also wants to build a smaller 45,000sq ft unit, which would require more detailed designs to be approved by Cheshire East Council before being built out in the expansion's second phase.

The major scheme has caused concern over plans to reroute a brook which flows into the River Croco, but CEC officers are recommending it for approval ahead of a planning meeting on Wednesday, June 24.

In an objection send to CEC, Dawn Hewitt, planning advisor for the Environment Agency, said: "The proposed scheme does not demonstrate that natural processes have been adequately considered and therefore the proposed channel alignment is likely to be inappropriately sited. 

"Land alongside watercourses are particularly valuable for wildlife and it is essential these are protected."

The issue of flood risk was also raised by a Cledford Lane resident and Middlewich Town Council, which objected to the plans.

However, in a report published ahead of Wednesday's meeting, CEC officers say that 'an agreement has been reached' between MA6NITUDE and the Environment Agency on a new design for the rerouted brook and this will be provided in an update.

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Town councillors also raised concerns about the impact of extra traffic on congestion and Middlewich's air quality, while they also suggested CEC should be 'supporting smaller storage units to allow new businesses to start up' rather than major warehouses.

But CEC officers say the plans should be approved – with a £1.4 million contribution being paid by MA6NITUDE towards the Middlewich eastern bypass.

This, officers say, will mitigate concerns around increased traffic in town from the development – which would be in line with CEC's local plan.

The new facility for Swizzels would be an expansion of the firm's current manufacturing set-up, with a new manufacturing plant and machinery.