Cheshire East Council is proposing to build a multi-purpose depot on the site of the disused Ideal Standard factory in Middlewich.
The derelict plot has been earmarked to become the Borough’s main recycling centre and a new headquarters for Ansa Environmental Services, the Council’s operating company for recycling and streetscape services.
It will become Cheshire East’s nerve centre for street cleaning, grounds and parks maintenance, transport and fleet maintenance.
The site, on Cledford Road, was identified as the best location after an extensive search throughout the Borough.
The Council has purchased it for a reduced price of £2.41m and it is estimated that the redevelopment plans would involve the transfer of up to 400 jobs to Middlewich, further boosting the local economy.
The move to a single recycling centre allows the Council to speed up implementation of its strategy to cut landfill to a minimum and increase recycling, which will bring multiple environmental and economic benefits for everyone in Cheshire East.
It also enables the Council to sell the Pyms Lane site to Bentley Motors, securing a further £40m of investment that will create 300 new jobs.
Economically, the strategy will preserve existing jobs, create new jobs, deliver economies of scale, reduce long-term costs and may, in the future, help the Council achieve its aim of eliminating fuel poverty throughout the Borough.
It will also improve services for residents by ensuring more efficient and cost-effective operations.
A consultation exercise with the public and key interest groups received nearly 800 responses, with the majority strongly supporting the strategy.
A date for the move is still to be decided as there are a number of factors to consider, including obtaining the relevant planning permission and carrying out environmental assessments.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said:
The plans demonstrated the Council’s agility and determination to make the most of opportunities that arise for the benefit of residents.
This is the second piece of the jigsaw that will enable Bentley to make their ambitious expansion plans happen – but it’s also vitally important for the Council in its own right.
The current depot sites will not be suitable for the next 20 years and because of their size and location are not viable for redevelopment.
A single, larger and more central depot that can be equipped to deliver the Council’s ambitious strategy is the only viable solution.
There will be no energy from waste at the new site in Middlewich.”
Councillor David Topping, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member in charge of service commissioning, said:
“This is an ideal opportunity to begin to realise the Council’s strategy with a new, purpose-built facility.
There are numerous benefits to having one location, such as removing duplication of weigh-bridges, transfer sheds and vehicle maintenance.
Not only will there be no cuts but the development of the new depot will actually create jobs in rural communities.”
Kevin Melling, Managing Director of Ansa, said:
“We want to create a new, modern multi-purpose depot that will cater for a wide range of vital services.”
Source: Cheshire East Council