J17 Improvements Saved
Local campaigners are breathing a sigh of relief after Cheshire East Council withdrew proposed changes to the Capricorn Business Park planning application from the agenda of a meeting on Wednesday. The proposals recommended by Cheshire East Council planning officers envisaged cancelling government funded plans to build a roundabout on the northbound slip road and instead Cheshire East Council receiving money from the Highways Agency and developers to build an enhanced roundabout in 2015/16. When the plans were examined by local councillor Sam Corcoran it became clear that that cost of the enhanced roundabout was not known, the amount to be received from the Highways Agency was not known and there were no enforceable guarantees that the whole cost of the roundabout would be covered.
The government funded ‘pinch point’ scheme involving traffic lights at the end of the southbound slip road (on the Holmes Chapel side of the motorway) and a roundabout at the end of the northbound slip road (on the Sandbach side of the motorway) should now go ahead as planned later this year.
Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “I have been working with officers of the Highways Agency and Cheshire East Council for years to get improvements to junction 17. I am greatly relieved that this last minute obstruction to the plans has been removed and I thank Cllr Michael Jones for his intervention.
“I will continue to campaign for a world class science and business park on the Capricorn site. Sadly, Cheshire East Council have already granted outline approval for housing on part of the site and were proposing dropping the condition for any business park at all on the site, but I have not given up yet.
“I am pleased that junction 17 improvements are going ahead, but after all the twists and turns of this saga I will not be celebrating until the highways works are completed.”