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Consultation to launch on new Middlewich train station and marina

Businesses can have their say on a proposed new Middlewich railway station and marina when a consultation begins next week.

The Brooks Lane development framework could also bring 200 new homes to the 23-hectare development site in Cheshire.

A six-week public consultation will launch on Monday (14 January), with drop-in events taking place at Middlewich Community Church later this month.

A new marina on the Trent and Mersey Canal (pictured), which runs through the town, is included in the proposals, and a new railway station is envisaged to enhance the whole scheme.

Under the plans the Sandbach-Middlewich-Northwich line would be re-opened for passenger services.

A plan to set Middlewich’s old Murgatroyd’s Brine Works within an accessible public space is also included in the framework.

The brine works is a scheduled ancient monument containing a late 19th Century ‘wild’ brine pumping plant with an original brine shaft, pump house, gantry, power house and other rare features.

According to Cheshire East Council, previous engagement with businesses, landowners and residents is said to have helped shape the draft development framework for the Brooks Lane site, which is allocated as a ‘strategic location’ in the area’s Local Plan and is earmarked for new homes and employment.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, says: “The Trent and Mersey Canal is an important, historic and environmental asset in the town and we would like to see it enhanced through new investment. Canals and waterways have been the catalyst for positive change in so many towns and we would like Middlewich to similarly benefit in this way.

“As part of the local enterprise partnership, Cheshire East Council is also developing an outline business case for the transport minister to bring back rail passenger service to the town. The draft development framework supports that ambition by showing how a station could potentially be provided.”

Drop-in sessions will take place from 5-8pm on 23 and 28 January as part of the consultation, which the council aims to follow with the adoption of the development framework as ‘supplementary planning guidance’ for future planning decisions affecting the site.