Plans to import 75,000 tons of soil at Nether Alderley farm raises concerns over road safety

Neighbours are up arms about plans to import up to 75,000 of soil at a farm in Nether Alderley to improve crop yields.

Planning permission is being sought to import clean inert soil to infill several depressions within three linked fields at Yarwoods Farm to improve the agricultural land.

The soil will be imported to the Green Belt site, which is located immediately adjacent to the A34 Congleton Road, via an existing access off the A34 roundabout at the southern end of the Alderley Edge bypass, using 8-wheeler wagons.

The scheme includes constructing a new access track out of imported crushed concrete and brick with a final layer of highway planings. which will be excavated and removed off site on completion of the proposed works.

It is proposed to allow some forty wagon movements into and out of the site on a daily basis between 8m and 5pm Monday to Friday.

The Highways Officer had no objections to the proposed works stating "This site has good access to the A34 that provides a suitable route for the HGV's accessing the site. The predicted level of traffic generation can be accommodated on the road network without causing operational problems."

However, many local residents have submitted objections, largely on the grounds of road safety.

One neighbour wrote "In my view, the roundabout at Nether Alderley was very badly designed, particularly in respect of entry/exit from the Heawood Hall exit. I have personally experienced a number of near-misses on the roundabout and I am convinced that serious accidents are sadly inevitable at this junction. Cars travelling north onto the roundabout, approach at high speed as the southern entry seems designed to allow very fast access and exit onto/off the roundabout.

"Drivers unfamiliar with the roundabout don't seem to realise there is an exit to Heawood Hall and do not decelerate to allow egress of any vehicle in front of them. To exit the roundabout towards Heawood Hall requires total concentration from any driver and it is only with luck that my near misses have not resulted in collision. I have also had near misses with cyclists travelling south on the western cycle path. They have not realised that I was indicating to take the Heawood Hall exit and they have cycled straight across the exit, in front of me.

"The application to allow hundreds of heavy goods vehicle movements over a sustained period at this roundabout, particularly via the very dangerous Heawood Hall exit, will I fear, inevitably lead to very serious injury, or even fatality."

Another neighbour wrote to the Council saying "We implore you to reject this planning application outright. Failure to do so, will ensure that we will all have blood on our hands. The roundabout at the Congleton end of Melrose Way, is a death trap. There have already been too many deaths on this short stretch of road, we can ill afford any more.

"The planned project has major implications for residents of the 11 households in and around Heawood Hall. Not only does it mean an extreme inconvenience in the form of constant lorry traffic and obstruction of access to the roundabout for the residents, but it also impacts on the safety of anyone using the roundabout. The traffic situation is already very dangerous. This results from cars approaching the roundabout with too high a speed and not stopping, because drivers do not seem to expect that any other car might not use the A34 bypass but rather the old A34 or our driveway. Traffic levels have steadily increased over recent years and near road traffic accidents are happening on a daily basis."

Another wrote "My wife and I would like to emphasise that irrespective of broader concerns regarding developing that land, the most immediate and pressing issue is the safety of ourselves and our children."

He added "We have had two near misses where wagons have not slowed down to a stop when entering the roundabout from the South, almost ramming our car off the road when we were carrying on round to exit the roundabout and enter our entrance. The prospect of having more traffic entering and exiting our access road from the roundabout is concerning, and having wagons entering and exiting is a recipe for disaster."

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council planning portal by searching for planning reference 18/5047W. The deadline for submitting comments is 8th April and a decision is expected to be made at a meeting of the planning committee on April 24th.

Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Adrian Scott
Tuesday 26th March 2019 at 3:51 pm
If the Highways Officer is happy the plan should go ahead. Any farmer who wants to invest in order to increase crop output is to be commended. Alternatively, I suppose that piece of land being ajacent to the by-pass would be ideal for a sizeable housing estate ! Support your local farmer!
Terry Bowes
Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 9:48 am
Quite agree Adrian, the NIMBY lot will always find summat to whinge about. Clean inert soil, you can’t get any better. The way CEC are it could have been household waste!!
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 4:14 pm
Is this land adjacent to the proposed Dobies garden centre site which was refused planning permission and subsequently bought by Cheshire East Council, for reasons unexplained? A Michael Jones initiative, reportedly.
Kelvin Briggs
Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 4:36 pm
Fully support the local farmer and tend to think emotive NIMBYs exaggerate the road safety issue. A bit off muck for a while then business as usual.
Meanwhile the Alderley Edge village NIMBYs block new retail investment and rental flats ( places to live) at the depressing Cedrics site.
Duncan Herald
Thursday 28th March 2019 at 9:52 am
From which direction will the motorised behemoths be approaching the site? Through the village?
On the partly obscured map, I can't see any new access track marked.
Alan Brough
Thursday 28th March 2019 at 12:02 pm
To put this into perspective, an 8 wheel bulk carrier will have capacity to carry approx. 20 tons.

In order to deliver the stated 75,000 tons of soil at 40 loads per day it will take 93 working days with trucks accessing site every 15 minutes.

Given the huge cost involved in the operation it begs the question.....why? If it's to level out some undulations in the land, why not just use excavators?

Interesting project!
Yvonne Bentley
Thursday 28th March 2019 at 3:09 pm
In answer to the question “why?” I think one would have to explore the possible revenue that will be raked in by the applicant for each truck full of dirt they allow to be disposed of on their land.
Jon Williams
Friday 29th March 2019 at 10:02 am
I think you could be correct Yvonne, maybe it's from across the road !
Pete Taylor
Saturday 30th March 2019 at 10:11 pm

My local geography is rusty; is there anything in common here?
Duncan Herald
Sunday 31st March 2019 at 8:33 pm
How will the lorries get to the A34?
Via some built up area? Which one/s?
Between 8 am & 5 pm; Lord forbid they should pass near any school

Could someone at C.E. (or whoever else knows) please inform?