Many people locally have despaired for years at the devastation wrought on the peat cutting area on Lindow Moss as it dried out and cutting continued.
In 2018 Croghan Peat were given planning consent to build 14 houses on the peat processing site conditional upon them restoring the rest of the area to a raised bog habitat - as it was before peat extraction commenced.
Yesterday is ws confirmed that the owners of Croghan Peat had signed a contract for the sale of the development plot off Moor Lane with planning permission for 14 houses which ends the possibility of many more years of peat extraction.
Proceeds from the land sale will facilitate the restoration, with both projects advancing in tandem in accordance with planning.
A statement issued on behalf of the owners of Croghan peat said "The sale secures the future of Lindow Moss as a nature reserve and ends the possibility of many more years of peat extraction. Proceeds from the land sale will facilitate the restoration, with both projects advancing in tandem in accordance with planning. The owners will be working with Bowdon Homes to ensure restoration and development progress as smoothly and quickly as possible.
"The Croghan peat team is clearing previously harvested and dried peat piles, which cannot be used in the restoration, to make way for a topographical survey. The survey will provide important information on the levels of intact peat and will enable the preparation of detailed restoration schemes for each compartment for submission to the council. At the same time, Bowdon Homes will be working on discharging the pre-commencement conditions on the residential development area.
"Once the council has approved the schemes the restoration and housing development will move forward together with a target commencement date of January 2021. The restoration of Lindow Moss into a nature reserve will be undertaken in a phased programme of works over a 2-3 year period. This will be followed by a twenty year after care period."
Professor John Handley, of the Transition Wilmslow Lindow Moss Restoration Group said: "This is very good news for Lindow Moss. The Moss is our cultural heritage and we think that it is really important that it is restored for everyone. The overall restoration strategy has been published but detailed schemes will be approved by CEC on a compartment by compartment basis.
"The 2018 planning consent requires that a Community Liaison Group is set up within 3 months of starting the restoration plans. We think this is too late, and local people need to be involved from the outset. Our Lindow Moss Restoration Group has been asking people via an online survey and in person to ascertain what people feel the local priorities should be. We have already had over 250 responses and look forward to sharing the results of the survey in the near future. What is clear is that Lindow Moss means a great deal to local people."