Croghan Peat clear the path for the restoration of Lindow Moss

Lindon Moss Homes - concepts

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."

Tags:
Lindow Moss, Transition Wilmslow
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Comments

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

Rick Andrews
Friday 24th July 2020 at 5:14 pm
Great news at last.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 28th July 2020 at 9:23 am
Is there a date for when the sluice gates will be put in place? I seem to have been hearing about them for thirty-odd years.
Anthony Evans
Tuesday 28th July 2020 at 5:56 pm
Slight exaggeration Peter, only 17 years. Just like the Water Vole Protection Scheme and the settling pond. But it's OK, Cheshire East say Croghan Peat are operating within their rights. Plus did you know, Cheshire East Planning say there is barely any subsidence. Somebody should check the UK deformation figures as they show subsidence worse than elsewhere in the Cheshire brine compensation area.
Plus I have it in writing that Cheshire East cannot stop illegal tipping in case they get sued. What a strange Council we have.
Anthony Evans
Tuesday 28th July 2020 at 6:13 pm
Slight exaggeration Peter, only 17 years. Just like the Water Vole Protection Scheme and the settling pond. But it's OK, Cheshire East say Croghan Peat are operating within their rights. Plus did you know, Cheshire East Planning say there is barely any subsidence. Somebody should check the UK deformation figures as they show subsidence worse than elsewhere in the Cheshire brine compensation area.
Plus I have it in writing that Cheshire East cannot stop illegal tipping in case they get sued. What a strange Council we have.
Richard Stain
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 11:02 am
I was under the impression that restoration had to start BEFORE any building could start. Now it seems that restoration and building works will "move forward together"

Who now owns the Moss? Crogham Peat I suppose. And once the cash from the sale to a developer is realised, exactly what will hold Crogham Peat to their obligations?

Call me a cynic

Richard Stain
John Harries
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 12:00 pm
Well CEC had swallowed the Croghan Peat worm long ago, it's the easy way out and hey, another 'illegal' property development that will yield even more rates to fund the fairy tale way CEC run their mismanaged 'business' (there are other contributors on here who can reiterate the historical list of wasted funds gone on foundered schemes and golden handshakes for useless Officers - just a license to print/spend citizens dosh on anything but good services or better value for money.
I'll suppose Bowdon Homes are a bone fide independant third party but feel free to do your own searches - please, someone take up the challenge if only to eliminate doubt.
It's an absolute scandal that Croghan, having made years of profit (and local misery for others) from vandalised use of a site of internationally and nationally recognised environmental, historic and scientific value that they then manage to make even more profit out of an overt threat to simply suspend (for a further 24 years...?) the restitution work they undertook to make way back (with I think CCC) when they obtained the site/extraction licence; worse, that instead of setting aside funds for that legally recognised work they somehow convince (black/white/colour mail) CEC to allow them to raise those funds (and no doubt skim more off-the-top profit) by turning part of their previous devastation into - hey presto, another money spinner!!
Meanwhile our gallant (and so we are often told) hard working CEC abrogate responsibility nor show any backbone (£ wonder why that is...) to recognise the damaged caused nor to set/approve the standards being used to 'recover' the site.
If it was still possible I would support a retrospective high level review of all dealings over this vexed issue with a view to preventing any commercial building at all (there are good grounds for this especially if findings recognise serious irregularities)
Meantime it would be money (relatively small beer for CEC's legal overheads) well spent to now, immediately
a) fix a respectable timescale for the restitution (and dare I suggest compensation) work to be substantially completed FIRST - as a priority and prerequisit to housing planning
b) slap a lien and moratorium on the present business owners to ensure they meantime cannot create a shell operation
c) obtain a sequetstration order to underpin future financial/legal punative action against the present owners should they default IN ANY WAY
One wonders if CEC planning do not recognise the obvious subsidence and environmental damage so that the proposed housing development cannot be blighted......ho hum
Ray Byrne
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 6:09 pm
"Restoration and building works will move forward together". Of course they will! But in no time at all the housing will be completed whilst the restoration work will have come to a halt and Cheshire East Council will carry on allowing various Companies to ignore Planning Conditions which they should be enforcing. Why? ££££££££!?
Marcia McGrail
Thursday 30th July 2020 at 8:22 pm
Well, gentlemen, a succinct rendition of the obcene way certain organisations are set up to wring years of mental, physical and emotional turmoil from better folk than them.
I don't think cec will know what to do with John's a), b), c).
David Smith
Monday 3rd August 2020 at 8:56 am
Firstly, thanks to eminent, bog authority Professor Handley of Manchester University and his group who arranged the Peat Bog Day on the Sunday. I had an enjoyable walk with a purpose and trust that all the promises will proceed as expected.
Secondly, thanks to the few contributors above who I hope represent the views of many residents IN [and not 'of'] Wilmslow for the future of this valued, open air wild space.
We should not be airing our views on such a catalogue of events - they should never have been allowed to happen and from what I can see from those who understand more than I, the persons who earn a living out of the council tax paid by locals don't seem to be managing the situation in the expected manner. If CEC has a case for the status quo and how we have arrived at the present situation will the head of CEC at least state the case 'for' in the public domain by giving a full explanation on the CEC website so we can all have a look. I say the CEC WEBSITE and not the likes of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter [I mean who would want to communicate with the rest of the world in the same manner as Mr D Trump?].
John Harries
Monday 3rd August 2020 at 10:23 am
David Smith,
As a concerned, responsible resident of 65 years I think I qualify for one of your conditions and I fully agree with your sentiment regarding more formal avenues of communication but I'm afraid the CEC website is NOT the place to expect to find the sort of explanations to which you allude.
The website is a formal noticeboard of information mainly about the wide array of CEC 'services', it takes quite a bit of sorting through to find what you are looking for but from what I have found is otherwise as good as most similar formats BUT
...if you are seeking truth, 'facts' and honesty concerned with controversial council activity it's the last place to look!
Even their Citizen Complaints section is bent; you can state your case (in my case the Highways Department), it's given a reference THEN you have to give them 20 ('working') days before you are permitted to even chase up a response let alone receive a reply of any merit. You can then wait...and wait...and wait, often nothing unless on allowing a resonable time for action (does 4-5 weeks seem reasonable) one makes a further call (or 5..) and you're on a merri-go-round at your own expense - but no there's no action/progress with one's original complaint.
Any follow-up is effectively blocked, handled by CEC Call Centre where the conversation, although polite and and considerate, usually ends with "we'll pass this on to the Department/person responsible" and/or an apologetic "we are just a Call Centre" (who by the way are actually CEC employees) when one mentions it's the 6th time you've called about the issue.
It took over 18 months for any action to be taken on my specific issue during which time my Complaint Number was twice closed as having been 'resolved'; throughout not one direct reply or apology/explanation from the Highways Department. The reason I relate this sorry tale is to illustrate that your course of action via the CEC website is the one sure way to suppress and subdue awkward questions being answered.

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