A preservation society has objected to plans for the continued use of the peat processing and bagging plant and related buildings off Moor Lane.
Croghan Peat Industries, of Meare Somerset, own Wilmslow Peat Farm and have applied for an extension to the permission that allows them to process and store peat, which has been extracted on Lindow Moss.
Storage and maintenance of extraction, haulage and processing machinery is also carried out at the 1.685 hectares site, known as the 'peat processing area', which is located north of Moor Lane.
This application is for the renewal of planning permission 61345P, dated 17th April 2003, which expires on 17th April 2013, but the peat extraction planning permission does not require work to cease until 2042.
Croghan Peat Industries are applying for permission to continue the existing use for a further 10 years, followed by a restoration and aftercare scheme which must be submitted within 9 years of the date of the permission or 9 months prior to the cessation of operations on this site, whichever is the sooner.
Saltersley Common Preservation Society's have objected to this application.
Their objection states "In working this particular site the applicants have not demonstrated themselves to be fit and proper persons. They have not implemented the conditions attached to their permissions and as a direct consequence the protected habitat for water voles has been lost. More importantly, by failing to maintain water levels this has allowed the peat to dry out and the benefits of it as a carbon sink have been lost."
"As a consequence, this application should be looked at as the one to further extend the transgressions already experienced and should be strongly objected. This is reinforced by the fact that the processing and bagging plant has not been used for the last 10 years and is unlikely to be used now as the peat won from Wilmslow is extremely low grade and needs sweetening with other sources, even for basis uses. This presents two options.
"Firstly, that any peat won from the site would be exported from the site to one of better quality peat, as happens at present. More likely, permission to retain and extend the consent period for peat processing and bagging plant would involve importing peat from other sources, probably abroad. The Government has no power to stop imports from outside the UK."
Wilmslow Town Council has submitted the following comment "The Planning Committee would highlight to the Planning Officer concerns expressed by local residents that the existing conditions are not currently being complied with, and would ask that this be taken into consideration in determining this application."
The planning application 13/0842W can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 13/0842W. The deadline for comments is 4th April 2013 and a decision is expected to be made by 24th April 2013.