There has been much publicity recently concerning the new housing and the restoration of the peat bog. Perhaps the following will help residents to see just what is happening in their area with their Council.
First, here is a transcript of what Ms. Emma Williams, Principal Planning Officer at Cheshire East had to say at the Strategic Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, 19 December 2018. It is taken from a recording made by the BBC who were attending that day.
"With respect to the comments about the subsidence of properties, monitoring has been carried out for a number of years. The data collected and analysed by our groundwater officers shows there has been no significant lowering of the water table in the peat and the peat extraction doesn't appear to have induced any significant change in the groundwater gradient or the direction of flow at the site boundary. We are advised that the data of levels off site indicate an external influence to the north which is impacting on water levels and it is, therefore, likely that there is some other water abstraction or drainage work which is having a dominating control on water levels, not the peat extraction site.
"We have got no evidence to suggest that this proposal will cause problems of subsidence and no objections have been raised by the technical consulting teams and we consider the proposed compartment specific restoration scheme will provide the clear and effective means of controlling water levels as the work progresses."
The application was voted on with a split vote. Labour and Independents 4 Tory 4. The proposal was carried on the casting vote of the chair who had declared beforehand which way it would go.
Now, with respect to Ms. Williams and Cheshire East, here is the truth.
SCPS investigations show that the technical groundwater officers are in fact the Environment Agency. They were accepting readings from Cheshire East supplied by Croghan Peat or their agents. These readings,sent to the Environment Agency, were of little use. As pointed out to Cheshire East, there was no datum point to work from.
The leak in the North Eastern corner is where the underlying running sand has been breached. We sent evidence of this to Cheshire East, suggesting that if they looked on Google Earth they could see it from outer space. This corner is where significant subsidence has occurred at Newgate Kennels and reported to Cheshire East on numerous occasions.
In 2008. Newgate Kennels built some new blocks on piles.
Taking the base of the block nearest the bog, in 2018 a surveyor followed to the base of the nearest ditch. A drop of 12 feet was recorded.
In 2014, at the suggestion of Giles Coppock QC, SCPS commissioned a hydrogeologist to prepare a report on the bog. In 2018 that report was completed and it makes very interesting reading. Presented at the Strategic Planning Board meeting it was ignored. We have been told that deformation maps of the area show the bog has one of the highest subsidence rates in Cheshire, far greater than elsewhere in the Cheshire brine compensation area. Opposite Newgate Kennels is where Ms. Williams admitted there was a problem.
And this is where Cheshire East is allowing houses to be built!
We are quite happy to show our evidence to a qualified third party. We do not include Croghan Peat or Cheshire East in this invitation.