Reader's Letter: Climate change CEC style

For those residents wondering where all the wagons are coming from in the Moor Lane area, the attached pictures may help to explain. Again, vast quantities of peat are being removed from the peat yard, each movement releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. At least unlike last year, when thousands of tonnes were trucked to Somerset where it was used commercially, this time it is being spread on land owned by Lindow Lawn Turf, still releasing CO2. It makes you wonder where the peat will come from to restore the Moss.

Requests to CEC as to what conditions are in force on the site are met with vague answers that's only serve to confuse. The new conditions for the housing can't be in force as before any restoration/building takes place there must be a water vole report but we have been assured this hasn't been done.

If the 2003 conditions are being used (though these have been ignored since day one), then condition 30 states 'unless otherwise agreed in writing by the MPA no materials shall be imported onto the site for processing, storage or treatment other than for approved restoration purposes'.

In the meantime, keep breathing in the emissions, CEC must think it's good for us. (Meanwhile Newgate Kennels and The White House continue to subside).

Tony Evans
Saltersley Common Preservation Society

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Comments

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

Keith Marsden
Monday 26th July 2021 at 9:06 pm
I was walking down there last week and wondered what was going on as I was passed by a truck containing what looked like peat. I understood that there was a block on moving peat so why is it being allowed? Does the Council not oversee activities on such a key site as Lindow Moss? There ought to be some serious comeback against what appears to be a flagrant disregard for the rules
Stuart Redgard
Monday 26th July 2021 at 10:08 pm
I saw two such wagons today at about 2:00 pm on Moor Lane heading in the direction of Chapel Lane as I pulled up by the DIY store at Stormy point. I too thought that there was a condition that they could only remove peat that had already been dug up previously and left to dry. One as a standard lorry. The other, a tractor and a large red trailer.

As I left the DIY store a tractor and trailer appeared traveling in the opposite direction and the trailer was now empty. I cannot say it was the same vehicle and trailer I saw leave but they did look identical.

I will contact CEC planners in the morning and make raise my concerns about a possible breach of planning conditions.
Gerard Lee
Tuesday 27th July 2021 at 6:45 pm
I seem to remember that Transition Wilmslow were satisfied last year that Croghan Peat were going to be true to their word and start on 'restoration' (not that it is possible in our lifetime as it took 10000yrs to form) of the peat bog as part of the deal to allow a housing development. Are they still confident given that, once again, basic terms of agreement are being ignored? No surprise that CEC are ignoring the conditions too.
Marcia McGrail
Tuesday 27th July 2021 at 9:27 pm
I am surprised you expect them to behave with anything other than a complete disregard for the rules, boundaries and laws the rest of us have to abide with.
I am just as surprised that anyone expects the council officers to do their job.
John Dwyer
Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 11:02 am
What do Transition Wilmslow RoW think of the activity on the peat yard? From what I can see this is being carried out without permission, with the council turning a blind eye. Last year we were told all about restoration, now peat is being taken away again. It doesn’t make sense.
Iain Macfarlane
Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 1:19 pm
As local Cheshire East councillor for Wilmslow West & Chorley I have been attempting to move forward progress on the restoration of Lindow Moss peat bog after a very long history of neglect & inaction as Tony Evans has mentioned.

There is an important planning application currently being discussed by Cheshire East planners to construct 14 new eco-homes at the Moor Lane end of Lindow Moss - if passed this will trigger the "signing off" of a number of planning conditions between the peat bog owners and the Council allowing the restoration of Lindow Moss to begin. This is the way forward and I do hope that the application is successful.

Bowdon Homes have started pre-construction work on the proposed building plot but I have been informed that what is being removed in lorryloads is soil, not peat. The deep levels of peat are at the northern end of this fenced-off area and are currently untouched. Cheshire East Council planners have been informed by me as to exactly what is going on.

Iain Macfarlane
Independent
Residents of Wilmslow
Anthony Evans
Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 3:44 pm
Unfortunately Councillor MacFarlane has missed the point. There is no planning permission for any works to start on the site. As the conditions of 2003 were ignored by Croghan Peat with the approval of CCC and later CEC, so the proposed conditions for the housing are being ignored again by the same culprits.
Stuart Redgard
Thursday 29th July 2021 at 6:53 am
Planning application 15/0016M (Demolition of existing buildings and construction of 14 detached family dwellings with associated hard and soft landscaping) was heard at the strategic planning board on Wednesday 19th December 2018 (item 6 on the agenda).

The board voted to approve the application by 5 votes in favour and 4 votes against. The decision notice granting planning permission was dated 27th February 2019, so there already is a legally binding decision to allow 14 dwellings to be built. The application that Councillor MacFarlane has mentioned must therefore be a completely new one.

My understanding of the S106 legal agreement entered into between CEC and the applicant is as follows.

1) The money that Croghan is legally bound to release for the restoration works to commence does not have to be released until the date of disposal of the 14th dwelling.

2) That means that 13 dwellings can be built without any money for the restoration work having to be released.

Unfortunately, I suspect that this means that only 13 of the 14 dwellings will actually be built and that the opportunity to restore the Moss will be lost forever.

I hope I am proved wrong.
Iain Macfarlane
Thursday 29th July 2021 at 10:49 am
Hi Stuart, yes this is a "variation of condition" Application, 20/5271M.

I have just been informed that Cheshire East Council's planning enforcement team will be visiting the site to investigate what is happening.
Julian Barlow
Thursday 29th July 2021 at 12:32 pm
Cheshire East's action on climate change begins and ends with a soundbite.
Anthony Evans
Thursday 29th July 2021 at 1:55 pm
Checking out the Variation of Conditions no. 20/5271 it clearly states that no decision has been made yet. It seems to me that the work is not approved under any conditions. Once again, CEC have allowed Croghan Peat to circumvent the rules and present the residents with a ‘fait accompli’. Nothing changes.
Anthony Evans
Thursday 29th July 2021 at 5:41 pm
Since our previous post we have received a notification from CEC that enforcement officers have instructed work to stop. As we maintained, the work was being carried out without planning permission (illegally). Apparently it will take until Monday to clear and straighten the site and then the application will continue.
Again, CEC have colluded with the operators to move even more peat which is lost forever.

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