Minutes: Annual Parish Meeting 4th April 2019 – Draft

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Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Thursday 4th April 2019 @ 7.30 pm at ‘Westlow’ Mere Fisheries, Hulme Walfield, Congleton.

Present:   Councillor M Wakerly who chaired the meeting, Councillor G Silman, Councillor P Amies, Councillor G Booth, Councillor T Richardson, Councillor J Wray (Cheshire East) arrived 8.15pm and

Ms J Mason (Clerk).

Mr Alastair Lewis – Project Manager GRAHAM, Mr Dan Cawthra- Stake Holder and Communication Officer GRAHAM.


19 members of the public attended.

Apologies:  Nil

Minutes The draft minutes were approved from 5th April 2018

Chairman’s Introduction: The Chairman opened the meeting, welcomed the public to the Annual Parish meeting and introduced the Parish Councillors.  He summarised the last twelve months and reminded everybody of the amazing ‘turn out’ to vote for the Neighbourhood Plan referndum last year at over 50%.  The Congleton Link Road was now in progress and was lots of evidence throughout the Parish due to the removal of hedgerows and the new bypass track on Giantswood Lane. The Parish Council were still trying to progress improvements along the rural lanes, but the cost involved from Cheshire East had been more than anticipated.  They were involved in the process now though. He went on to thank the two residents from Giantswood Lane who had supported the existing homes on the lane to build a relationship with the Alderley Gate, Bloor home development. The relationship and regular meetings had proved invaluable.

The communication links within the Parish had improved vastly over the past two years and he wanted to thank the website administrator as she had played a large part in this progress.


GRAHAM were the appointed contractors for the CLR, and in the process of trying to build a positive relationship within the community. DC was having monthly meetings with the Clerk to resolve any issues that were arising but if anybody had any pressing issues his details were on the website. GRAHAM employed 2,200 employees, their turnover was in excess of £767m a year and there was £1.1bn on their order books plus over 100 live projects. Their head office was in Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland. There were over 30 staff on this project, and they were using local contractors to assist. The scope of the work was obviously to bypass Congleton town. They explained the route and the stages there were at currently.  The residents will have noticed the ‘by pass’ track they had established on G/Wood Lane which was due to be opened later this month with traffic lights so they could commence the bridge.  It would be wider than a single carriageway to accommodate cyclists/walkers with the traffic. G/Wood Lane is currently 60 mph and was due to be reduced to 40 mph during the process. It was due to be extend form where it ended towards Manchester Road  The bridge was discussed in detail, it will be high sided and will accommodate horses (the parapet will be 1.8m deep.) The soil being removed was planned to be utilised in the embankment at Eaton and will be moved long the line not on the network. The bridge will be on a 35-degree skew and the lane will be realigned back. The drainage issues were discussed in relation to the water table. The water table was very high on Chelford Road and this bridge was going to be quite complex with drainage.

The major constructional challenge was building the bridge over the River Dane.  This bridge would be 15m wide and the river was the second highest rising river in England. They have made some amendments to the original plans and it was now bigger and heavier. The bridge would most likely arrive overnight with traffic management and constructed on the ground. There was a large difference in height from the east side of the river to the west, it needs to be 25m high on the west and 4m high on the east side. The total length was 87m. The road surface was tarmac but it wold be noise resistant.

There was a land scaping management plan which involved protecting all the wildlife especially the native newts. If residents saw the plastic thigh high black fencing around certain areas this was to keep the newts preserved. There was a replanting programme that was planned for 25/50 years. GRAHAM was trying to replant existing hedgerows, but this was not always successful. Wildlife surveys on bats/owls/newts/birds/kingfishers had being taking place since 2014.

The four phases of completion were explained Back Lane was a priority to get open as there were two housing developers needing access. G/Wood lane bridge would be completed in phase 2 together with the Sandbach road roundabout. Phase 3 would be the underpass on Chelford Road. The road would be opened in its entirety and not phased in March 2020 if they were on schedule as planned. There would be very little street lightening and no laybys along the road.

There were employment opportunities due to the construction of the CLR and if you contacted DC he would give you further information.

There was a question and answer session.

The Chairman thanked everybody for attending and the speakers for being so informative.

Meeting closed at 8.50 pm.

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