Macclesfield residents will be 'greatly impacted' by Congleton tip closure, says councillor

  Posted: 01.03.21 at 16:25 by Tom Avery

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The mayor of Congleton has warned Macclesfield residents that their household waste and recycling centre (HWRC) will be "greatly impacted" by the closure of her town's tip.

The site located off Barn Road is due to close in September 2021, as the lease on the land is up, and planning documents show Bluemantle, the owner, has earmarked it to become a Costa coffee drive-through outlet.

Cheshire East Council does not own the lease at the existing site in Congleton, but in February 2020, the authority approved a £4million budget for a new purpose-built recycling site for Congleton.

Although the current lease expires in September 2021, there is a break clause included in the contract, which means the site owner could close the tip before then if they gave the council "sufficient notice".

This means Cheshire East would have to commission and fund creating a new facility in Congleton – a capital cost of around £4m, leading to around £250,000 per year in additional costs for the council.

Whilst the council's Medium Term Financial Strategy – their budget plans for the next four years - includes £4m for Congleton HWRC, it is within the addendum to their capital programme.

Cllr Holland saw queues at Macclesfield's tip last Sunday (21 February). 21

This means that it could only go ahead once a detailed business case has been approved to make sure the proposal is affordable.

As a result, the council proposed that they do not replace Congleton's HWRC with a new facility once the current site's lease comes to an end.

The nearest alternative sites for residents served by Congleton HWRC are Macclesfield (around six miles away) and Alsager (around eight miles away).

Congleton mayor, Cllr Sally Ann Holland (Conservative), said: "I think Macclesfield and Alsager should be very concerned because their population is going to be greatly impacted by the number of people visiting those recycling sites.

"The site in Congleton is used a great, great deal, and during COVID when it was closed, it caused a huge amount of problems."

Cllr Sally Ann Holland (Image: Cheshire East Council)

A Macclesfield South Police spokesperson said yesterday (28 February): "There are currently long delays on Congleton Road around the tip.

"It seems the sun has made a lot of people want to visit it. Please try to avoid Congleton Road to not get stuck in the queues and use a different tip located nearby if you need to get rid of some stuff."

Responding to the police's plea to avoid the Macclesfield tip, Cllr Holland said: "The return of some sunny weather at the weekend brought such long queues of traffic at the Macclesfield tip that the police had to appeal for residents to go to the tip later in the week.

"What on earth would it have been like if that tip had been dealing with Congleton residents as well."

Last Sunday, Cllr Holland travelled to Alsager, Macclesfield and Congleton's recycling centres to gauge how busy the tips were during a third national lockdown.

Cllr Holland told Nub News: "Clearly there is something adrift with decision-makers at Cheshire East, and I fear they may underestimate the intelligence of our general public; we have been informed that our treasured tip is under-utilised and in line with government guidance we can travel 20 minutes to Macclesfield or Alsager to dispose of our rubbish."

Cheshire East councillors have suggested a last-ditch bid to save Congleton's household waste recycling centre.

At last month's Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee, councillors voted 8-3 to ask the borough's officers to make one final attempt to purchase the land the tip is located on.

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