link road - Taylor Drive-Edmund Wright Way - West Nantwich road network

Angry residents in Nantwich have demanded an application for a link road on their estate to be stopped because of what they believe was an inadequate “engagement exercise” by council chiefs.

Members of the Edmund Wright Way Taylor Drive Action Group (EWWTD) have called on Nantwich Town councillors to support their calls for plans to link the two roads to be stopped.

They fear hundreds of vehicles will use their narrow residential street as a cut through from Waterlode to access Malbank Waters, Queens Drive and Marsh Lane.

In a statement delivered to Nantwich Town Council last night (March 8), they list a series of complaints about the planning and consultation process.

They believe linking the road would cause many problems for residents living on those streets and nearby cul-de-sacs.

And in their statement, they criticised Cheshire East Council over a number of issues, including:

– Lack of access to Nantwich West Traffic Study
– No confirmation on Traffic Regulation changes proposed to Marsh Lane and Welsh Row
– Wildlife and habitat survey conducted after the area had been disturbed and trees cut down
– Concerns raised by Canal and River Trust over impact of construction work to the canal embankment and culvert
– Elevation plans only submitted on the deadline day for public responses
– No noise and pollution studies provided
– 2014 report stating the link would “create most significant level” of noise and pollution on a number of streets and junctions

The EWWTD statement added: “We request Nantwich Town Council to write to Cheshire East Council and request that the application be withdrawn or at least put on hold.

“Once all the information is available, it should be presented in a format which the general public can understand the implications, and therefore we recommend that an engagement exercise be conducted and if necessary a new application be submitted to enable it to be reviewed coherently.”

But their ward councillor Arthur Moran hit back at criticism from the action group amid heated exchanges at the town council meeting.

EWWTD members had asked a councillor in Sandbach to “call in” the application because of their objections.

Arthur Moran - play area

Cllr Arthur Moran

But Cllr Moran said at the meeting: “Asking a councillor in Sandbach to call in an application that is in my ward, that was totally out of order.”

Cllr David Marren told the action group: “Councillors around this table have been talking to Cheshire East officers, concerned that there is a fair process in place.”

The link road was first planned for when the Taylor Drive/Edmund Wright Way development was built, but it was never completed.

In 2015, Cheshire East strategic planning board passed Gladman Development’s application to build a further 118 homes on the current development off Queen’s Drive.

One condition imposed by councillors at the time included making Welsh Row one-way eastbound, and to link Taylor Drive through to Edmund Wright Way and Marsh Lane.

Cllr Marren said the request presented by EWWTD would now go forward to the town council’s Policy Committee on March 22.

The current link road plan is due to go before the Cheshire East Council Southern Planning Committee on April 4.


  1. Your comments seem generally flawed, but I agree on not making Welsh Row one way.
    Arthur does not live close to Queens Drive, if you doing mud you should get your facts right.
    I paced out the width of Queens drive and it is the same as Taylor Drive about 5.5m. It does have houses on both sides and a lot of properties without the off street parking if TD.

  2. Trainee Dabber says:

    The residents of EWW and TD are concerned that Cheshire East did not consult properly on the current proposal for the road link. I went to a consultation exercise held in Malbank School last Autumn where Council officers attended together with maps of the proposals. The results of that exercise showed a clear majority of residents who attended to be broadly in favour of the new road link.
    Long term residents of Nantwich know that it was always the intention of the Council to link the two parts of this housing development and the local searches that the solicitors will have carried out for potential house buyers will have made this clear.
    The rapid expansion of housing development in Nantwich, particularly on Malbank Waters was not supported by the Council but they now have to deal with the traffic consequences and the new link will go some way, but not I fear far enough, to address these problems.
    As a resident in the neighbourhood, I have some sympathy for people who mistakenly bought a property in what they thought was a cul de sac and I hope that they will be able to claim some form of compensation if the proposals are approved. There are costs for some local residents but the Council should be looking at the bigger picture of what is best for the whole town

  3. What a load of rubbish!

  4. The main issue for me is the aim to divert traffic away from Welsh Row onto a narrow residential lane. This is stupid and extremely dangerous. The road is far, far too narrow. Anyone with common sense can see that.

    Malbank Waters estate is poorly situated crammed between a canal and railway line with no new infrastructure whatsoever. A dangerous on the cheap rat run is not the way to solve its issues.

    The council have acted shamefully. They started work and ignored letters from residents wanting to know what the heck is going on, including one from our local mp.

    Buyers did NOT know about this! It would NOT have come up in their local searches during conveyancing. We aren’t all little dabbers you know.

    Cllr Arthur Moran objected in the past the saltwaters estate being built on fields near his house citing canal bank instability. Now, he is happy to see this estate ruined by traffic alongside the, yep you guessed it, the canal embankement. I guess it serves us right for being on his lovely fields, eh? He has a clear conflict of interest and should step aside from this issue.

    CHE will push this through i have no doubt. Then they can pay the thousands in compensation and live with the safety consequences. Kids make dens in those trees. Dangerous fools.

    • Jon,

      You state “Cllr Arthur Moran objected in the past the saltwaters estate being built on fields near his house citing canal bank instability”
      Arthur lives no where near this, I think your implications are flawed and hopefully the implication is just a poor use of words.

      This link road has always been in the plans. How do you propose the traffic situation is handled, if the final part of this link road is not completed ? Do the kids on Queens drive not matter when they try to cross that road ? Sharing the traffic load seems the sensible approach. I would wager your “narrow residential lane” is the same width as Queens Drive it certainly has a lot less parked cars?

      Saltwaters you mention must be Saltmeadows/Linden Grange development that was done about 17 years ago and a lovely set of fields and allotments were lost to houses.
      Arthur has suffered housing developments and has a huge detached house plonked/built at the end of his back garden due to the current planning laws and the continued increased development in the area due to National Government policy not local councils. This is why Malbanks Waters has happened and other developments have happened. Making the best of necessary development has been the strong track record of the Town Council in my opinion – eg Welshmans Lane Allotments

  5. Arthur Morran has been impeccable in my 20 odd years in this area and a credit to the community. I would like to thank him for all the new building development objections and campaigns he has tireless supported on over the years. Fighting for sensible conditions like this one that help to make things work.
    I have no connection with the council but I have followed this issue over the years. I live on “Spar” Estate. I will not be affected by traffic past my house in anyway. I do feel for the residents of Queens Drive who are seeing all this extra traffic as the link that was a condition of the new developments and has yet to happen after all these years.
    • Is doing nothing an option? I think not, Marsh Lane and Queens Drive are a significant problem that is getting worse. The traffic load needs spreading as per the original plans with this new access to Welsh Row via Taylor Drive.
    • This link road was in the plans when Edmund Wright Way was built all those years ago and the Linden Grange Estate was given permission. The decision for the link was made then by the town. I do not know why the bridge was never built by Linden back then; it was in the developer’s conditions. Malbank Waters is now funding this.
    • I would welcome the whole residential area should be made 20 mph from Wrenbury Canal bridge to Welsh Row connections. No speed bumps just the threat of more points for the idiots going too fast. Should Welsh Row not be 20 mph too ?
    • Marsh Lane was to be closed off as I remember it. I struggled to understand this for a long time but with the new link, this can then be a “rat run” It passes the school entrance, which still sees significant traffic at times in out of hours community activities. On balance, I think it should remain as is open both ways.
    • I do not understand any logic in making Welsh Row one way and would tend to agree with that this would potentially unfairly divert more traffic on EWW and Taylor Drive residents.
    A mini roundabout on Welsh Row for Queens drive, would maybe improve safety on this junction, giving right turns from Queens drive a priority. I am surprised there are not even more accidents on this poor junction.
    • Millfields, EWW, Marsh Lane cross roads, will become even more of a difficult junction ? How will this be addressed, mini round about. Traffic seems to hurtle from EWW onto Millfields and walking, cycling or driving “feels” hazardous.

  6. An outdated, twenty five year old plan may well have had in it linking up Edmund Wright Way with Taylor Drive, but this also involved closure of Edmund Wright Way at Marsh Lane. It’s difficult for some people to imagine but we weren’t all born in Leighton Hospital (yes, really). Many new people have recently moved here from far and wide and buyers who purchased properties were NOT, repeat NOT informed via their local searches as part of conveyancing that such a link would go through as it was not a committed scheme.
    With a width of 5.5 metres with housing frontage and a single footpath, this road is far too narrow to take any substantial volume of traffic. If it was merely extra traffic from Malbank Waters Estate then I could ( I admit reluctantly) accept that, but the issue is the plan to make Welsh Row one way thereby channelling a large volume of traffic down a 5.5 metre width road. This is stupid, dangerous and must not happen. People park on the road, children play on the canal embankment running alongside ( in summer, children make dens there and run in and out of the trees – children being children!).
    It has been really very disturbing to witness the insidious, arrogant way the council has gone about trying to force this link through. First they commence work without any communication whatsoever with residents, then after a backlash abandon their works leaving an unsightly mess, now left since June 2017. Letters from concerned residents seeking information were binned. A letter from our local MP, Laura Smith, compiling local residents concerns, has not been responded to and I can only assume has been binned. Now they have tried to stop groups such as the Edmund Wright Way Taylor Drive Action Group from being heard and represented at relevant meetings. Thank goodness for the Sandbach Councillor who called this in.
    I am not impressed with Councillor Arthur Moran. He objected to the Saltwaters Estate being built on fields near his house, citing instability to the canal embankment, but is now laughably more than happy to see traffic being funnelled through it and alongside the embankment. Serves us right for being here, eh? I hope he has clearly declared any potential conflict of interest. Councillor Moran lives very close to Queens Drive and in my opinion should not be part of this debate.
    Lastly, if the link does indeed go ahead, and Welsh Row traffic is diverted down it, we are then in the next phase and that is compensation to local residents, which will be very significant indeed. Surely the council should see sense, pause and work on a new improved plan to help ALL residents. An on the cheap rat run is not going to solve this.

  7. Mr Telford says:

    A limited number of Residents from Saltmeadows, Taylor Drive and Williamson Drive proximity received letters from Cheshire East Highways on Tuesday the 20th July stating that a Taylor Drive – Edmund Wright Way link Road would be commencing on Monday the 26th June 2017 Letter ref C1721S106-013. The work commenced and Cheshire East Highways (CEH) demolished the pedestrian link, without adhering to official planning processes,
    When CEH were challenged by numerous residents to present a robust traffic study including planning permission for the work we were told all were in place, as we persisted with our request for visibility of such documents it became apparent to us that CEH were being economical with the truth to put it mildly.
    At this point CEH realised they had operated outside of due process, the work stopped the bulldozers were removed and we have been left with an eyesore ever since, this negligent approach and contemptable disregard for the official planning process by CEH is to say the least concerning, and such behaviour should come under scrutiny from Nantwich Town Council.
    A Home owner would not expect to commence with a building extension or a major structural change by merely giving Cheshire East less than 1 weeks’ notice and then retrospectively seek planning approval, only if challenged, so why do our local CEH and Nantwich Town Council believe this to be acceptable.
    I also believe the residents of Queens Drive just like the residents from Saltmeadows, Taylor Drive and Williamson have not received the correct level of engagement with up to date information based on facts and in truth may well have been misled by CEH and Councillor Moran into thinking that that this link road would be their saviour, when in fact without a robust and up to date traffic study how do we all know? It may well increase traffic flow into Millfields and Queens Drive.
    As the Kingsbourne development is populated, residents heading towards Whitchurch with their Sat Nav in shortest route mode would find themselves directed through Millfields or the top end of Marsh Lane and out onto the Ravensmoor Road. This cut through would soon become known to couriers and HGV companies as a cut through from the main A51 Chester road via the kings Bourne spine road to such areas.
    This could potentially be a greater problem that the present one, but we don’t know due to the lack of a robust traffic study which would provide evidence either way.
    The outdated 2014 Curtin’s report predicted that the volume of traffic would be approximately 593 vehicles per hour during rush hour, through our estates, no current traffic surveys of sufficient robustness have ever been conducted or presented, despite numerous requests to Cheshire East took none of this into consideration.
    It is interesting to note that back in the mid 1990’s Town Councillors which included Arthur Moran and Bill McGuiness strongly opposed both the developments of Saltmeadows and Taylor / Williamson Drive, their main objection was that the vibrational impact of vehicles entering and exiting the Taylor Drive and Edmund Wright Way residential roads would cause significant ground work damage to the Slip Circle part of the embankment leading to its collapse and the almost certain flooding of Nantwich Town.
    So much was there concern that a full page spread in the Nantwich Chronicle was dedicated to their fight, alerting the public of Nantwich to the flooding dangers if the estates were allowed to be built.
    Nearly twenty years on it would appear that the flooding of Nantwich no longer concerns Councillor Moran, who has been active in gaining support for the link road on which an out dated road traffic report claims nearly 600 vehicles including Heavy Goods Vehicle would travel along at peak times.
    This amount of traffic is clearly is in excess of that for which the roads were designed and most definitely beyond the scope ever imagined by those who designed and constructed the canal embankment.
    A decision on the planning proposal was initially intended to have been conducted behind closed doors, without the obligatory 3 minute allotted time slot for residents to have a say. To enable the meeting to be “called out” which would then allow for this 3 minute slot it relies upon the request of a councillor to make it so.
    At the recent Nantwich Town Council Mr Moran appeared to have been put out, by the fact that the residents of Saltmeadows, Taylor Drive and Williamson had been successful in so much as that a Councillor from Sandbach had seen it fair and just that such an important decision could be viewed with transparency by the general public and not held behind closed doors and therefore “called it out”.
    The only reason that the Sandbach Councillor was approached was the fact that Councillor Moran declined to call the meeting out which could be interpreted as an obstructive decision. Councillors are elected by the people of Nantwich to represent all sides and parties, for and against this or any other proposal and are not expected to use their influence or position to orchestrate an outcome which is anything less than fair and impartial.

  8. Cllr Moran is the Mayor of Cheshire East and the convention is that the Mayor does not call in planning applications. However Mr Moran is supporting the interests of the majority of people in his ward who just want the link completed, rather than the selfish minority around Taylor Drive who don’t want to see any extra traffic going past their homes and want, instead, to see it blight the lives of others in Queens Drive and Welsh Row who, if this link is not completed, will suffer still worse traffic congestion.

    I live on that part of Marsh Lane which will see extra traffic traffic once the link is completed, and I am totally in favour of it. Surely it’s better to share the extra traffic between the two roads routes than make it all go along Queens Drive and Welsh Row.

  9. As anyone who has lived in Nantwich for more than 5 minutes should know, a link road between EWW and TD has for at least 20 years been part of planned local road infrastructure – the point being that giving drivers a wider choice of routes would relieve pressure on the existing network. The use of the link road as a ‘cut from Waterlode to access … Queen’s Drive and Marsh Lane’ was precisely the point. To which, now add ‘Malbank Waters’.
    For people who bought a house on EWW or TD the lesson is clear: ‘caveat emptor’.

    • Let’s educate the ignorant.

      Local searches as part of conveyancing did not reveal the plan create this link road, so why would people know?
      Many new people have arrived in Nantwich. Hard to grasp i know but we weren’t all born in leighton hospital and lived the parochial life of a “dabber”

  10. Frustrated says:

    It just seems to me that the people objecting to the link being completed are Nimbys of the highest order. They don’t want more traffic driving along what they regard as “their” road, having paid a lot of money for their expensive houses. Instead they want the extra traffic to go past the ex-council houses on Queens Drive and add the the existing congestion there, while they continue to live in their upmarket cul-de-sac estate.

    They claim that there will be hundreds of cars a day using Taylor Drive if the link is completed. OK, so assume 700 cars a day over a 14 hour period. That is an average of 50 cars an hour, less than than one car every two minutes in each direction – hardly a great problem! I live on that part of Marsh Lane between Edmund Wright Way and the Malbank Waters development, so most of the traffic using the new link will also go past my house. But I don’t object to it, in fact I welcome it, as it will allow more flexibility in choice of routes and help to reduce the worsening congestion in Queens Drive and the narrow sections of Welsh Row between Queens Drive and Malbank School.

    They also complain about this extra traffic being a danger to children arriving at and leaving Millfields School. Yet this traffic currently passes the school at the much narrower and congested entrance on Marsh Lane, so it will actually be safer when the link is opened.

    These people should stop complaining and let the Council get on with its work to improve things for the benefit of the majority, not just a bigoted minority.

  11. Cllr Arthur Moran may be aggrieved that the application has been called in by a councillor in Sandbach. However, he fails to mention that he was petitioned to do so by local residents and refused to do so. Cllr Moran has given a tremendous amount to the town over the years but has made the wrong decision on this one. The strength of feeling in the area (on both sides of the debate) are such that is right that the decision is subject to further scrutiny, and it is disappointing that Cllr Moran failed to support residents in his own ward and they were then compelled to go elsewhere for support.

  12. Jay Little says:

    Unfortunately with councillor Arthur Moran, and seemingly many other councillors, in favour of the link residents had little choice but to seek help to call it in. Residents are mostly concerned at the lack of engagement and consultation to help understand the rationale for the link and what alternatives (if any) have been considered rather than just continuing to move the problem – there needs to be a sustainable plan for Nantwich to support the growing demand for housing. With the lack of response on Malbank Waters this decision as part of the appeal was the easy option to try and fend off local residents anger. However no enough information has been provided – no work has been done to understand whether malbank traffic would use the new link. Undoubtedly it would be the long way round compared with using queens drive / welsh row with 2 extra sets of lights to navigate plus traffic joining for the new 1000+ estate behind Nantwich Town Football football once this has been constructed. Malbank water residents will still use queens drive and welsh town in my opinion and in fact more vehicles from Taylor Drive and surrounding streets may choose to use queens drive and welsh row worsening the traffic for local residents residents there too. Whilst the intention 25 years ago was for the link to be built the specification of the road was reduced to allow it to cope with the traffic of residential roads the Linden estate that was built plus traffic from Millfields, Marsh lane and queens drive. As a result the number of new houses from the original plans was reduced from 123 + 4 flats to circa 80 which also helped to reduce fears over the canal bank stability should large volumes of traffic use the road. Now apparently those fears have disappeared and the road (now narrowed from its original 7.3m specification to 5.5m) will be asked to support traffic from a further 270 houses, plus additional traffic potentially. The traffic problem would be exacerbated if restrictions were placed at welsh row/waterlode which would force traffic up and round and across Taylor’s drive / Edmund Wright way. The road was never designed for thay volume of traffic and with 2 schools raises huge concerns over safety. All of this and we don’t understand the rationale, the alternatives and how this fits with the wide infrastructure delivery plan?

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