Simon Midwood - planning approval

A Wardle company which built extensions without planning permission to house extra stock after sales plummeted during Covid, has been given approval for the new buildings.

TI Midwood applied to Cheshire East Council for permission for five extensions to existing buildings “to address urgent business protection measures brought about by Brexit and Covid”.

The company, which supplies equipment to trade professionals, had already built some of the extensions at its Wardle Camp site off Green Lane, councillors were told at Wednesday’s meeting of the strategic planning board.

Simon Midwood (pictured) told the meeting in a statement: “In regards to the retrospective application, I know everyone uses Covid as an excuse, but genuinely sales dropped by 70% and we couldn’t stop the containers so our stock doubled.

“At the time the last thing we wanted to do was spend money, but our hands were tied and we could not get hold of anyone as it was the height of Covid.”

Councillors did not raise the issue of the retrospective aspect of the application.

But they were concerned that to address the biodiversity loss caused by the development the proposed habitat creation would be on land within the Adlington Estate.

Cllr Brian Puddicombe (Macclesfield South, Lab) asked: “I’m wondering who chose them as the proposed recipient of this biodiversity net gain?”

Head of planning David Malcolm said it was becoming more common for such mitigation to be nowhere near the application site, it just had to be within the borough.

“That’s just something that we’re going to have to get used to because it’s a borough-wide issue in terms of biodiversity net gain,” said Mr Malcolm.

“It isn’t always that easy to find sites, because it does mean that you are tying up that land for 30/40 years effectively which is why it probably does make sense for some of these larger estates.”

Nantwich councillor Peter Groves (Con) proposed the application be approved and this was seconded by Cllr Patrick Redstone (Odd Rode, Con).

The vote for approval was unanimous.

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