8:40am Friday 13th September 2013
By Emma Rigby
DETAILED engineering plans can now begin to take shape after the construction of a brine pipeline linking Warmingham, Middlewich and Lostock was given the go ahead by Cheshire East Council (CEC).
The 15km cross boundary pipeline, proposed by British Salt Ltd and sister company Tata Chemicals Europe, was given unanimous approval by CEC’s strategic planning committee at its latest meeting.
Clr Chris Thorley, who sits on CEC’s strategic planning committee, told the Guardian it was the right decision.
“We welcomed it because at the end of the day Nantwich, Winsford, Northwich and Middlewich have all relied on salt for a living.”
The approval comes just weeks after Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) also unanimously approved the scheme.
Work can now continue to develop the engineering plans for the 450mm diameter pipe that will take brine from the Warmingham brinefield to the British Salt factory for purification.
The brine will then be transported underground to Tata Chemicals Europe’s Lostock site as a key ingredient in the creation of soda ash.
The company says this shows ‘long term commitment’ to the sites in Middlewich and Northwich, employing almost 600 people.
A spokesman for Tata Chemicals Europe said the company is ‘pleased’ that the planning application has been approved.
They said: “It is the conclusion of several months’ diligent work on the part of the project team, which worked extensively with officers from both CWAC and CEC local authorities and other stakeholders to present the least disruptive route for the pipeline and the best possible application.
“Receiving planning approval for the pipeline proposal increases our options for securing the future of the business and these options are being assessed before any decision can be made on the start of construction.
“In the meantime we will continue to develop the detailed engineering plans for the pipeline.”
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