MIDDLEWICH residents are refuting claims from anti-Cheshire FRESH protestors that a new rural hub will ruin the town centre.

Sproston Parish Council expressed its concern that the 47 acre food, rural enterprise and shopping hub will be the death of trade in Middlewich town centre.

But readers voiced their own opinions on the Guardian website, with many suggesting the Pochin-led development will be a boost to the local economy.

“This development looks a perfect opportunity to bring to Middlewich something actually worth having, something that has a link with the agricultural heritage of the area, that develops it even further and attracts investment into the area,” said a reader named ‘Basilcat’.

“How exactly will jobs be lost? OK, the existing auction sites will have their existing staff that will likely move over, but what about the other additional facilities that will be created – surely that will create jobs and those people will spend money at local businesses, pubs, shops etc.

“I agree that the roads desperately need sorting out, especially the A54 from the M6 through to the town centre, this could be a step closer to getting Pochin Way through to Sandbach completed.

“Perhaps the councillors should be putting their energy into getting this issue up the agenda and stop stifling progress.”

‘Eyrej’ added: “I went to the Cheshire FRESH exhibition and thought it looked like a great opportunity for Middlewich, as did many of the other people there.

“The reported objection group are Sproston Parish Council, is their concern really just about traffic? It will be small price to pay for the regeneration effects this project will have on Middlewich.”

The development hopes to offer a range of business, education, research, leisure and retail opportunities. But Sproston Parish Council feel this could quickly turn into a new retail park.

Another reader, ‘Christophe’, added: “What is it with these people who are opposed to any positive development or change to our town?

“The plans for Cheshire FRESH look good, and I’m for any boost to the town. First complaining about Tesco's expansion onto derelict land and now this.”