PARTS of Northwich's remaining links with its salt mining past could be knocked down to make way for new businesses.

Ambitious plans to transform the defunct New Cheshire Salt Works in Wincham have been submitted by Chantry Developments.

Managing director Charles Perrin told the Northwich Guardian that work could start on the 198-acre plot within six months if permission is granted.

"We're looking at which buildings we'd like to keep and which we plan to demolish and are looking into new builds," he said.

"It will offer opportunities to established and up and coming businesses who might not be in appropriate accommodation at the minute." Stockport-based Chantry Developments bought the site from British Salt for an undisclosed sum last month.

It has now asked Vale Royal Borough Council to change the use of the land from salt manufacture to business, general industry and storage or distribution.

Mr Perrin wants to attract a number of businesses to the site and expects to match or increase the number of jobs lost when British Salt closed.

"We have already had interest from a number of Northwich businesses who are either looking to expand their operations, or who want to keep their workforce locally but it's too early to say who we are talking to," he said. Purchased by British Salt in 2005, more than a century of salt production ceased at the Wincham Lane site when 60 members of staff were made redundant last summer.

Mr Perrin added: "We really want to see a growing and thriving workforce there again." But yesterday, Tuesday, Wincham Parish Council chairman Roy Mainwaring expressed concern about increased traffic.

"The infrastructure will need addressing and the parish council will press for that.

"There have been too many industrial plots thrown up haphazardly in the past without a thought to the infrastructure."

Chapel Street resident Clare Dockney shares his concerns.

"People will use Chapel Street as a short cut, it's a rat run as it is.

"I'm not sure residents are going to like it," she said.