Agenda and minutes

Environment and Communities Committee - Thursday, 29th September, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Committee Suite 1,2 & 3, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach CW11 1HZ. View directions

Contact: Helen Davies  Tel: 01270 685705 Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence from Members.



Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Joy Bratherton (Councillor Steven Hogben was substituting), Councillor Ashley Farrall (Councillor Anthony Critchley was substituting) and Councillor Charlotte Leach (Councillor Janet Clowes was substituting).


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.



In the interests of Openness and Transparency, Councillor Mike Benson noted that he had received correspondence in respect of item six: Household Waste Recycling Centre Contract.  The Chair noted all of the Committee had been sent similar correspondence from a number of residents on the same item and agreed that this would not affect the judgement of any Committee Members.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 394 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 4 August 2022.



RESOLVED: That the minutes of the 04 August 2022 meeting be received and noted as a correct and accurate record.


Public Speaking/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.


Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.



There were five individuals registered to speak on Agenda item 6: Household Waste and Recycling Contract:

1)    Congleton Town Councillor Kay Wesley, Chair of the Community and Environment Committee of Congleton Town Council made the following points to the Committee:

·         Congleton was one of the biggest service centres in Cheshire East and was twice as big as five of the seven towns currently provided with household waste and recycling centres in the new contract;

·         The development of 4,000 new homes around Congleton;

·         The perceived lack of consultation by residents of Congleton on the new Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) contract;

·         Consistent complaints from Congleton residents to the Town Council about the removal of the previous HWRC in Congleton; and

·         The number of elderly residents, low-income families and single parents in Congleton who do not have transport to travel to HWRCs in other towns.

Congleton Town Councillor Wesley asked the Committee to ensure the new contract included resident expectations, namely a HWR and Re-Use Centre in Congleton.

2)    Chair of Brereton Parish Council, Parish Councillor Andy Lindsay asked the Committee if a process to establish a new recycling centre in Congleton could be found and made the following points to the Committee:

  • The Eastern part of Brereton included the community of Brereton Heath which had doubled in size due to house building;
  • The Arclid recycling site closed in 2017, and since then signposted residents to the Congleton site, 8 minutes away, but now the nearest HWRC is 18-20 minutes away; and
  • There had been a 43% increase in fly-tipping in Congleton from the time the HWRC closed in September 2021.


3)    Congleton Town Councillor Robert Douglas made the following points to the Committee:

·         That in March the report on HWRCs to this Committee noted no implications for rural communities which he believed to be wrong advice;

·         The population of ten parishes represented by eight parish councils and Congleton Town Council equated to a population of 35,000 and set to increase significantly in the future;

·         The replacement site figure of £4million quoted by Cheshire East Council he believed was incorrect and more in-line with £2million (the cost of the new Town Council precept over the last two years) with annual finance costs of £125,000; and

·         The redirection of rubbish into the domestic grey bins;


4)    Congleton Town Councillor Suzy Firkin addressed the Committee and made the following points:

·         That Kent and Bristol were noted areas of good practice in the development of HWRCs;

·         The willingness of Congleton Town Council to be part of a network of waste reduction and recycling initiatives with Cheshire East Council, to date the only outcome had been a textile waste charity drop-point in Congleton, with a second point proposed but not yet active;

·         The only two Reuse-Centres being proposed were in Macclesfield and Crewe both areas with existing HWRCs; and

·         The disadvantage to rural residents or those with low car-usage as rural areas would not be considered an appropriate area for a potential pop-up service.

Congleton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To consider the Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans.

Additional documents:


Emma Fairhurst, Conservation and Design Officer presented the report that sought approval to adopt Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans for Alderley Edge, Macclesfield Town Centre, and Ollerton School Lane.  Each of the areas were part of a three-year work programme to review the conservation areas across Cheshire East.

The appraisals had been subject to public consultation for 4 weeks and were part of a three-year work programme to review the Council’s Conservation Areas.

Alderley Edge had received the most response (over 20), with over half in support.  There was no boundary change but confusion over the existing conservation area boundary had been identified.

Clarity was given to the Committee by the Conservation and Design Officer, that new conservation areas were being considered all the time.  There was a query about Macclesfield Town Centre, and Ollerton School Lane Plans being paid for by Town and Parish Councils but that Alderley Edge had been completed in-house at Cheshire East.  The Committee was advised that Alderley Edge had been on the risk for Heritage England for some time.  Town and Parish Councils had provided resources to enable the completion of the plans despite there being no heritage no threat.

RESOLVED (Unanimously) That:

a)    the feedback from the public consultation be received and noted;

b)    the Ollerton School Lane Conservation Area Appraisal (including a boundary review) and Management Plan be adopted;

c)    the Macclesfield Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan be adopted;

d)    the Alderley Edge Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan be adopted; and

e)    that authority be delegated to the Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services, in consultation with the Chair, to take all necessary actions to serve the Article 4 Direction on the identified buildings in the Alderley Edge Conservation Area.


Household Waste Recycling Centre Contract pdf icon PDF 609 KB

To consider the Household Waste Recycling Centre Contract.


Visiting Cheshire East Councillors Rob Moreton and Suzie Akers Smith attended the Committee and were given the discretion of the Chair to speak ahead of the presented report.

Councillor Moreton made the following points:

  • Councillor Moreton believed that the former Conservative council sold the Congleton HWRC and signed a lease that expired in 2021;
  • That no money was put into the budget for a new HWRC in Congleton, but that £4million was added to the capital addendum; and
  • Councillor Moreton had spoken at the last Cabinet meeting for the council on this issue and was concerned about the impact of political block-voting;

Councillor Moreton asked the committee to recognise the importance of a HWRC for Congleton with an agreement to setup a working group to identify land and funding.

Councillor Akers Smith made the following points:

  • The importance of a HWR and Re-Use Centre for Congleton;
  • The perception that residents believe funding was received by Crewe, Wilmslow and Macclesfield with nothing being received by Congleton;
  • The addition of at least 10,000 residents into Congleton and surrounding parishes over the next 10-years, making it the 3rd largest town in the borough after Crewe and Macclesfield.  Councillor Akers Smith believed the additional revenue received by the Council in Council Tax would be enough to fund a HWR and Re-Use centre in Congleton ;
  • The addition of at least 4250 new dwellings, with no plans for additional doctors, dentists or infrastructure to support those residents;

Councillor Akers Smith made a request to the Committee to create a cross-party working group including her, Councillor Moreton and other borough councillors to look at land availability in and around Congleton and report back to the Committee with potential HWR and Re-Use sites.

Committee Member Councillor June Buckley read a statement on behalf of Cheshire East Councillor Denis Murphy who had moved the original Notice of Motion at Full Council on 15 December 2021.  Most of the points raised by Councillor Murphy had been made by the public speakers, but also included:

  • Councillor Murphy believed people were not travelling to HWRCs out of town but instead choosing to dispose of waste in the domestic grey bins;
  • Concerns about an increase in fly-tipping specifically in rural areas where it could be unnoticed or unreported; and
  • Councillor Murphy forcefully expressed his request that the Committee lobby  for a local HWRC in easy reach for residents of Congleton, one of the largest towns in the borough with a growing population.


Ralph Kemp, Head of Environmental Services presented the report that provided an update to the Committee on the range of services that will be provided in the new HWRC contract from 1 April 2023.  The Committee advised that the provision of the seven HWRCs across the borough plus core services would be affordable within the existing budget. 

The Chair acknowledged that most of the public speakers had spoken exclusively on the Congleton HWRC but reminded the Committee that the report dealt with the procurement of the contract rather than the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Maintenance of Green Space pdf icon PDF 690 KB

To consider the maintenance of Green Space across Cheshire East.


Paul Bayley, Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services presented the report to the Committee.

The Committee was advised that in 2021, the council became aware of some parcels of amenity green space it maintains which were being marketed for sale on the open market.

Following a wider review, 547 parcels of land were identified as being maintained by but not in council ownership.  Some of this land might simply not have been registered or there had been an agreement (e.g., closed cemetery).

The Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions, clarity was sought as to ensuring this did not happen again in light of new house builds across the borough.

The Committee was advised there were two options, either land was transferred, or the developer established a management company.  

The Committee was advised that Environmental Services was trialling different ways of managing green space, including re-wilding to enhance the biodiversity.

RESOLVED (Unanimously) That:

a)    Within 12-months a review of those plots of land not in the ownership of the Council that it has historically maintained to identify options for future management and maintenance be approved; and

b)    the continued maintenance of those plots of land it has historically maintained until the review is completed unless the landowner withdraws permission for the Council to maintain it be approved.


Reporting of Officer Delegated Decisions

To note the officer decision record for Environment and Communities since the last meeting of the Committee:


·         To award a contract to CoWheels for the provision of a car club in Cheshire East to both replace the current pool car provision and be available to the general public.


Officer Decision Record for Environment and Communities Committee





That the officer decisions taken following a delegation from the Committee be received and noted.


Standing Item: Member Advisory Panel: Cheshire East Planning Process Review

To receive an oral update from the Chair of the Member Advisory Panel.


Councillor Tony Dean, Chair of the Member Advisory Panel for Planning updated the Committee on progress to date.  The Deep-Dive Planning report was now scheduled for a special committee date in October, delays had occurred due to the numbers of people who needed to be consulted.

The report has already seen effective change and the backlog of applications was reducing. 


That the update be received and noted.


Standing Item: Members Advisory Panel: Cheshire East Cemeteries Strategy Review

To receive an oral update from the Chair of the Member Advisory Panel.


The Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services updated the Committee on work to date.  There was planned public engagement on the draft objectives agreed by the Panel.  Effective communication was needed to ensure it was clear to the public that the land in Sandbach, has been accepted for cemeteries plus the address of any public concerns.

The MAP had a scheduled meeting for Monday.


That the update be received and noted.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 311 KB

To consider the Work Programme and determine any required amendments.



The Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services advised the Committee that there had been some items added to the Work Programme since the last meeting, this included a change to publication, the mid-year performance was now scheduled for 2 February 2023.

The Committee noted concern of the mid-year review late Jan/Feb 2023 and the MTFS at the same time. 


That the Work Programme be received and noted.