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Footbridge shunned in favour of road crossing

A crossing for a busy Buglawton road would be a better use of money than a bridge connecting a housing development to Congleton Park, residents have insisted.

Those living at Astbury Place, built by Morris Homes, have long campaigned against plans for a footbridge over the river Dane that had been earmarked for around decade.

They said that it would cause more problems than it would solve, including parking issues, safety concerns and anti-social behaviour.

The bridge would be funded by way of a section 106 agreement that was included in the original planning permission given by Cheshire East Council, although work has never started.

However, in the last year, site investigations have taken place on the banks of the river Dane, much to the dismay of some living on the estate.

Resident Debbie Duval, who moved to Astbury Place with her family in 2018, said: “People from Morris Homes were here this week with cameras and have even marked out what could potentially be the start of the bridge, but no-one is telling us anything.”

As part of the residents’ campaign, they have highlighted other projects for the developer to fund, such as a crossing on Brook Street, which would improve connectivity to the Biddulph Valley Way.

In a recent poll, they asked 62 households whether they would prefer a road crossing instead of the bridge. Out of the 56 that responded, Ms Duvall said that 46 households opted for a road crossing, while only eight would prefer the bridge, with two households having no opinion.

Ms Duval added: “The last time we did a survey, we didn’t have any concrete directive of what we would do with the money instead, but now that there is another project that could be invested in, people are definitely more in favour of the crossing.

“Our MP has been very supportive, and she said that if the majority of residents were still against the bridge, she would raise it in Parliament.”

In a letter to residents, Fiona Bruce said that she had asked the ward councillors to support the campaign for a road crossing.

Mrs Bruce also said that she would be “only too pleased” to present the petition to Parliament if residents could “obtain a satisfactory majority view” for the crossing, rather than a new bridge to the park.

The Chronicle asked Morris Homes for an update on progress at the site, but the company had not responded by deadline yesterday (Wednesday).

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