BRUNNER Mond's proposed urban village at Winnington will not lead to chaos on Northwich's roads, it was promised this week.
The company is seeking to reassure residents after some voiced fears that the ambitious plan to build 1,075 homes on 90 acres of its Wallerscote and Winnington sites could lead to gridlock in and around the town.
Brunner Mond insists the development, with accompanying road remediation work, would only result in a marginal increase in traffic about 4%.
"We have completed a very thorough traffic study, not just in the Winnington area, but throughout Northwich,¹ said Brunner Mond¹s director of corporate affairs, Mark Chitty.
"We have listened to what people have said about traffic and also taken into account the impact of the Barratt development at the top of Winnington Hill, the Anderton Boat Lift development and what the council have said about the Northwich Vision.
"We have made a series of recommendations to ensure the traffic situation would not get worse and we would expect to have to fund all these issues in terms of road improvements," said Mr Chitty.
But Winnington resident Marcus Newhall, who lives on Winnington Lane, remains sceptical about Brunner Mond's figures.
He says he has spoken to a reputable firm of traffic consultants which has worked on a similar urban village scheme in Dorset and claims the figures they supplied predict a much higher level of traffic.
"If public transport were to be at its optimum efficiency for the new development, one could still expect five new traffic movements per unit of housing per day," said Mr Newhall.
"1,075 units of housing gives an increase of 5,375 movements, plus an additional 1,000 movements due to employees travelling to businesses based within the development.
"If these movements truly represent a 4% increase, councillors have a right to be concerned.
"Either the current traffic system in Winnington has been permanently gridlocked and residents have failed to notice, or these extra movements represent a far higher percentage increase than indicated."
Brunner Mond says a 4% increase is a realistic figure and is prepared to fund any road remediation work deemed necessary to achieve this.
The soda ash firm will also donate land for a new primary school and build a school hall/ community centre.
It has also pledged to contribute towards the cost if a new swing-bridge is deemed necessary at Winnington.
"My sense of the feedback we have had is that there is overwhelming support if you take away the swing bridge as an issue," said Mr Chitty.
"Rather than leave land as a derelict legacy of a century of industry, we would turn it into something productive."