Council set to buy land plot near Alderley Park
THE COUNCIL is to buy up a piece of green belt farming land near Alderley Park, it has been revealed.
Coun Michael Jones, Cheshire East leader, told the Express the council has had an offer accepted to buy the land opposite Alderley Park on Congleton Road.
The authority is buying the 10-acre site from drugs firm AstraZeneca – which is based at the site.
The sale has not yet been completed.
Coun Jones said the council is buying the land to protect it from developers, and as a ‘strategic purchase for Alderley Park.
Cheshire East bought a 10 per cent stake in the Alderley Park site earlier this year in a deal with Manchester Science Parks, following the announcement that AstraZeneca is moving its research and development operation to Cambridge.
It has been working to attract new science companies to the site in efforts to promote Alderley Park is a leading bioscience hub.
Residents and representatives on Nether Alderley Parish Council expressed concerns after hearing that Cheshire East is buying the additional green belt site across the road, which is just past the entrance to Alderley Park next to Bentley House. Coun Jones was due to attend a parish council meeting on Tuesday to address concerns. He said: “We have zero plans to build anything on this piece of land, we are against housing in the green belt.
“There’s a rumour about building an access from the bypass to Alderley Park, it’s in no way my desire to do that. We buy greenbelt agricultural land because we are profarming in Cheshire East. We have a £1.5m pot to acquire farming land. This land should not be in the hands of a developer, that would want to put housing on it. It’s strategic for Alderley Park. We want to make sure, as Alderley Park develops, that we have control over the access around it.
“If Alderley Park is a success and someone wants to develop it further we can dictate what happens.
“They will have to work with us as landowner on Alderley Park and now this piece of land. We can control the destiny of the site.” Coun Jones would not disclose how much the council is paying for the land.
Alan Clarke, Nether Alderley Parish Council chairman, said: “We asked Coun Jones to come to our meeting after hearing from someone who wanted to buy the site but was outbid by the council.
“We want to know why the council is interested in this prime piece of greenbelt and what plans there are for the site.”