ANOTHER nail has been hammered into the coffin of historical plans for underpass access to Parkgate, as councillors decided against requesting funds for its implementation.

Following a town council planning committee meeting debate on the proposed Parkgate Industrial Estate expansion, the idea for a secondary road under the railway line was dismissed as an ‘unrealistic objective’.

The scheme had already been doused with cold water in 2013, when Tatton Estate announced plans for their Parkgate housing development and suggested it could cost up to £5 million to persuade Network Rail to allow the work.

Councillors had met to discuss plans for 16 new industrial units to be constructed on the estate, with current access over a single Parkgate Lane bridge a sticking point.

Cllr Andrew Malloy said: “I don’t object to the principle of the development but a very strong condition needs to be in place to secure funding for this underpass.

“The Local Plan requires two access points – if a new development came in with this single access now it would surely be rejected.

“We need to get this in place because if we don’t now it’s never going to happen. We need a solution or the people of Parkgate will live in hell for the rest of eternity.”

Planning permission for the Tatton Estate’s Parkgate residential development, which will bring up to 250 new homes, was granted with a condition for junction improvements including a Mobberley Road roundabout, but no underpass.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner, who chaired the meeting, said: “The person who suggested [the underpass] didn’t realise how much things cost and how much the railways can ask for for access over or under their lines. It was an unrealistic objective then and is even more so now.

“It will never happen.”

Cllr Peter Coan said: “It’s an absolute nightmare, it’s gridlocked, and what concerns me are the times of gridlock. The cars and lorries have no room for manoeuvre so an emergency vehicle would struggle to get through. I’d strongly object to any future development off Parkgate Lane which will add congestion.”

Cllr Christopher Gray said that while he does not recognise ‘gridlock’, the problem which ‘we are lumbered with’ needs addressing.

The committee offered no formal objection to the plans – which will be ruled on by CEC – but asked for significant contributions towards work at key junctions across town.