News Ticker

Green vision transforms former factory site in Cheadle

Wildlife is returning to a former industrial site in Cheadle which is being transformed into an environmentally-friendly new residential neighbourhood.

Ducks and trout are already visiting the new nature corridor at Bellway’s Cecilly Mills development, off Oakamoor Road, which was for many years home to the JCB factory.

The Cecilly Brook formerly flowed through a closed culvert under a series of concrete bridges on the brownfield site – but has been restored to its natural glory as part of Bellway’s green vision for the development.

Bellway is building 120 new homes on the nine-and-a-half-acre site, with work on the first homes beginning in December 2020. The scheme to restore the brook has created an eight-metre ecological buffer zone with new planting and wildlife habitats, as well as bee banks to encourage biodiversity in the area.

Lee Aston, Site Manager at Cecilly Mills, said: “We pay due care and attention at all sites that we build on to ensure that we can help to encourage biodiversity wherever we can. In this instance, we’ve incorporated an existing natural feature into a new wildlife corridor.

“This site has undergone a significant transformation from an industrial brownfield site into a natural green space that actively promotes biodiversity, providing a pleasant and open backdrop for our residents as well as habitats for wildlife.

“The brook has already proven to be very popular with residents and local people alike, who have been seen taking pictures from Oakamoor Road, which provides a perfect vantage point for the brook and the development.

“Despite only having started the works in December 2020, we have already seen wildlife returning to the site, including several flocks of ducks and a sizeable number of trout in the stream, which makes the work all that more rewarding. In time, we also hope to see the return of water voles to this area, connecting the two populations found at the Palm Brook and Cecilly Brook Local Nature Reserves to the north and south of the site respectively.

“While we have made great strides on the site until now, there is still plenty of work to be done to finish building the final homes on site. The remaining building work will be completed while ensuring that the brook, our staff, and the natural environment are all protected.

“We look forward to completing the work here and finishing the transformation of this site into a desirable and environmentally friendly development, helping to meet the demand for high-quality housing in Staffordshire.”