MIDDLEWICH Eastern Bypass took step towards reality after its business case was approved at council level.

The outline business case, passed by Cheshire East Council, will now be presented to the Department for Transport who will consider granting funds of £46.78 million to finish the long awaited road.

Completion of the bypass will cost £58.48 million, with CEC paying £4.43 million and £7.27 million being secured from third party developers building in the area.

A decision is expected to be made in the summer, and upon approval CEC would seek to submit planning applications by the end of 2017 for completion of the bypass in 2021.

Middlewich Eastern Bypass has been planned since 2000, but construction stalled due to the recession and economic constraints.

The project was then taken out of private hands and into council control in 2015, and the business case is the latest step in securing funding.

Cllr David Brown, Highways and Infrastructure portfolio holder, said: “Thank you to Fiona Bruce MP and all the local councillors in Middlewich for their support.

“We are moving ahead after a long process and we will get a solution out of this.”

Middlewich ward members were in unanimous agreement over the positive move, and highlighted the amount of work that has been carried out to get to this stage.

Cllr Bernice Walmsley said: “This makes the bypass a reality.

“For many years it seemed to have stalled but since CEC took it on there has been steady progress.

“If funding can be awarded then it will be all systems go.”

Cllr Mike Parsons added: “We always knew we would get to this point, but the detailed and complex issues which have to be gone through to get her cannot be avoided so it has been a waiting game.”

Construction of the project is likely to start in 2020 alongside the similar prospect of Congleton bypass.