Press release

A556 Knutsford to Bowdon highway improvement scheme given development consent

The Knutsford to Bowdon (A556) highway improvement scheme has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport.

Motorway Intersection

The development consent is for the construction of a new section of highway and to make improvements to the existing A556 trunk road in Cheshire between M6 Junction 19, near Knutsford, and M56 Junction 7 near Bowdon, Greater Manchester. It also includes improvements to the M6 Southbound carriageway between M6 Junction 19 and Knutsford Services.

The decision announced today follows an examination process by the Planning Inspectorate, which was completed within the statutory timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011).

The application was submitted by the Highways Agency for consideration on 24 April 2013 and was accepted for examination on 17 May 2013.

Following the examination, where interested parties were given the opportunity to give evidence to the Examining Authority, a recommendation was made to the Secretary of State for Transport on 2 June 2014.

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Simon Ridley, said:

“The examination of the application was completed within the timescales prescribed in the Planning Act and a recommendation made to the Secretary of State for Transport. Today’s decision supports that recommendation.”

“The Planning Inspectorate has the responsibility to examine Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) within timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. This provides developers and investors with the confidence to build and improve the infrastructure this country needs to secure future economic growth. Since being given that responsibility the Planning Inspectorate has examined over 20 major projects within those timescales.”

“A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views. As always, the Examining Authority gave careful consideration to these before reaching its conclusion.”

Documentation, including the decision, the recommendation made to the Secretary of State and the evidence considered by the Examining Authority in reaching its decision, is publicly available on the National Infrastructure website.


Notes to editors:

  • Journalists requiring further information should contact the Planning Inspectorate Press Office, on: 0303 444 5004 or 0303 444 5005 or email:

  • From April 2012, the relevant Secretary of State became the decision maker on all national infrastructure applications for development consent. At the end of the examination of an application, which will still be completed within a maximum of six months, the Planning Inspectorate will have three months to make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State who will then have a further three months to reach their decision. The application process.

  • The Planning Inspectorate, National Infrastructure Programme of Projects details the proposals which are anticipated to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate as applications in the coming months. It can be viewed on the National Infrastructure website

Published 28 August 2014