Ex-school site to be sold after housing plan fails

The former Abraham Guest High School
The former Abraham Guest High School

Council bosses are selling off a Wigan brownfield site after developer’s plans to build housing for the elderly fell through.

Proposals for 131 purpose-built homes on the former site of Abraham Guest school received planning permission back in September 2015 but the town hall has announced that the development will not be going ahead.

Abraham Guest High School site in Orrell.

Abraham Guest High School site in Orrell.

At the time of rubber-stamping the plans, the town hall said it had ‘prioritised the scheme’ over an offer worth £2m, but a change in Government legislation has left developers unwilling to go ahead with the project.

Penny McGinty, Wigan Council’s assistant director for corporate contracts and assets, said: “Due to a change in Government legislation the previous developers decided not to proceed with the extra care development. The council is therefore going to put the site out to the market.

“Whoever buys the site will have to take their plans through planning and residents will be able to have their say about any proposals.”

The site, which originally attracted “a lot of attention from private developers”, will now go back on the market for the most appropriate bidder to snatch up. Housing Association Helena Partnerships was given a 125-year lease for the development, using a £2.9m capital grant fund from Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) for building.

Due to a change in Government legislation the previous developers decided not to proceed with the extra care development

Penny McGinty

Residents at the extra care facility would have had access to 24-hour support and meals as well as leisure and wellbeing facilities.