Community groups support job-spinner

Edward Thwaite
Edward Thwaite

COMMUNITY groups are rallying around plans to build a new Wigan superstore that would create up to 425 jobs.

Sainsbury’s submitted a planning application to Wigan Council to build a 60,000sq ft store, 480-bay car park, a petrol station and a café on the Millingford Industrial Estate in Golborne in October last year.

Now community group leaders in the area have spoken out in support of the proposals and are urging the council not to delay the proposals further.

Des White, chairman of Golborne Residents and Tenants’ Association said that its members were enthusiastic about the new jobs the store would create for the local community.

He said: “We wholeheartedly support these proposals. Our area really needs the jobs.

“We’re going through tough economic times and Golborne is feeling the pain more than most, especially among younger people.

“These plans would also improve choice for shoppers and encourage people to buy their weekly groceries in Golborne rather than driving elsewhere to spend their money.

“We hope that a positive decision can be reached soon on this vital investment in our town.”

His sentiments were echoed by chairman of Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum, Edward Thwaite. He said: “A Sainsbury’s store will give the area a tremendous boost.

“Alongside the massive job windfall, it will also strengthen our local shopping offer, bring more people into the town, and hopefully give other companies the confidence to invest in Golborne and Lowton in the future.

“The landscaping and removal of the old industrial site - together with an exceptional building - will enhance Golborne and give people a greater feeling of wellbeing about the town.”

Sainsbury’s wants to use an existing half-empty industrial estate off Bridge Street which planners would have to re-zone for retail before approval.

Should this take place and planning approval be given the huge new store would be opened in the summer of 2014.

But not everyone is supportive of the scheme.

Lawyers representing the neighbouring Asda-Walmart site in Edge Green Lane have formally protested to the council about the loss of industrial land.

A decision on the plan is expected in early summer. But the council has previously said it is considering putting the matter into the hands of external planning consultants because of the potential legal minefield.

Sainsbury’s was recently also linked to plans to bulldoze the former Oddfellows Arms at Bryn to create another store.

But the company has declined to confirm whether it is interested in that more modest development.