Gidlow homes plans met with opposition

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RESIDENTS have opened a new front in the battle against Wigan’s future housing land requirement.

Families from Gidlow Houses, Standish Lower Ground and Crooke gathered at the Wellfield pub to form an action group set to challenge moves to reclassify opencasted land north of Beech Hill estate running between Gidlow Cemetery and regenerated woodland which once comprised the former Giants Hall and John Pit colliery and coal washery sidings.

The proposals have been triggered after the Coalition Government rejected the council’s draft Core Strategy master plan for future development and instructed them to find land across the whole borough that could accommodate 2,500 homes.

Home owners claim that building on the land will overwhelm health and school infra structure resources and could create large scale flooding problems by concerting over an important “soakaway.” As well as robbing the community of an important informal recreation resource which is now rich in wildlife ranging from increasingly rare orchids to roe deer and sparrow hawks.

They have angrily accused the council of failing to be open over plans which they allege have been on council planner’s drawing boards for the past four years.

Spokesman Philip Winrow of Gidlow Houses said: “Why do we need more housing when developers and private vendors cannot sell the housing stock we currently have due to the stagnation of the housing market where there are thousands of empty properties to buy and let in the borough both council and privately. The development would impact horrendously on the infrastructure and one only has to go to A and E or try for an appointment with a GP to see they are struggling to cope.”