Council consults on Park scheme

Artist's impression of the new Westwood Park and A49 link road development
Artist's impression of the new Westwood Park and A49 link road development

RESIDENTS have been taking the opportunity to have their say on Wigan Council’s scheme to re-develop the Westwood Park site.

More than 100 people spoke to council officers at two sessions in Lower Ince and Poolstock over the plans, which propose an ambitious re-development of the former Westwood Park power station site into industrial units, shops and housing.

The plan also includes a new dual carriageway running across Wigan Flashes, which will free up the B5238 through Poolstock currently operating well over capacity.

Visitors raised questions with the council, viewed plans of the project and submitted comment forms.

The three main issues were the potential traffic and environmental impact for people living near the dual carriageway, keeping and improving access to Wigan Flashes, and issues relating to traffic in Poolstock.

Planners sought to re-assure residents over concerns about the new road, confirming their intention to plant trees to act as screening along the length of the link and to retain existing trees where possible.

Residents were also told the road would be made from noise-suppressing material and use dimmed street lighting that only shines downwards, and confirmed that sufficient noise prevention strategies were needed for the planning application to be approved.

Wigan Council’s plans also contain a new visitor centre for the Flashes and the Greenheart Regional Park, and include improved footpaths and cycle tracks around the popular beauty spot.

The council will hold further consultations with residents living in Poolstock to discuss traffic and safety issues deriving from the plans, although the authority said feedback was generally positive, with many residents welcoming the potential removal of HGVs and commercial traffic from residential B-roads.

Wigan Council deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “We’re grateful to everyone who took the time to attend.

“This scheme is our best opportunity to deliver much-needed jobs and better transport links to serve a critical regeneration need, and we need people’s views to ensure we deliver the right result which benefits the whole of the borough.”

Officers will be writing to anyone who expressed concerns. The planning application is expected to be submitted next month.