PLANS have been unveiled for a major new Wigan housing estate, raising hopes of a local property market recovery.
Redwater Intrinsic Partnership looks set to buy more than 24,000ft sq of Wigan Council land after submitting an application to build 85 homes on largely vacant land off Warrington Road, Goose Green.
The authority formally announced its intention to sell the brownfield site in a public notice this week.
Such a sale had been on the books for more than seven years, ever since the council bought the land and compulsorily purchased homes (since demolished) as a prelude to constructing the A49 to Westwood Park link road.
Due to the recession no funding is currently available for the road, which forms part of the larger A5225 from Orrell to Atherleigh which has been on Wigan’s infrastructure wish list for decades.
But in building the estate, Astley-based Redwater would in fact be constructing a small section of the link road which one day the council hopes will open up large areas of land for investment.
Another consequence of the development, should it be approved, would be the demolition of the former Bull’s Head pub.
St Paul’s Bowling Club still uses the green behind it, but while this carefully tended lawn will also be lost to the estate, the developers would be obliged to create a new one elsewhere on the site to compensate under what is called a Section 106 agreement.
As a crown green takes several years to “bed down” and shape, the current one will be retained until the new one is ready for use.
The bigger picture however is what could be most telling.
A council spokesman said: “It has long been a strategy to sell this site but no-one has wanted to build houses for the last four or five years, so the fact that developers have now shown an interest is a good sign locally.
“The estate as described by Redwater would not use up all the land sold. There would still be room for the link road to be continued through to Westwood when money becomes available.”
Redwater development executive Sebastian Heeley said: “We have been working very closely with the council on this.
“They are very aware that housing is a driving force for the economic recovery and Wigan needs that. The McCall family of Redwater has been building homes in the borough for 60 years.
“There is an agreement to buy the land from the council and £1m will be spent on highway improvements which is a bonus.”