Councillor hits out at residents

A number of neighbours to the scheme expressed concern it would devalue prices on their own homes, sparking criticism from Coun Stephen Hellier
A number of neighbours to the scheme expressed concern it would devalue prices on their own homes, sparking criticism from Coun Stephen Hellier

A senior councillor branded complaints about a proposed social housing development in Wigan as “deeply offensive” and “prejudiced”.

Coun Stephen Hellier hit out at a number of residents neighbouring the Hindley scheme who said it would devalue their own properties.

Town hall chiefs want to build 60 affordable houses on the site of the former Brookfield High School on Close Lane.

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the development - despite opposition from some residents.

They heard concerns the scheme will result in a “depreciation of standards in the area and tensions between existing and new residents”, as well as suggestions that insurance premiums would increase on completion of the new properties - an idea which Coun Hellier called “offensive”.

On moving the application for approval, Coun Hellier said: “The prejudice behind these remarks and the stereotyping is deeply offensive. I think it’s dreadful.

“In terms of my desire to propose we accept this, since Margaret Thatcher waged a war on social housing, I never believed I would see another application like this come before us.

“I think we need to welcome this. I fully support it.”

Labour councillor for Pemberton, Jeanette Prescott, also supported the application, saying: “I think it’s a good thing social housing is brought in. The homeless are sleeping on the streets, I think we need to think about what we have got and help others.”

Principal planning officer David Kearsley explained to members that the social housing development- which will be owned by the council - meets the requirements for such an application.