Gateway anger

Stuart Keane

Stuart Keane

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RESIDENTS have lost a battle against a Wigan factory’s bid to relocate its official entrance.

The furniture warehouse and manufacturers, CSL told the planning committee that the move was necessary to allow the safe expansion of the logistics of their delivery operation at their plant in Ashton Road, Golborne.

And they say the changes will result in the creation of more than 25 new jobs.

But furious neighbours believe the new wider access will lead to an increase in accidents as HGVs sweep into the site at a much greater speed.

They are also worried that the new location will cause more noise pollution, dust and greater disturbance.

Neighbour Mrs Joan Lowe, who has lived opposite the site for 45 years, remembers it as farm land when she first arrived,

She questioned the “staggering” size of the entrance wanted by CSL which at 43 metres was almost the width of a football pitch.

Neighbours fear, she said, that the new entrance will completely alter the nature of Ashton Road by making a simple site entrance into a road junction capable of carrying “much heavier traffic.”

She there were other industrial sites in the area better suited to hosting haulage and distribution companies.

Speaking as witness on behalf of nine objecting households who live opposite, she said: “The is way over the top.

“It will allow heavy goods vehicles to approach at a much greater speed and sweep into the premises. Isn’t this a recipe for accidents?

“I would also like to ask how long the green areas which the company have put on the plans as a sop for the neighbours are turned over to car parks.

“Would the company be investigating in this new entrance if they weren’t anticipation growth that will need them?”

She was backed by Golborne Ward Coun Stuart Keane who, in a written submission, said that there were already too many heavy lorries travelling through Golborne without plans being passed to encourage more.

But Morley Estates, who own the industrial site and were the applicants to the council, insisted that CSL – who they described as a “well known and respected national brand” was the key tenant of the site and had been so for five years.

With more than 100 staff, the company now felt that easier entrance and exit for service traffic would be a critical part of their future success in Golborne.

The new entrance design would also be more fitting for a company of CSL’s stature on the high street, they said.

A spokesman for Morley said: “It will significantly improve the amenity for neighbouring residents and will not generate more traffic as well as providing more and a generally better quality of greenery along Ashton Road.

Council director of economy Steve Normington said that although the proposal will result in “significant chances” to the entrance to the site and would have a visual impact on the street scene, the amended designs won’t have a detrimental impact on the appearance of the area.

Substantial planting of laurel hedge landscaping plus tree planting will replace the established sections of hedging which now face being grubbed up to make way for the new entrance point.