Homes plan could see part of hotel demolished

The Bellingham Hotel
The Bellingham Hotel

A housing bid under consideration by town hall planners could see part of a popular hotel and drinking venue demolished to make room.

If approved, the development will be sited on a current car park at the rear of the Bellingham Hotel on Wigan Lane.

The hotel, bar and function room is not affected and it’s business as usual as far as we’re concerned

Dean Prescott

A section at the rear of the hotel will be knocked down to make way for the five houses, according to design drafts submitted to council officers.

The partial demolition will not have any impact on business, according to hotel manager Dean Prescott.

He told the Observer: “The hotel, bar and function room is not affected and it’s business as usual as far as we’re concerned.

“The hotel is under new management and is doing really well. The section of the building being knocked down will mean the reception moving from the back to the front, nothing else is going to change.”

The development - two pairs of semi-detached houses and one detached - would be flanked by Wigan Bowling club to the east and the Lawn Tennis Club to the north-east with access from Bellingham Avenue.

Documents submitted to the town hall state the houses will “enhance” the Wigan Lane conservation area, getting rid of a line of “prominent and over-tall” leylandii trees which “overshadow” the hotel terrace.

They read: “The development will regenerate (an) unattractive element of the conservation area’s immediate setting by creating a small development whose scale and appearance harmonises with the character and appearance of existing houses at Bellingham Avenue.”

Owners of neighbouring properties can take part in a consultation on the plans until next month.

The planning department has earmarked early December for a decision although the bid could be called in to be considered by a local authority committee should ward councillors raise any concerns.

The documents read: “Essentially, (the development) represents the type of houses that would have been built had the original development continued onto the north side of (Bellingham Avenue).

“The setting of the conservation area will be enhanced...therefore the proposal is therefore compliant with both national and local heritage planning policy.”