Housing plan for site of former tip considered

Orrell tip
Orrell tip

Plans to convert a former council yard into a housing development site have attracted criticism from Wigan residents.

The town hall planning committee will next week consider a bid by developers to create a mix of 17 houses and flats at Orrell Road in Orrell.

Officers have earmarked the scheme for approval but council documents reveal a number of neighbouring properties have objected to the plans.

They cite the development’s impact on traffic and congestions plus its knock-on effect on wildlife as among their concerns.

The site is a former council waste recycling depot with an office building that once served as Orrell’s district town hall. The tip yard will have the houses built upon it with the town hall building converted into flats.

A council report to be considered by the committee reads: “The conversion of the existing office involves minimal external alterations and will both restore and bring back into use an attractive and prominent building in the Orrell Road street scene, securing its long term future.

“The layout and design has been significantly amended during the application, particularly to secure an acceptable relationship between the proposed new houses and neighbouring properties.

“In sensitive parts of the site the previously proposed three storey dwellings have been reduced to a two storey design.”

Orrell’s Recycling Centre officially closed in 2012 and remained so despite a 6,000- name petition calling for its re-opening organised by then councillor Richard Clayton.

Council bosses said the site was “no longer a viable, long-term option”. The planning bid was submitted earlier this year.

The report, which recommends the bid for approval, reads: “Overall, the scheme will secure a significant improvement in the character and appearance of the area and lead to the regeneration of a vacant site.”

Although committee members can choose to reject the officers’ recommendations and reject the plans.

Among the objections, which include a letter from ward councillor Stephen Murphy, are concerns about over-bearing and over-shadowing of current properties, impact on bats, noise and disruption during construction and the devaluation of neighbouring communities.

However, the report adds: “Matters such as the impact of the development on amenity, ecological impacts and access to the site have been assessed and overall the proposal is considered to be acceptable.

The planning committee meets on Tuesday September 13 at 2pm in the council chamber at the town hall.”