‘Little Beirut’ faces the axe

Borsdane Precinct, Borsdane Ave, Hindley
Borsdane Precinct, Borsdane Ave, Hindley

ONE of Wigan’s worst eyesores could soon be bulldozed to make way for new homes and shops.

Developers The Jameson Group are expected to submit a detailed planning application to Wigan Council for Borsdane Precinct at Hindley before Christmas.

It would see the burned out 1970s shopping development, dubbed “Little Beirut” by long-suffering neighbours, razed to the ground.

The expectation is that if consent is approved, work will begin on clearing the eyesore site within the next 12 months. In its place will be 8,500 square feet of new retail space, including a supermarket and chemist, along with 24 new homes with garage space on both Lancaster Road and Borsdane Avenue, with tree planting, and a car park.

The developer has six months to satisfy the conditions of the arrangement, after which the council will transfer title to the retail element of the scheme and grant the building licence of the residential site at the same time.

This means is that large parts of the site are likely to be demolished and improvements made to the precinct as a whole.

Deputy leader Coun David Molyneux said: “I am delighted that we have progress on Borsdane Precinct. The condition of the site has long been an issue for the community as well as being a centre for anti-social behaviour.

“This opportunity for a fresh start is good news for everyone and although we are only at the very start of the scheme, things are now in progress and I feel confident that we can look forward to major improvements to the precinct next year.”

Yvonne Fovargue MP said that a lot of hard work had gone on ahead of the announcement especially when many developers were not looking to commit to projects in the current economic uncertainty.

She congratulated the council and the developer on arriving at this agreement.

Ms Fovargue said: “I remain optimistic that this decision will lead to a brighter future for Borsdane and lift the blight that has been a feature of this area for far too long.”

Borsdane Precinct has been semi-derelict and a focus for anti-social behavior for the past decade at least.

Latest plans to renovate the site were shelved in early January after a discount food retailer, which had been named as the anchor tenant for the project, pulled out.

But a couple of months later, two developers showed an interest and now one of these, The Jameson Group, is looking to complete the site purchase this month.

An extention on planning permission was granted earlier this year until 2014.