New homes layout approved despite being ‘bland’

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THE layout and design of a major Wigan housing development has been approved despite concerns over its “bland” appearance.

A community group had criticised the new builds set for land off Almond Brook Road, Standish, for being “without charm or character”.

I do feel with the appearance, they’re not in-keeping with the rest of Standish, I just think they’re really, really horrible, but that is my personal opinion

Coun Ann Rampling

But council officers told planning committee members that developers Wainhomes had taken advice from an “independent design panel” before submitting the application.

Councillors were split on whether the designs of the houses were up to standard but ultimately voted in favour of the approval.

Coun Ann Rampling said: “I do feel with the appearance, they’re not in-keeping with the rest of Standish, I just think they’re really, really horrible, but that is my personal opinion.”

She added: “In this day and age I think we should do better.”

Officers told the chamber that efforts had been made to work with the developers in order to maintain a number of trees and greenery within the site but accepted that design “was a subjective area”.

However, the overall layout of the site received ringing endorsements from committee members.

Coun Fred Walker said: “It has to be one of the best designs I have seen in the borough and I would like to say well done to the officers on this particular issue.”

Coun John Hilton added: “There’s a lot worse in Standish, I think it’s a very good design.”

The committee voted through the plans by majority, with Coun Don Hodgkinson the only one to vote in opposition.

Outline approval for the housing development had already been granted last year with the committee meeting yesterday to discuss appearance, landscaping and layout issues. The site - which will contain 298 houses - is part of core strategy plans to create around 1,000 homes in the village.

Community group Standish Voice had written to the council to raise concerns about the size and quality of the houses although the group did not have any representation at the meeting itself.

A planning report said the development “would be well integrated into the adjoining residential area with good access to community facilities.”