Precinct renovation plan progress

Borsdane Precinct, Borsdane Avenue Hindley

Borsdane Precinct, Borsdane Avenue Hindley

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A NOTORIOUS eyesore has moved one step closer to being redeveloped.

Solicitors and developers are close to finalising an agreement to work on Borsdane shopping precinct at Hindley, which has been semi-derelict for around 10 years.

The 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 contractor, who is yet to be identified, is looking to complete the site purchase in December.

If plans go ahead, building work, which would comprise four retail units, including a Spar shop, could start in January.

Hindley councillor Jim Ellis and Hindley Green member Bob Brierley have been campaigning for years to transform the eyesore.

But they remain sceptical about the news, as they have repeatedly been promised that work would start over the last seven years.

Coun Brierley said: “This has been going on since Andy Burnham got elected as MP.

“He has been standing for two terms and it could just about get sorted now.

“Until the developers sign on the dotted line, I won’t believe anything as there have been so many promises and false starts.

“But the precinct needs sorting, it is like Beirut.

“The flats are all burnt out, there are rats everywhere - the place is falling down.

“It was a concrete city when it was built more than 40 years ago and now it is derelict. It just needs to be sorted out once and for all.”

An application to erect three shop units and a hot food takeaway, with access and car park, was submitted to Wigan Council in May 2008. An extention on planning permission was granted earlier this year until 2014.

Stephen Normington, Wigan Council’s director for development, said: “We are pleased to say that contract negotiations are continuing with regards to the future development of Borsdane precinct and the council is working hard to progress them.

“The confidential nature of these discussions means we cannot reveal specific details at this stage but we can say we are hoping that we will be able to see the project get under way in the new year.”