Residents got the chance to look at controversial plans for a £161m logistics hub on the fringes of Wigan borough and give their opinions at a public consultation event.
Developers Peel Logistics and Peel Land and Property put on the drop-in session at Haydock Racecourse for its nearby Haydock Point project.
The proposal is to build a major commercial development on open land between the horse racing track and the East Lancashire Road in a move which developers say will create around 2,500 full-time jobs.
Around 1.8 million square feet of business space is expected to be created on the site near junction 23 of the M6, which is also close to the proposed Florida Farm North development and the huge Parkside site earmarked for a freight terminal.
Residents got the opportunity to look at the details of the proposal, which has not yet been submitted to St Helens Council’s planners, and ask questions of the team responsible for drawing it up.
Some were clearly opposed to the idea and were keen to have their concerns about the development aired and taken on board.
The project has already proved controversial as Leigh MP Andy Burnham and Makerfield parliamentary representative Yvonne Fovargue have teamed up to oppose it.
The two MPs say the road infrastructure in Ashton, Golborne and Lowton would not be able to cope with the pressures of the logistics hub and the loss of greenbelt land to build it was also condemned.
Mr Burnham described Peel’s plan as “a non-starter” while Ms Fovargue said it would bring “gridlock” and “misery” to the area.
However, Peel Logistics chief operating officer Neil Dickinson said: “There is huge demand and a major shortage of suitable sites for logistics.”
The consultation on Haydock Point is ongoing. A planning application is expected to be submitted next year.
Councillors on Wigan Council’s planning committee conditionally pulled an objection they had made over St Helens’s Florida Farm project which had concerned lorry movements in the borough.
At their meeting on Tuesday, the members resolved: “The committee agrees that Wigan Council withdraw its objection to the application subject to a condition being imposed which requires Wigan Council to be consulted on, and agree to, a HGV routing strategy which requires HGVs travelling to and from the development to not use the A58 to the M6.”