Residents joining forces

Residents of Hawkley Hall hand in their completed forms to protest against Wigan council's Core Strategy to remove Green Belt land near the M6 motorway. Julie Markey is pictured with the group at Worsley Mesnes Club off Poolstock Lane
Residents of Hawkley Hall hand in their completed forms to protest against Wigan council's Core Strategy to remove Green Belt land near the M6 motorway. Julie Markey is pictured with the group at Worsley Mesnes Club off Poolstock Lane

RESIDENTS living near the M6 in Wigan have joined together to fight against plans to build over green belt land near their homes.

Homeowners in Winstanley have created the M6 South of Wigan Action Group to campaign against the revised Wigan Council Core Strategy plan which would see green belt land off Warrington Road, Marus Bridge, be used for an industrial and logistics development.

Wigan Council propose to use around 40 hectares of land around the M6 motorway South of Wigan area to create job opportunities and attract investment to the area.

But residents in Winstanley, Hawkley Hall and Marus Bridge are outraged at the plans and feel the consultation process has been led unfairly.

The newly-formed group met for the first time on Thursday night to discuss their next steps and plan to work with action group, RAGE (Residents Against Green belt Extinction), which consists of residents from Hawkley Hall.

They have also gained the support of Ashton MP Yvonne Fovargue.

Sue Green, member of the M6 South of Wigan Action Group, who lives in Allonby Close, in Winstanley, said: “Not a lot of people know about this and we have only seen one public notice tied to a pole in Winstanley.

“We need to make as many people as possible aware, otherwise this will go through. We need more Winstanley people to become involved.

“It is not easy for people to object. We assumed it would go through a public enquiry, but instead it goes to a secretary of state and an independent inspector is appointed.”

The residents feel there are already too many empty industrials units which could be used and believe it would increase traffic and noise pollution.

Mike Worden, Wigan Council’s head of planning and transport strategy, said: “We are aware that the proposals are opposed by some of the community who are concerned about matters such as traffic, loss of green belt and impact on amenity but we believe these can be addressed and should not prevent the identification of a site at junction 25 to provide new employment in the future.

“The Council will consider these in late May and June with the plan to be submitted for examination after that.

“If the Council decides to submit the plan, people have the right to submit further evidence and appear at hearing sessions.”

Consultation is now open for the second time and ends on March 24.

RAGE will meet every Thursday at Worsley Mesnes Club, Poolstock Lane, at 7.30pm.

M6 South of Wigan Action Group will meet on Thursday, March 10 at St Aidans Social Club, Highfield Grange Avenue, Winstanley, at 7.15pm.

A drop in facility at the Grange, Winstanley, is open Saturdays from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

To view plans or object call 01942 404234 or email planningpolicy@wigan.gov.uk.