U-turn on 300 new homes at business park

Wigan Town Hall

Wigan Town Hall

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Hundreds of new homes have been given the go-ahead after a planning inspector dramatically overturned a Wigan Council planning decision.

Developer St Modwen got the green light to turn part of Wigan Enterprise Park into up to 325 houses on appeal after the application was originally rejected by the local authority’s planning committee.

The plan to build the homes as well as landscaping and public open space at the Ince site, which could create up to 100 construction jobs, was turned down last January.

However, a planning inspector sided with St Modwen, which argued its proposal to turn around 80 per cent of the enterprise park into houses was the best possible outcome for the land.

St Modwen land director Nick Whittingham said: “Following the submission of the outline planning permission in May 2013 it was disappointing that we were forced to go to appeal as The Planning Inspectorate agreed with all the points we put forward about the redevelopment of the site.

“However, we are pleased to finally receive planning permission to bring forward new housing on the industrial estate and provide up to 325 new family homes with substantial areas of open space and landscaping together with the opening up of the culverted water course.”

Preparation work for the first phase of development is now expected to begin later this year.

The application for housing was put together after a public consultation in 2012 highlighted a need for family homes in the area.

Wigan Council assistant director for planning and transport Mike Worden said: “We are disappointed with this decision.

“We believe that the site is still viable for employment uses and it is regrettable that it will now be lost to housing. Our approach has been to try to protect marketable employment sites.”