Woe over Wigan eyesore

The old car park to former Royal Oak pub builidng which is now houses, Standish-Lower-Ground, is a dumping ground for old cars
The old car park to former Royal Oak pub builidng which is now houses, Standish-Lower-Ground, is a dumping ground for old cars

A Wigan “eyesore” has come under scrutiny as residents complain that the area is becoming a fly-tipping hotspot.

A car park located at the back of the former Royal Oak pub site in Standish Lower Ground is turning into a “scrapyard” after developers were refused permission to build on the site as it is greenbelt land.

Now the unused space has become the hot topic for residents and local councillors, who are “disgusted” that nothing is being done to clear the site up.

Coun Mike Crosby, for Shevington and Lower Ground ward, said: “I have been on this for a while now. To say this place looks like Steptoe’s yard would be an insult to Steptoe’s yard.

“It’s an utter disgrace. It needs cleaning up. We have had complaints about it.

“At first that site was going to be a restaurant. I thought that would have fit in, but somewhere along the line they scrapped that. Then it was going to be a Tesco Express then that plan got scrapped.

“The state of it. It used to be a car park and now its worse than a scrap yard,”

In February 2016, an application to develop the site and build five new dwellings with associated parking was refused.

In the decision notice, planning officer Mike Jones wrote: “The proposed development is situated within an area of land which forms part of the adopted Green Belt and the proposal would represent inappropriate development, which by definition is harmful to the Green Belt. The development would result in a loss of openness and conflict with the purposes of Green Belt”

The pub closed in 2014 and the building has since been turned into apartments.

One resident who has recently moved to the area, said: “It’s a right eyesore with cards that appear dumped and no one seems to be interested in doing anything about it.”

Coun Crosby was told that the owners of the site would be contacted in regards to enforcement action by the planning department, to ensure that responsibility is taken for the clean-up.

“You would think that the people who have bought the apartments would want it cleaning up,” he added. “Personally what I think that the owners are trying to do is let the site deteriorate to such an extent that planning permission will be granted.”