Blueprint for 1,500-job business park is handed to Wigan Council planners

Contentious plans to build a huge, job-spinning employment park in Wigan have been submitted.
An artist's impression of the Meridian 6 parkAn artist's impression of the Meridian 6 park
An artist's impression of the Meridian 6 park

In January, developer Glenbrook launched a consultation for the 40-acre site, Meridian 6 Wigan which would act as an extension to the South Lancs Industrial Estate in Ashton.

Up to 1,500 jobs could be created from the park, which would have access via Bolton Road, according to the developer. Of these jobs and apprenticeships, around 500 to 600 would be made during construction, following an initial investment of £70m.

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An application has now been sent to Wigan Council planners for consideration but it is not proving universally popular with locals, especially as some of the site is green belt land.

Coun FletcherCoun Fletcher
Coun Fletcher

The proposals outline the development which will consist of up to 625,000ft sq of new industrial space “to meet the significant regional demand from small to medium-sized businesses, whilst having the flexibility to react to market need should larger requirements prevail.”

And Dan Symonds, development manager at Glenbrook, said: “Demand for industrial space is at an all-time high outstripping supply. Meridian 6 will provide much needed new accommodation whilst helping to secure new jobs and attract further investment to this area of Greater Manchester. We would like to thank everyone who engaged during the public consultation.

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“The feedback received was useful, particularly around biodiversity, which has been reflected in the design layout with increased structured landscaping and greenspace. Once planning is determined we will be on site early in the New Year delivering the infrastructure works without delay.”

Dominic Page, a planning associate at real estate advisor Gerald Eve, said: “Meridian 6 represents the last remaining strategic allocated employment site without planning permission in Wigan.

“The current proposals would unlock this long-standing allocation, delivering a first phase of industrial accommodation that could be expanded across the wider site in future.

“Meridian 6 will also help to reduce the pressure for development on unallocated and Green Belt sites in Wigan as developers struggle to find enough land to satisfy continued strong market demand.”

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Glenbrook points out that the site was allocated for employment use in Wigan Council’s unitary development plan of 2006.

But earlier this year Ashton councillor Danny Fletcher, who formed the Keep Ashton Green (KAG), said the group could not support anything that took away from the green belt.

He said: “There is no way we could ever support taking the green belt whether it’s through an access road or warehouse.

“The taking of green belt for use for an access road is within the law which is what they’ll argue.

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“We’ve got the support of the local MP Yvonne Fovargue who is arguing against the development on traffic grounds.”

More than 650 addresses in the area had a residents’ notice posted to them as part of the consultation, which provided outline details of the proposals and directed residents to the public consultation website.

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