Fears over property scheme

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NEW schools will need building and more doctors may have to be hired if the council’s Core Strategy is to work, a new report is warning.

Infrastructure assessments on sites in Standish, Lowton and Golborne, where the council plans to build around 2,000 new homes to help meet future housing needs, show there are numerous hurdles to clear to ensure new residents have a suitable infrastructure.

The report, which will be shown to a Wigan Council scrutiny committee later this week, says a new one-form entry primary school will need building in both locations to deal with a projected shortfall of places and describes GP provision in Lowton as “particularly overstretched”.

However, despite additional concerns over sewerage and a requirement for developers to pay £100 per home to improve and maintain community facilities, the report says the Core Strategy is achievable.

The plans divide the new housing in Standish into two developments of 500 homes each, one at Almond Brook and the other at Rectory Lane, with access to a quarter from Rectory Lane and the rest from Chorley Road.

In Golborne and Lowton, 400 homes will be built at Rothwell’s Farm, 400 at Stone Cross Lane and 200 at Pocket Nook. The houses will be constructed on safeguarded land.

The report shows the biggest issue in Standish will be transport, with a new link road from Almond Brook Road to Preston Road and two new junctions having to be built. Another link road to Grove Lane, together with new junctions and a potential bus gate, may also need constructing.

The report recommends installing traffic lights at the Boars Head roundabout, changing signals at Red Rock Lane and improving facilities for walking, cycling and public transport.

The plans for Golborne and Lowton will also require significant upgrades to the road network, including junction improvements where Church Lane meets Newton Road and the East Lancs Road and a link road through Stone Cross.

The report suggests there will be a likely shortfall of more than 200 primary school places, with 123 more pupils than desks in Standish and 103 in Golborne and Lowton. The extra houses in Standish will also need an additional GP at the township’s medical centre.

Wigan Council assistant director of planning and transport, Mike Worden, said: “We need to know what the impact of 1,000 new homes has on local infrastructure and how this can best be mitigated.”