Huge affordable housing development in Wigan gets approval

A huge new affordable housing development will be built in Wigan despite concerns over road congestion near the site.
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A total of 106 new homes will be built off Seaman Way in Ince, just next door to the Amberswood Rise housing estate – which still has 200 homes left to be erected.

Applicant Stonebond Properties said the mix of two, three and four bedroom homes will all be available for an affordable price or rent (maximum of 80 pc of market rate) and managed by Great Places Housing Group.

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The homes will be built in the vacant space left by Enterprise House, which was bulldozed in 2022 after no businesses came forward to use the site as employment space, Wigan Town Hall heard.

Wigan Enterprise Park off Seaman Way, InceWigan Enterprise Park off Seaman Way, Ince
Wigan Enterprise Park off Seaman Way, Ince
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pictures of Hawkley Hall High School pupils, staff and events 1996-2006

The planning committee were convinced by planning officers that trees cut down to make way for the site would be replaced. There would even be a net gain of 70 pc biodiversity net gain, the committee was told when objections were raised regarding the impact on the ‘wildlife corridor’ nearby.

Coun Janice Sharratt raised questions over the impact this could have on the nearby A577 – which a traffic study in 2010 dubbed the most congested road in the borough. She heard how the former industrial use would mean there would be little difference between the number of cars going in and out of the site then compared to when construction is complete.

The committee also heard how a new link road section connecting M6 and M61, which would run next to the site, could also improve traffic locally if the latest funding bid submitted by Wigan Council is approved by the Department for Transport. However, there is no current date or indication whether this bid for the section of link road will be approved by the government.

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There was disappointment among committee members as the £263,000 to improve education facilities in the area was not “financially viable” for the developer. Nevertheless, the “need for affordable homes outweighed education needs”, the council chamber heard.

“We have 14,000 people on the council house waiting list – if approved this allows some of those people to get a property which is good,” Coun John Harding said.

“We talk about using brownfield sites and this is a brownfield site.

“People say there are better locations for these affordable homes but I’d like to know where these better locations are. That new link road could be better for people on the housing estate potentially but we have to base this on the here and now.”

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Coun Laura Flynn added that this is a “really positive development which will have a really good impact on the local community”.

The development was unanimously approved by Wigan Council’s planning committee.

Excavations have recently been taking place on an approved section of the link road at the junction of the M6 and M58. These are only exploratory works at present but the section will run down the back of Pemberton and join up with a section currently being built by developers on the site of the former Pemberton Colliery.

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