A DEVELOPER has unveiled housing plans to transform an industrial estate.
Although the firm have held outline consultation events with villagers, HIMOR waited until after the Government’s decision to approve the building of 1,000 homes in Standish before submitting their own application for 150 homes to town hall chiefs at Easter.
The confirmation triggered an immediate angry response from ward independent councillors Gareth and George Fairhurst who are now pressing the council to mount a judicial review.
They claim that the area’s road infrastructure won’t be able to cope with the influx of up to 2,500 extra residents cars.
Coun Gareth Fairhurst revealed: “Save Standish group will now be calling a public meeting in the next few days to announce our strategy.”
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has launched her own protest which will be sent directly to the government minister.
Chorley-based HIMOR, a division of Bill Ainscough’s property empire, describes the Barrowcroft development as the first phase of a project that will create a “small-scale, mixed-use extension” of the existing village’s east flank.
Almost 150 homes are planned – 30 will be classed as affordable – on part of what is currently Bradley Hall trading estate in a £13m scheme.
HIMOR insist that the basis of the scheme is to “breath new life” into the surviving chunk of the historic industrial site, a munitions factory during the Second World War and then Heinz’ first Wigan factories immediately afterwards.
It would sweep away buildings “that are coming to the end of their economic life” while focusing investment in the retained estate.
Bosses at the developer say that they have been exploring the possibility of developing the commercially unviable areas of the estate for around 18 monthsm and believe that a modernised estate would contribute towards bringing Wigan’s employment portfolio up to 21st century standards, in line with a “key objective” of the council.
Its head of property Paul Wrigglesworth, pledges that Barrowcroft “has the potential to drive real economic benefits” for Standish.
“HIMOR want to safeguard the estate’s role as Standish’s primary commercial location,” said Mr Wrigglesworth.
“But redeveloping the application site for commercial uses alone simply is not viable and so releasing it for housing will mean that we can improve buildings and attract new tenants elsewhere on the estate.”