Several businesses are seeking approval to serve alcohol to punters in busy town centre zones across the borough.
On the council’s current list of pending licensing applications, there are five applications for “new premises licences” three of which fall into areas covered by the “cumulative impact policy”.
The controversial policy means any new applications for pubs, clubs, off-licences and late night takeaways in the zones must give “substantial evidence” as to why they won’t add to existing crime and disorder problems.
This rule could prove problematic for three organisations seeking to serve alcohol in Wigan’s Hallgate, and Leigh’s Bradshawgate and Railway Road.
An application submitted for “Relish”, on the site of the former “Coven” vegan restaurant at 43 Hallgate, indicates plans to open from Wednesday to Sunday from noon until 10.30pm, serving alcohol until 10pm.
A decision in 2016 to reject a bid to open a real ale bar on the same street was blasted by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, who said she “failed to see” how a micro-brewery would negatively affect the town.
The town hall has assured that it will carefully consider any proposals it receives. A spokesperson said: “The policy does not mean that any application will be refused and applications such as family entertainment centres and restaurants are actually welcomed and are more likely to be granted to encourage a different type of business.
“It’s not about stifling growth but about encouraging different types of businesses.”
Outside the town centre, on Gidlow Lane, a new premises application is being sought for the former Westheads sweet shop.
The building, which is nestled among a row of shops, has been taken over by Westheads Wigan Ltd, a business specialising in “public houses and bars” which is seeking to serve alcohol until 11pm from Monday to Saturday and 10pm on a Sunday.
Applications have also gone in for “new premises licences” on two of Leigh’s busiest roads. If approved, Twentymans on Bradshawgate will serve alcohol until 10.15pm from Thursday to Saturday.
Perola do Mar would also be eligible to sell alcohol until 11pm seven days a week.