Bid for 325 new homes in Wigan moves a step closer

Demolition work is set to take place which should kickstart a project to bring 325 homes to a prime site in Wigan.

Friday, 20th April 2018, 2:21 pm
Updated Friday, 20th April 2018, 2:31 pm
One of the units at Wigan Enterprise Park, which is set to be fully demolished

Agents acting on behalf of St Modwens Properties have submitted plans to the borough council to pull down Unit 40 at Wigan Enterprise Park, off Seaman Way, Ince.

Supporters say that the scheme could provide the first phase of a possible relief road linking Seaman Way with Phoenix Way, which is part of the promised major east-west route linking Bolton and Wigan.

The removal of the premises, which has housed William Hare Ltd and Eiffel Steel in recent times, is required before building work begins on an extensive housebuilding project there.

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Blueprints for the industrial estate met with opposition from Wigan Council, after councillors initially rejected the bid, on the grounds that it was still important employment land for the borough.

But St Modwens was successful, on appeal, after a planning inspector ruled that to convert around 80 per cent of the site for housing was the best possible outcome.

Following the decision land director Nick Whittingham said the Risley-based firm was looking to “bring forward new housing on the industrial estate and provide up to 325 new family homes with substantial areas of open space and landscaping together with the opening up of the culverted water course.”

Council planning officials said they were “disappointed” with the outcome, as they felt it was still a marketable location for industry.

But St Modwen insisted it would create 100 construction jobs, in the first instance, as well as opening up Ince Brook and creating new public open space.

They also relied on studies showing that there was considered to be a need for new family homes in the Wigan area, which were published in 2012.

Planning agent Mark Mates said: “These demolition works are proposed to take place during the spring of 2018.

Parts of the building are thought to contain asbestos, so extra precautions will be taken, the demolition contractors have confirmed.

A survey of the nearby brook will also have to take place at some point to determine if conservation measures have to be taken to protect any potential greater crested newt colonies there.

Work has already been undertaken to remove some of the smaller buildings and sub-stations, which are required for the overall initiative.

Detailed plans on the layout of the new estate, are still awaited from the housing company.

Enterprise House, to the north of the planned development, and Wigan Enterprise Court, to the east, will be unaffected by the changes.

The enterprise park was built on the site of a former colliery and forge.

Another site in Ince could also be transformed with the creation of new housing in the near future, it has been revealed this week.

Outline proposals have been lodged with borough planners for a prospective development on the site of Roy Wood Bar Supplies and land to the west of Wray Street.

This would follow the demolition of existing buildings there and include the provision of a new access road.