Former Wigan council depot going under the hammer

The site in Orrell up for auction
The site in Orrell up for auction

Land behind former council offices in Orrell has been placed up for auction – with a £500,000 guide price.

And the added bonus of planning permission has seen the estimated value of the old depot, behind the former Orrell Town Hall, soar in just under three years.

Once home to Orrell recycling centre, the 0.7 acre site, where until recently there were 11 garages, was sold off by Wigan Council in late 2015 for £131,000.

But consent was given for 15 new homes at the location and auctioneers expect the lot to fetch half a million pounds when it goes under the hammer at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on Tuesday April 17.

A spokesman for Newton-based auctioneers Pugh and Company said: “The site has full planning consent for the construction of a new road from Orrell Gardens, and the construction of 15 new houses with all car parking and landscaping.”

The auctioneers have suggested that an alternative access point to the land can be created from Edge Hall Road, which might assist with construction deliveries for any prospective purchasers. This plot also forms part of the wider sale.

Work began last autumn on refurbishing the main council offices themselves, after Robin Park Lettings secured planning permission for four flats there.

The auction price for the Orrell Road landmark, in 2015, was £400,000, on the proviso it would require a substantial overhaul.

Controversy greeted the original decision to axe the recycling centre at Orrell six years ago, as it was argued that residents in the area, as well as those in neighbouring Billinge, would be expected to embark on a 15-mile round trip to the Kirkless tip at Ince, with the concurrent closure of the Frog Lane waste disposal site.

Neighbours were also unhappy when the planning permissions were sought for the old council offices and depot three years ago.

Protests focused on allowing construction traffic through Orrell Gardens. An original bid for 13 homes was followed in 2017 by approval for two more properties on the site, behind 213 to 217 Orrell Road.

Staff at the depot were relocated to Ince and office workers were found new berths across the borough, as the local authority looked to get a series of Life Centres off the ground, while looking to strip £14m out of the budget at the time.