Campaign’s five demands in Haigh Hall access row

The campaign group battling access issues at Haigh Hall has issued a list of five demands to the council to ensure there are no more restrictions.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 9:08 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:13 am
Haigh Hall

The group Friends of Haigh Hall Heritage and Open Access For All recently secured a significant victory when Wigan Council ordered Contessa Hotels, which is running the landmark building as a hotel, to ensure people could get down the main drive at all times.

Previously when the gates have been locked during events visitors have been directed to a panoramic path which the borough’s ruling cabinet earlier this year deemed unsafe.

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Following their success the campaigners have now requested the leader and chief executive at the town hall make a number of changes.

The five demands are:

1: A clause in Contessa’s lease setting out exceptions to when the public can use the roads and paths to be removed.

2: The panoramic path to be closed on safety grounds.

3: The large gates near the north entrance to the hall to be removed.

4:The memorial benches to be returned to their original location outside the hall.

5: An explanation from Wigan Council of why the lease allows change of use to be granted from May 2026.

The campaigners also told those in charge of the town hall they are pressing on with their bid to get the main route past the hall designated as a public right of way.

A campaign group spokesperson said: “It is clear that there is a long way to go before we achieve our campaign goal, that is, a future-proof dedicated public right of way from the Plantation Gates to School Lane.We sincerely hope that the council will continue to support our ongoing campaign. We feel it is of paramount importance to protect our traditional and rightful access to the entire Haigh estate."

The campaigners say the gates need to go as there are already ways of blocking vehicles at the School Lane entrance and the benches should be back at the side of the hotel as they are “priceless” to park visitors.

Wigan Council leader Coun David Molyneux said: “We have received the letter and will be looking closely at the measures proposed. Any decisions made will be communicated to the campaigners and wider public.”