Work set to begin on Wigan street blighted by anti-social crime

Sandalwood Drive
Sandalwood Drive

A Wigan cul-de-sac which has long been blighted by anti-social behaviour is now one step closer to regeneration as a contractor is appointed.

Wigan Council has confirmed Reddish Demolition as the successful contractor.

They will begin the first phase of demolition on the site, including 15 of the properties on the street later this month.

Sandalwood Drive in Beech Hill, Wigan, has a long history of problems including vandalism, anti-social behaviour and a lack of demand for the homes.

This has resulted in a high percentage of the 28 houses and flats standing empty for a number of years.

The majority of the properties are owned by Wigan Council with the rest in private ownership or occupied by private tenants.

But in 2018, cabinet member for housing, Councillor Terry Halliwell, gave the go-ahead for council officers to work with residents to assist them in moving to new homes.

He said: “We are committed to investing in our communities to improve the lives of all of our residents.

“Sandalwood Drive has suffered from anti-social behaviour and a lack of demand in housing with a high percentage of homes standing empty and being subject to vandalism.

“The future development of the site will not only address the current social problems the area suffers from but completely transform it into a desirable and attractive residential area.

“We believe this strategy will improve the wider area of Beech Hill ensuring a sustainable, safe community.

“We look forward to working with Reddish Demolition in the coming weeks. They were the perfect fit for this project as we share the same values and they understand the importance of delivering this project and changing the local outlook on the site.”

The demolition of the houses in Sandalwood Drive will make way for a new regeneration scheme which will address housing demand and increase the range of housing that is available in Beech Hill.

Wigan Council are currently looking at a number of options to ensure the most appropriate type of housing will be put back on the site.

The council will also undertake clearing works to the area of open land behind the estate in the New Year, in line with the wider plans for the site.

A range of options were initially considered by Wigan Council to address issues on the estate, including the refurbishment and re-letting of the empty homes, with consultation having taken place with residents in the properties and ward councillors.

However, the cost of refurbishment, alongside the likelihood of further problems due to the poor layout of the street has meant that the refurbishment option was ruled out as it does not represent value for money.

Wigan Council has a £14m new build programme to deliver high quality housing, which will help residents lead happier and longer lives. The local authority is developing proposals for delivery of further homes over the next three years.

For more information on housing stock in the borough, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/housing.