Council and residents develop neighbourhood plan

Wigan Council and residents have pledged to work together to develop a neighbourhood plan for Leigh after the first proposal was withdrawn.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 9:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 10:56 am
WIGAN/LEIGH 27-06-16 from left, Ged Tyrrell and Bryan Kay are the founders of Leigh Neighbourhood Forum and are organising a public meeting at Leigh Sports Village.

The scheme proposed by the Leigh Neighbourhood Forum for giving local people more say over how the area is run was taken off the table after the council’s ruling cabinet recommended it be rejected.

Town hall officers have also taken their revised neighbourhood plan, with a much smaller area concentrating on Leigh town centre, back after it became clear the forum did  not support it.

Both organisations will now come together to work on a revised plan, with councillors from local wards also joining in the meeting to shape Leigh’s future at the recommendation of cabinet member Coun Keith Cunliffe.

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Coun Cunliffe said: “We were very keen to work with local residents and members of the Leigh Neighbourhood Forum.

“We’re pleased to have come to an agreement and look forward to working with them to develop the plan.

“By working together in the spirit of partnership, we can achieve far more than we can apart. It’s a real opportunity to engage with the residents of Leigh.”

Neighbourhood forum chairman Ged Tyrrell said: “We welcome this as an extremely positive step from the council, since agreement with them on the content of the proposed plan is vital.

“We are an independent, non-political group trying our best to represent the people but working with the council is critical in agreeing on the content of the proposed plan and the area it covers so that it embraces and enhances the existing council policies as we move forwards to deliver the best possible results for our area.”

Neighbourhood plans allow residents to have a say on issues such as  achieving economic growth, where new housing developments should go, where new shops and offices will be built, what infrastructure should be provided and what the buildings should look like.

The Leigh residents are also keen to promote improvements to the town centre and canal network.

Leigh’s is the third Neighbourhood Plan taking shape in the borough, with Standish and Abram already working through the process.