Demolition of Wigan street plagued by anti-social behaviour to go ahead

Council bosses will use legal powers to claim ownership of private houses standing in the way of a regeneration scheme.

By J. Illingworth
Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 2:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th February 2019, 3:24 pm
Sandalwood Drive in Beech Hill
Sandalwood Drive in Beech Hill

Demolition works have already been signed off for sections of Sandalwood Drive in Beech Hill, a street plagued by anti-social behaviour.

It is part of the first phase of plans to create a housing scheme for the elderly or residents with health-related needs.

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Compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) will be used by the town hall on four remaining properties that are not currently in the council’s ownership.

If successful, they will then become part of the second phase of the development plans.

Cabinet members voted in favour of the plans last month and the decision was verified earlier this week.

A decision report reads: “Acquisition of all private interests in the area would be required in order to allow the demolition of all properties within the site, to ready the site for re-development.

“The reason for selecting the recommended option was due to the issues with crime, anti-social behaviour and the poor design of the street, in order to ensure that a sustainable development option was delivered it was considered that demolition was the most effective means of achieving this.”

The council has previously said the cul-de-sac has had a long history of vandalism and anti-social behaviour, culminating in a number of the properties standing empty for several years.

Remaining residents have been moved into other council properties.

Reddish Demolition has been awarded the contract for the first phase of the demolition works.

CPOs allow local authorities to obtain land or property without the consent of the owner if the proposed development is considered to be of benefit to the public.

Owners – who are paid compensation – have a right to appeal.

Coun Terry Halliwell, cabinet member for housing, said in a recent statement: “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.”