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145 new homes planned at Wigan site

The Betafence site
The Betafence site

A prime brownfield site in Wigan could be about to welcome 145 new homes.

Major developer Countryside Properties has submitted proposals to erect a mix of everything from two-bedroom apartments to larger four-bed homes for the former Betafence site, off Canal Street Beech Hill.

Known variously as GKN, Tinsley Wire and Gridweld, before a takeover by Sheffield-based Betafence, more than 60 jobs were lost when the outfit finally closed its doors at the end of 2009.

The location formed part of a “brownfield register”, released later by Wigan Council, which detailed more than 130 disused sites which had the potential to be regenerated for housing. Nearly 10,000 homes could be constructed across the borough, over the next 15 to 20 years, if the places mentioned were overhauled.

Cleared for demolition as early as 2013, the site was mentioned alongside the likes of the old Regent Truck forklift truck factory, off Frog Lane, and the Old Cattle Market land, off Hey Street and Prescott Street.

Under the current scheme, vehicle access to the proposed estate will be taken from Canal Street, leading to an internal estate road.

Each of the detached or semi-detached properties would have its own private garden and parking, and the apartments would also have their own amenity space.

Planning agent Chris Jones said: “The site will provide a much-needed boost to the housing supply in the area and reuse a site that is unsuitable for employment, in line with local and national policy.”

An outline application for housing, establishing the principle for the redevelopment, has already been approved last year.

Specialist contractors have been deployed to remediate land such as the Old Cattle Market and Regent Truck, which have also been cleared.

According to council property agents, the former market site, where the last sales were recorded in the early 90s, is currently under offer.

The Betafence site adjoins a housing estate built several years ago by McInerney Homes.

Other areas on the brownfield register include South Hindley, Northleigh, Hindley Green, Westleigh Waterfront, Land Gate and Westwood Park.