Anger at plan for huge units at junction 25

Yvonne Fovargue
Yvonne Fovargue

Politicians have reacted with fury to proposals for enormous warehouses to be built on greenbelt land at an M6 junction in the borough.

The responses to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) includes a masterplan for junction 25 covering Bryn and Winstanley submitted on behalf of developers db symmetry.

The plan shows six huge units being built on the site, the biggest of them covering 32 acres, with traffic leaving onto the A49 via a roundabout.
Campaigners say this is already congested and the loss of greenbelt land is unacceptable.

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue and ward councillors have slammed the submission, while residents have extensively protested about possible building work at junction 25 through the M6 South of Wigan Action Group.

Ms Fovargue claims the spatial framework letter selectively quotes a planning inspector who looked into the dispute in 2013.

She said: “Let nobody be in any doubt, the inspector’s report clearly stated that the benefits of the location were not sufficient to outweigh the adverse effects in relation to the green belt.

“He further reiterated that exceptional circumstances to justify removal of the land in question from the green belt do not exist.”

Coun Clive Morgan for Winstanley ward said: “The sheer size and scale of the masterplan will shock residents in Bryn and Winstanley.

“We have faced considerable development over the past decade and the A49 already suffers from congestion and I fear for yet more traffic and air pollution on an already overburdened local road network.

“It should not be forgotten that whilst the masterplan considers the site to the north of the spur road, the land to the south is also included in the GMSF allocation and could also be developed for more warehousing.

“The infrastructure is simply not there to support development of this size and scale along the A49 corridor.”

The developers responded by saying the junction 25 masterplan is essential for the borough’s economic growth

A spokesperson for CBRE said: “db symmetry has a proven track record in Wigan, having previously developed its M6 Epic scheme at South Lancs Industrial Estate.

“The company facilitated a huge amount of inward investment, creating a significant number of jobs.

“While there remains strong demand from companies looking to locate in Wigan, given its strategic location and strong labour market, the availability of suitable land is restricting delivery.The promotion of the site in the GMSF is therefore to facilitate future economic growth.

“Economic forecasts show there will be a significant need for new logistics floorspace across Greater Manchester (GM).

“As Wigan is the only GM authority on the M6 corridor some of this will need to be accommodated on appropriate sites in the borough. The current amount of land allocated for job creation will not enable the borough to effectively compete and generate jobs for local residents.

“The masterplan is intended to establish the amount of development that could potentially be achieved on the site whilst demonstrating some of the site-specific issues which resulted in the Core Strategy allocation being deleted can be addressed.

“A significant green gap can be created to surrounding residential areas.”