Call for Wigan estate clean-up before massive revamp

Worsley Mesnes resident Jim Gaskell
Worsley Mesnes resident Jim Gaskell
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A long-standing resident of a Wigan estate has called on regeneration chiefs to tackle a number of environmental matters as they make plans for a major overhaul.

Masterplans have been published for Worsley Mesnes detailing proposals to revamp five key sites including the former Hindley House, the old Huxley Close flats, The Wheel pub and Victoria Labour Club sites and open land at Eliot Drive.

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But foster carer Jim Gaskell, of Presst Grove, who has lived with wife Sue on the estate for nearly 44 years, is urging council chiefs to ensure fly-tipping, broken flags and parking issues are addressed alongside the revamp.

He said: “How do you expect anyone to want to buy houses on Worsley Mesnes if the environment is like it is? I’m fed up of reporting fly-tipping, close to where I live.

“There was a double mattress there for days and since they moved to three weekly bin collections people are just dumping rubbish outside their houses.”

He has also raised concerns about inconsiderate parking outside St James’ Primary and is calling for damaged paving to be tackled, if the estate is being generally revived.

Residents are being urged to attend the second of two public meetings, outlining the regeneration efforts, which will take place at St Jude’s Club on Thursday, between 3.30pm and 7pm. One gathering has already taken place at Clifton Street Community Centre.

It is anticipated that a developer partner will be sought to bring forward the scheme.

Works on the scale proposed for Worsley Mesnes would outstrip anything seen there since the 1980s.

No fewer than 270-plus new homes have been mooted for the estate previously, as well as the remodelling of certain streets, improved open spaces and a new hub featuring shops, a community area and neighbourhood square.

This consultation, for work backed by the Homes and Communities Agency, follows on from similar exercises conducted in 2016 and 2017.

Workshops have also been held previously with young people, to see how they would like to shape the future for their community.

Health needs and higher-than-average issues with crime and unemployment, for one of the borough’s most deprived wards, should be addressed.

It is envisaged that any improvements will be phased in over the next 10 years.

Coun Terry Halliwell, Wigan Council’s executive member for housing, said: “We are fully committed to creating a brighter future for Worsley Mesnes which will benefit all residents.

“It is vital the community have their input on this plan so we are able to get it right for the future of Worsley Mesnes.

“I would encourage people to attend the consultation events and to have their say.”

The consultation closes on June 27. For more information visit www.wigan.gov.uk/Council/Consultations/Current/Worsley-Mesnes.aspx