Councillor steps in to recycling centre dispute

The site in question
The site in question
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Residents unhappy about the construction process for a new recycling centre in the borough have some relief after a councillor stepped in.

Coun Karen Aldred, who represents Atherton ward in the Wigan Council chamber, hopes the problems are solved for neighbours close to where Maxilead’s new site, near the Chanters Industrial Estate in Atherton, is being built.

Those unhappy with developments recently attended a meeting in Atherton, where complaints were made that lights illuminating an existing recycling facility were shining into nearby houses.

This had previously been prevented by trees which had been chopped down as part of ground investigation work.

Coun Aldred spoke to Wigan Council and, after authority officers paid a visit to the site, a solution appears to have been found to all parties’ satisfaction.

Coun Aldred said: “I went down to have a look and the lights were very bright for those houses facing the rear of the site, mainly the ones on Douglas Road.

“It was a fair concern that had been voiced.

“I put an enquiry in and an officer from the council went out to do a site visit.

“The biggest problem seemed to be the canopy lighting which is shining right across to the houses.

“They have now been lowered a little and residents have since told me that they feel the lights are no longer shining directly at them and it isn’t so distracting.

“This hadn’t shown up as an issue before because of the trees that were blocking the light.

“Maxilead has to put the trees back as part of the planning conditions so, hopefully, that will be the end of this particular problem.

“We’ve had a breakthrough and, hopefully with the nights now getting shorter as well, the lights won’t need to be on as much.”

Wigan Council said some of the illumination was needed for security and safety.

Penny McGinty, assistant director for corporate contracts and assets, said: “The lights used at the Chanters Industrial Estate recycling centre are usually kept on to ensure residents can safely navigate themselves on-site, especially during times of year when it is dark during opening hours.

“The floodlights in the lower area, which point in the direction of houses on Douglas Road, will only be used when the security guard carries out inspections.

“There are also lights underneath the canopy on both sides. The side that shines towards the houses will be switched off at night and only the ones shining towards the skips will remain on.

“These changes will be carried out and hope to be in place in the next few weeks.”

Maxilead received planning approval from the local authority to construct the new, larger facility and to allow its old site at Parr Bridge Works in Tyldesley to be turned into houses and a number of retail and community facilities in January.

Coun Aldred chaired the recent meeting in Atherton alongside fellow Labour representative Coun Mark Aldred and Bolton West MP Chris Green.