Mixed feelings as Wigan link road gets blessing

Protesters from Meadow Brook Estate
Protesters from Meadow Brook Estate
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Campaigners against the M58 Link Road have voiced their “upset and anger” over council recommendations to approve plans for the multi-million pound scheme.

The town hall planning committee will meet on Thursday May 24 to discuss the strongly-objected proposals to construct a 2.3km single carriageway link road between the eastern roundabout of junction 26 of the M6 with the M58 and A577 and the A571 Billinge Road Foundry Lane junction, which is known as the M58 Link Road.

Councillors on the planning committee were set to meet on Tuesday but the meeting was pushed back by over a week.

As the meeting looms, protesters - most of whom are residents to Pemberton’s Meadow Brook Estate, continue to question why they were not informed of the plans when the houses first went up for sale.

Claire Ormshaw-Heddle, a spokesperson for the “Say no to the M58 link road” group, said: “Most residents on Meadow Brook are young families and deliberately chose to live away from busy traffic, for health and safety reasons and because it was accessible to Pemberton centre, schools, doctors etc.

“We all love the semi-rural location, Winstanley Estate and greenbelt is at the back of us and the wildlife is fantastic. How awful is would be to spoil this.

“We asked our local councillors for help but received none despite Paul Prescott being the chairman for the planning committee.

“It’s plain to see why we are upset and angry at the situation we potentially find ourselves in.

“We object to the road entirely but seeing that council members knew well in advance, the situation they were putting us in, we would now like to know how they are planning to mitigate our issues.

“We will hopefully be putting forward our objections at the committee meeting next Thursday. We only found out that it was happening earlier today so we are trying to make arrangements so that this is possible.”

The link road will utilise an existing road, Leopold Street, and will mean building two new sections of road, which will connect it to the motorway junction. The road will be a single carriageway with a speed limit of 30mph.

Rebecca Heron, director of economy and skills at Wigan Council, said: “We’re committed to finding ways to improve our infrastructure so people have better connectivity in, out and around the borough.

“By providing a high-spec road network, we’re able to give people better access to jobs and opportunities and encourage more businesses to invest in the borough, which is a key priority for the council.

“In light of concerns from members of the public, officers at the town hall will be proposing a number of conditions to the committee, which directly address the points raised.”