Residents' fury over plans for huge house build

Ed Thwaite
Ed Thwaite

Residents have hit out after a housebuilder submitted plans for more than 120 homes in an area already full of construction projects and new builds.

Redrow Homes wants to put a total of 122 dwellings on open land north of Bainbridge Avenue in Lowton.

The developer wants to build on a 5.3-hectare site which is currently grassland and promise to protect nature in the area while providing homes it says are needed.

However, unhappy residents say far more homes have already been built in Lowton than the area can cope with, or than a Government inspector recommended several years ago.

Building even more houses in addition would, therefore, be unacceptable to neighbours, they say.

Ed Thwaite, who chairs the Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum (Lendf), said: “When we went in front of the building inspector he told Wigan Council they could built 600 homes in Lowton and 400 in Golborne.

“I would guess we are more than 300 over the 600 set for Lowton already and now there could be another 120 on top of that.

“They are totally ignoring the Government inspector’s advice. We’re not happy about it at Lendf and I don’t think anyone in Lowton is.

“They are just burying us in houses and we’re not getting any of the facilities or infrastructure we need. People in Lowton are disgusted and feel like they are a cash cow for the council.

“The reports for the new application says the roads are satisfactory, but access is through a little estate with quite narrow roads and they will have all the disruption during construction.

“There can be queues of two and a half miles at Lane Head waiting to get through the traffic lights. It’s like that all over Lowton all the time now.”

Redrow’s proposal is for 20 two-bedroom homes, 47 three-bed and 55 four-bed houses.

The developer says 30 of them, or 25 per cent of the total build, will be affordable, with 20 two-bedroom properties and 10 three-bed houses made available.

These will all be mews or semi-detached homes.

Every house will have two parking spaces and there will also be some integrated garages, suggesting there will be somewhere to leave just over 300 cars in total.

The developer also says it wants to safeguard the area for wildlife, with plans for extra ponds on site as well as opening a river which currently runs through a culvert to the light.

The report also mentions putting in bird boxes and bat roosts and planting a hedgerow along the western boundary to replace one which will be removed during construction.

The developer says there will be 1.8 hectares of open land and public space on the site in total.

The reports also call for new footpaths to be built and the developer’s statement says it wants to encourage people to get active by walking and cycling into the Greenheart network of nature areas.

Redrow also responded to complaints about over-construction, saying the most recent appeal in 2017 concluded that more houses would be needed in the areas previously looked at by inspectors.

It pointed out the council also does not have a five-year housing land supply.

The standard consultation expires until December 10, with nearby residents having until December 13 to make their views known.

The decision, which is currently delegated to council officers, is expected in mid-February next year.

To view the complete plans go to the planning section of Wigan Council’s website and search for application A/18/86357/MAJOR.