Residents opposed to a massive infrastructure project have been letting the town hall know their views in response to a planning application.
Valentina Moran, from Hindley, shared with Wigan Today her criticism of the South of Hindley scheme and the reasons she wants the town hall to reject it.
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An outline application, covering access only, has been submitted for the enormous project involving up to 2,000 new houses, business premises, a local centre, a primary school, open land and sports pitches on a swathe of land across Hindley and Hindley Green.
Ms Moran, of Treswell Close, says the developers Wigan Council and Peel Land Property have misrepresented the nature of the area which would be transformed, questions whether the infrastructure promised is really needed and says the construction will have a huge impact on Hindley.
Concerned residents’ groups online are also encouraging people to ensure officers are aware of the local fears about South of Hindley, which has also been criticised by both Labour and independent ward councillors as well as Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue.
The council said some of residents’ concerns, such as asbestos at the former Turner Brothers site, have been looked into already.
Ms Moran said: “The strategy refers to land in this area as mainly wasteland. This is simply not true and is completely contradictory to the Central Greenheart of Wigan label bestowed on the land following extensive restoration.
“It is beautiful and home to much wildlife. I walk my dog there and we take the children. A lot of money has been invested in the area so the footpaths are well maintained and there are signs telling you about the wildlife. To see that described as wasteland is quite sad.
“The planning application is diluted with promises to regenerate Leyland Park and to create sports provisions. The park has already been invested in.
"The Friends of Leyland Park work tirelessly to ensure that the park is looked after by the public: the input of an external organisation is not needed or wanted.
“There are also sports provisions already in Hindley with a local football club, rugby club, health centre and swimming pool - the application’s bargaining devices do not reflect the current needs of the local community.
“The Hindley area can only be negatively impacted by such an expansion; there will be an unacceptably high density of housing and populace.
“The noise and disturbance to the whole area will be excessive even after completion.
“The visual impact will be chronic and devastating as our glimpses of nature in an already over-urbanised borough are stolen from us and replaced with yet more housing and man-made structures.
“The area already faces massive congestion issues. Link roads are not a good enough solution as they will merely feed in to existing roads that are disintegrating before our eyes.”
Andy Swift created the Facebook group No to South Hindley Urban Village, which now has more than 2,500 members and provides a focal point for opposition to development.
Mr Swift said: “The biggest concern is the infrastrure (or lack of it) being promised up front. The main road that will be part of the link road will be built in stages over 15 years depending on how many houses they sell. In the short term congestion will be far worse.”
A Wigan Council spokesman said: “This planning application includes extensive supporting information, such as reports of additional ground investigations from the area, which were carried out in response to concerns raised by local members.
“These surveys were carried out in addition to previous ground investigations across the site and this work did not identify any particular concerns regarding asbestos contamination within the area.”
“The application has been submitted jointly by Wigan Council and Peel Land and Property, and proposes up to 2000 new houses, 12 hectares of employment land, a new primary school, small neighbourhood centre and improved recreation facilities and open space. The application is an outline application with all matters reserved, except for the access arrangements.
“The proposals include a new link road from Liverpool Road to Leigh Road, which forms part of the wider east-west link across the borough, and is part of our current Housing Infrastructure Fund bid.”