Wigan homes to be demolished

One of the condemned properties
One of the condemned properties
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A demolition plan for two Wigan houses built either side of a 200m deep mine shaft has been granted permission from the council.

The town hall has given its approval for the Coal Authority (CA) to dismantle the properties on Wallace Lane in Whelley before they become a safety risk.

Works could start by the end of the month and be finished by September, according to a town hall report.

Built in the 1950s, the mid-terraced properties are either side of what was the Wallace Colliery Shaft and are now owned by the CA.

The shaft provided access to five coal seams that were worked from the 1830s onwards and was filled in during the 1920s.

A decision report from council planning officers reads: “The removal of the building, which is not considered to be of any particular architectural merit, and the clearance of the site will not adversely affect the appearance of the street scene or the amenity of adjoining properties.”

The empty plot created by the demolition will be left vacant with the adjoining walls to neighbouring properties rebuilt to “give (a) neat appearance to match existing properties on the road”.

Michael Owens, project manager of the CA’s public safety and subsidence team, added: “This mine shaft was filled in during the 1920s and we believe that the terraced houses were designed and constructed in a way to ensure that the filled shaft was not directly built on.

“Unfortunately, over time the fill material has slumped and the two homes either side of the passage have suffered the effects of subsidence.”

Neither house has been occupied for some considerable time.

Wigan was at the heart of the region’s coal mining industry up until the second part of the previous century with dozens of collieries spread across the borough.