Ambitious proposals to regenerate a Wigan housing estate are one step closer as the first phase of works were given the green light.
Wigan Council held a consultation with Worsley Mesnes residents earlier this year to gauge their views on redevelopment plans, which will bring in new investment, housing and estate improvements.
And, almost 95 per cent of those who took part in the consultation supported the proposals.
Worsley Mesnes is one of the most deprived areas in the region, with unfavourable health, crime and unemployment rates.
The first phase of the scheme will involve the demolition of five identified sites to make space for new housing, retail space and landscaping improvements.
The areas in question are:
The land formerly occupied by Hindley House council sheltered accommodation;
The one-time Wheel pub, the shopping parade, adjoining parking areas and a number of council-owned block flats off Dryden Close;
The site of Huxley House council flats and former site of Blake Close flats (once notoriously part devastated by a deliberately set gas explosion);
An area of open land at Elliot Drive between the Eliot Gardens extra care scheme and Mesnes Avenue; and
The home to the former Victoria Labour club and an area of open land to the north of it.
The sites were chosen to address local concerns with the central shopping parade, former Wheel pub site and nearby block of flats included.
It is anticipated that a developer partner will be sought to bring forward the scheme.
Coun Terry Halliwell, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration said: “We are fully committed to creating a brighter future for Worsley Mesnes, which will benefit all residents and people who work there in the years to come.
“I would like to thank everyone who took time to attend a feedback session or gave us their views.
“We received an overwhelming response and it’s fantastic that almost everyone who took part in the consultation were in support of our plans.
“Now we’ve collated the feedback, we can press ahead.
“Three out of five of the sites are now vacant and we are working directly with the residents in the remaining two sites to rehouse them over the coming months.
“We have also been in touch with the wider estate to inform them of the positive news.
“The demolitions will be done in phases and we will keep the public updated with our progress as we now move to find a suitable developer to bring our proposals to life.”
A masterplan was developed by Wigan Council in 2017 following on-going concerns from residents about the future viability of the estate.
The masterplan covered housing, the local environment and facilities, as well as exploring health and employment.
For more information about the Worsley Mesnes regeneration project, please visit the council’s website.