Farm estate gets the nod


BUILDERS have been given the green light to build houses on Wigan farmland.

Planning committee councillors approved landowner William Egan’s outline scheme despite a torrent of opposition from neighbours with more than 100 writing letters of objection and a further 450 signing a petition calling on the land, at the rear of Old Pepper Lane, Standish, to be saved from the bulldozers.

Although only still at the outline stage, provisional plans show an estate of 37 homes indicated.

Council development control manager Mike Worden said the application was a re-submission because it could now be considered against the terms of the recently accepted Standish Infrastructure Assessment.

The site is in an area where development of up to 1,000 homes is proposed under a Government inspector’s ordered re-draft of the borough’s Core Strategy masterplan.

Mr Egan’s agent Gary Williams said that now the infrastructure plan was before planners, there was no reason for them to oppose the housing plan.

It was also a sustainable development and, under the terms of a Section 106 agreement signed by Mr Egan, it would generate £5,000 per house for the council to use to improve highways and community facilities.

Although Standish independent councillor George Fairhurst was recorded as objecting to the scheme, there was no objector registered to give evidence when committee chairman Coun Paul Prescott attempted to call one.

Director of economy Steve Normington said the site was “contiguous” with the built up environment of Shevington and would therefore constitute a “sustainable urban extension.”

It would be “well integrated” into the built-up area with good access to local facilities within Shevington Moor as well as Junction 27 of the M6.

He added: “Connectivity for cycling and walking towards Standish town centre can also be improved in the future with the further development of the Almond Brook area.”

The Transport Infrastructure Assessment found that a link road should be provided between Almond Brook Road and Preston Road to help with traffic dispersal and improve the connections with Standish. Town hall highways engineers refute residents’ claims that the new estate will result in road safety and traffic problems along Old Pepper Lane.