Former tax office to be turned into flats

Wigan tax office set to be transformed into apartments
Wigan tax office set to be transformed into apartments

A RESIDENTIAL development with 36 flats but only three parking spaces in Wigan has been approved by council planners.

The conversion of the former tax office on Bridgeman Terrace near to Mesnes Park was given the green light at a town hall meeting this week.

Dozens of residents had opposed the plans for adding to the already strained parking situation on nearby streets.

But developers Riverstone Properties said the development’s target market would be tenants who do not have vehicles.

Wigan Central councillor Michael McLouglin, speaking in opposition to the plans, told the planning committee: “It is unbelievable that officers believe the level of car ownership among the tenants will be so low.

“This proposal is too big for that part of the town.”

Adding: “The parking situation would spoil the ambience for locals and harm their quality of life.”

Andrew Titterton, representing Riverstone, told the planning hearing that potential residents would be aware of the parking situation before they applied.

And given the location close to town centre public transport, tenants would not need vehicles.

He added: “The building is an eyesore in this conservation area.”

Members of the planning committee said the design of the new frontage would be a vast improvement on the current “1960s style” appearance of the three storey building.

Coun Yvonne Klieve said she did not accept resident complaints about loss of privacy or congestion.

She said: “When the building was a busy office they would have had a loss of privacy then, when people were working through the day and evening.”

Officers confirmed no such complaints had been received.

Although Coun Fred Walker raised personal concerns.

He said: “Houses in multiple occupation (HMO) with no parking tend to attract people who are a bit desperate. Not people who want to live in an up and coming area.

Coun Walker voted against the plans but was the only one of the 11 strong committee to do so.

Coun Jeanette Prescott said: “This is an up and coming area. I believe everyone should have a choice of where they want to live and I think we will find there will be a lot of demand for these flats. I think it looks lovely.”