Homes plan battle

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ANGRY residents are preparing to fight council plans to build hundreds of new homes on open land.

Proposals for around 230 new houses have been mooted on land near Coldalhurst Lane in Astley, which was recently recommended for future building development under Wigan Council’s Core Strategy, which sets out the local authority’s plans to meet the borough’s housing needs until 2026.

Developer Peel Holdings has sketched out plans for a housing estate on around 7.5 hectares of safeguarded land, which will also involve building a new access road to link the newly-constructed properties with Manchester Road.

However, residents living in the surrounding streets are furious at the lack of improvements to the local infrastructure included in the plans and the loss of an open spaces which is popular with dog walkers and children.

They are now in the process of forming a campaign group to register their objections to the plans.

Campaign leader Bev Jordan, who lives in Coldalhurst Lane, said: “I am very concerned that the proposals haven’t been thought through, particularly with regard to the impact on the surrounding area.

“If you look at the access roads there are two main routes, and one of them is via Coldalhurst Lane and Moorgate Drive.

“Coldalhurst Lane is an unadopted road which is susceptible to flooding and potholes, and the other is just about wide enough for one car because people park both sides.

“It’s completely unacceptable for another 200 houses to be using those roads as a thoroughfare.

“All the local schools are full to capacity and there are long waiting lists in the area, and the development has no additional facilities which you would expect to come with a new estate. It’s just houses.

“Although the land isn’t green belt, it’s one of the few spaces in the area where people can walk their dogs and children can play safely.”

Although the group is still in its early stages, other residents are also assisting the effort to ensure Astley residents are aware of the proposed development, with a planning application expected to be submitted within the next few weeks.

Garry Woodcock, of Abbotts Green, said: “Everyone my daughter and I have spoken to has been completely aghast at the building plans, and are saying it’s ridiculous that more green spaces are being lost.

“A lot of people don’t seem to know anything about it, even when their streets are clearly going to be affected.”

Wigan Council head of planning and transport, Mike Worden, said: “We are aware that Peel intend to submit a planning application for the land at some point in the near future.

“The borough needs new homes over the next 15 years and this is one of the areas which the council has identified for new housing.

“The land is not Green Belt and has, for a long time, been designated as potential future housing land.

“We will, however, await the outcome of the examination before making any decisions which affect the future of this land.”