Homes plan for ex-school

Abraham Guest High School site in Orrell
Abraham Guest High School site in Orrell

MORE than a hundred homes for older people could be built on the former site of a Wigan secondary school.

Wigan Council is planning to develop the old base of Abraham Guest High School at Orrell into accommodation for the elderly.

There would be 30 bungalows and a care housing scheme with approximately 100 flats. As part of this care scheme, there would be 24-hour on site care available to residents.

The plans also include a range of facilities for the community including a café.

Abraham Guest High School relocated from its old Orrell Road home to a new multi-million pound building under the now-defunct Building Schools for the Future plan on a new site at Greenhey, Orrell, in 2010.

Since then its former home on Orrell Road has been demolished and the land cleared.

The area has greened over and is not much of an eyesore, but there have been problems with travellers setting up camp there.

The council is working on the redevelopment plans with local housing association Helena Partnerships.

The money to pay for the scheme is subject to a bid for funding from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency - the result of which will be known in July.

If successful, a planning application would be submitted in 2015 with the homes ready for occupation in 2016.

Local people would be able to have their say on the plans before any application is submitted.

Coun Paul Kenny, Wigan Council cabinet member for housing, said: “I think this would be a great use of an important piece of land.

“We need more properties suitable for older people because the borough’s population is aging.

“The aim of the council is to help people live independently in their own homes as they get older.

“The homes will be specifically designed to meet the needs of older residents in the local community.”

Such a development would be the latest in a series of housing projects on the sites of former Wigan schools.

In the past 25 years, estates have sprung up on the land formerly occupied by Whitley High School, Mere Oaks Special School, Aspull High and St Thomas More High at Newtown, plus the sites of a number of primary schools that had also become surplus to requirements.