Houses scheme for former Wigan colliery site

Plans to build a pub and retail store on a former colliery have been abandoned – but a housing estate could be built in its place.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:29 pm
Bickershaw Colliery in its heyday

Taylor Wimpey wants to develop on the southern part of what was Bickershaw Colliery, which closed in 1992, though none of the 29 homes will be affordable.

The developer had planned to build a pub and retail store on the Plank Lane site, but no businesses were interested – despite an ‘extensive’ marketing campaign.

At a meeting with Taylor Wimpey in July, Wigan council expressed concerns that failing to deliver on the proposals would affect local residents.

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And under new proposals submitted to the authority, a store would be built on the ground floor of a new apartment building.

The four-storey complex would have 12 two-bedroom apartments, with a mixture of three and four-bedroom homes built alongside it.

New homes are already being built near the brownfield site, namely the Pennington Wharf development.

A planning statement says: “The site has been designed to complement the surrounding area, creating local identity and reduce antisocial behaviour.

“Well-informed design and material choice will give the development longevity, contribute to the townscape and raise the aspirations of the area.”

The estate will be aimed at those looking to downsize while also satisfying a need for family homes, but there will be no affordable homes.

With residential development exceeding 10 or more homes, Wigan council seeks to secure the provision of 25 per cent affordable housing.

Developers like Taylor Wimpey can submit independent viability assessments which often argue that building affordable homes would affect their profit margins.

The council’s own policy says: “Where it is demonstrated not to be a viable proportion, a reduced level of affordable housing will be negotiated.”