Housing developers invest £2m into Wigan communities

More than £2m will be invested back into local communities thanks to money received from developers of housing schemes across the borough.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th October 2018, 4:53 pm
From left, councillors Christine Roberts, Barry Taylor and Paula Wakefield at Green Avenue Park, in Astley

The money, known across local authorities as Section 106, is a financial sum negotiated between housing developers and the council in its role as local planning authority.

It is calculated based on the scale of their project and the nature of potential impacts the development will have on the area, such as an increase in transport congestion or applications for school places.

In 2017/18, Wigan Council received more than £2m in Section 106 money, which was one of the highest in Greater Manchester.

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Authority leader Coun David Molyneux said: “Once a planning application comes through for new housing or commercial development, we assess the proposed scheme against a range of impacts that the development may have on the local area.

“If a scheme is assessed to have adverse impacts on the local area, we will seek to negotiate a Section 106 contribution from the applicant in line with the criteria set out in the local policy framework.

“One of our key priorities is to ensure communities and town centres are able to grow and this contribution could go towards infrastructure improvements, the provision of affordable housing or open space, which can help improve local areas.”

In the last 12 months, these negotiations have secured £2m, which will benefit a number of areas across the borough, including Atherton, Bryn, Golborne, Astley, Hindley, Tyldesley, Leigh, Orrell, Standish and Wigan.

Most recently, Standish Mineral Line was improved through the Section 106 scheme, meaning the former old railway track was upgraded from a muddy path to a fully surfaced and lit bridleway.

Coun Molyneux added: “Standish Line is a prime example of how Section 106 money can benefit the local community. Not only does new housing mean we’re one step closer to reaching five year demand, but it means we can invest further in that local area.”

Green Avenue Park in Astley has also had six new pieces of play equipment installed, which were funded through Section 106.

The improvements are aimed at children under six years old and include an inclusive basket swing, a parent and toddler swing and new surfacing making the area more usable through the winter months.

Ward councillor, Christine Roberts said, “We welcome the council’s investment in our local community. We are all delighted that our children have a lovely, new play area where they can feel safe.”