Housing fears as plot of land put up for sale

Wigan Council has opted to place a plot of land up for sale prompting fears it could be snapped up by housing developers.

Friday, 7th October 2016, 11:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:44 pm
Traffic queueing at the Boars Head junction with Chorley Road. Can the area take any more traffic on the roads from additional house building?

The decision to designate the site off Chorley Road in Standish “surplus to requirements” was made by the ruling cabinet last week.

However, residents are already concerned about the impact of several other housing developments in the area and have passed on the message that “Standish is full”.

The town hall hopes the land sale will generate much-needed funds for the cash-strapped local authority.

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And bosses have attempted to allay housing fears by stating any applications would have to go through the planning committee.

However, two major developments rejected by local councillors in 2014 were last year given the green light when a government inspector over-ruled the town hall.

One resident, who asked not to be named, told the Observer: “This land is close to other housing developments and the council may have every intention not to have housing on it but they may not have the final say.

“Standish is about to get hundreds and hundreds of new homes and the impact on infrastructure, traffic and congestion is worrying a lot of people.”

The Chorley Road site is near to a plot off Lurdin Lane, one of the applications forced through by the inspector last year. Design and access details for the development were given the green light by the planning committee last month.

Paul McKevitt, deputy chief executive at Wigan Council, said: “The council is reviewing all of its assets as it looks to save a further £60m and the land off Chorley Road has been identified as surplus to council requirements.

“Its sale will help towards the need to provide council services in these challenging financial times.

“Any subsequent use for the land would need to be subject to the relevant approvals required for any proposed change of use.”

Deputy leader for Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux, stated when the inspector last year over-ruled the town hall: “We believe there is already enough new housing planned for Standish.

“That is why we steadfastly refused to allow any more.

“We are not against housing developments, far from it, but they have to be in the right areas.

“Residents shouldn’t have to tolerate the over-development of specific areas of the borough.”