Housing scheme could bring jobs for Wiganers

Controversial plans to build a £150m development on green belt land could provide a jobs boost for people in Wigan.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 12:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:51 pm
MP Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, pictured right, visits Haydock residents protesting on Liverpool Road, Haydock, about a planning application to build two large warehouses on the site of North Florida Farm, Haydock

That is the verdict of a report prepared for Wigan Council’s planning committee about proposals for Florida Farm North in Haydock.

The planning application will be considered by St Helens Council’s planning committee on a date yet to be confirmed.

But it is only 800 metres from the borough’s boundary with Golborne so the impact of the scheme is an agenda item for Tuesday’s meeting of Wigan Council’s planning committee.

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A report prepared for councillors recommends that Wigan Council informs St Helens Council that it does not object to the proposed development.

The report concludes: “It is recommended that the council does not object to the planning application, as the proposal would have negligible impact on the borough and would provide significant new jobs in an area accessible to borough residents.”

The application seeks outline planning permission to erect two commercial buildings, along with infrastructure such as roads and footpaths, on the site on Slag Lane.

It also seeks full planning permission for a new access road to the A580 East Lancashire Road.

The plans have been met with anger from people living in the area and more than 1,700 objections have been received by St Helens Council.

They have the support of Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, who visited Haydock to meet campaigners.

Their concerns included loss of green belt land and the impact on traffic, residential amenity and wildlife.

But the report states that other than traffic impact, they are “localised issues” which do not affect Wigan.

The council’s traffic section raised no objections to the proposal, as the impact on traffic would be “negligible” and most traffic would be in St Helens.

The report also says the development would create 2,100 jobs, which would be “easily accessible” by Wigan residents.

The planning committee meets at 2pm on Tuesday at Wigan Town Hall.