Jobs plan for former pit site unveiled

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WIGAN is set for a jobs windfall after plans emerged to transform a former pit which has been dormant for 60 years.

The scheme, which now includes an industrial and trading estate with a major supermarket along with hundreds of homes, has now been officially proposed for Landgate near Bryn.

It will incorporate a new by-pass between Wigan Road and Bryn Road along with sports fields, landscaped parkland and a pavilion-style community centre.

The scheme is the brainchild of Dave Baybutt’s Greenbank Partnerships company which has specialised in restoring and redeveloping the borough’s huge swathes of former coal board sites.

The 465-strong housing element of the proposals – which is likely to be one of the most controversial aspects – includes provision for at least a quarter to be rated “affordable” and specialist elderly accommodation.

In a letter, the developers say: “The development team has been working with senior officers at the council who have provided guidance on the emerging proposals that are intended to be submitted in due course in the form of an outline application with all matters reserved except for access.

“The emerging draft scheme has now progressed to a stage where we would very much like the opportunity to present the proposals to members on an informal basis in order to seek preliminary feedback ahead of seeking the views of the local community via a static public exhibition.”

Bryn Independent Coun Gary Wilkes described the scheme as “the biggest thing to hit Bryn for a generation”.

He pledged that ward colleague Don Hodgkinson and himself would be doing their “utmost to negotiate the best deal” for the area.

He said: “Whether you’re in favour of it or not it’s likely to happen, what the Bryn people need to do now is contact their local councillor to feed in their views.

“We need the development to have the right Infrastructure, the right amount of schools and as much green open space as possible, not forgetting protecting the nearby Landgate lodges from environment damage.”

Council director of Economy and Skills Steve Normington confirmed that the Landgate site was a “long standing” employment site allocation which has been subject to several discussions with developers in the past.

He said: “Various schemes show the potential to use internal site roads to provide local transport relief but do not provide for a formal bypass.

“At this stage no planning application has been submitted and if any developer was intent on progressing a scheme then public consultation would be expected prior to submission.”

The plans are expected to go before planning next year.