Masterplan to target deprived council estate

Residents are being urged to have their say on a multi-million-pound masterplan to revitalise a housing estate in Worsley Mesnes.

Wednesday, 28th June 2017, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 31st August 2017, 3:24 pm
Artist's impression of the Worsley Mesnes project
Artist's impression of the Worsley Mesnes project

The regeneration project and delivery strategy has been commissioned by Wigan Council as part of the Government’s national estate regeneration programme.

It includes proposals for no fewer than 278 new homes, the remodelling of streets, improved greenspace and a new “heart” for Worsley Mesnes including shops, community space and a neighbourhood square.

It would be the biggest overhaul of the area - which is one of the most deprived in the North West with higher-than-average health, crime and unemployment problems - in more than a generation.

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Demolition work during the last overhaul in 1983

The local authority says that the aim is to “deliver long-term improvements to the area.”

Investment so far by the council has included targeted demolitions and home improvements to provide a platform for wider regeneration.

The last time work on anywhere near this scale was carried out in Worsley Mesnes was the early 1980s although social ills have persisted since.

Wigan Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) say they “recognised the area’s regeneration potential” and secured Whitehall funding to develop an over-arching blueprint and the input of residents is now needed.

Demolition work during the last overhaul in 1983

Coun David Molyneux, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We have a long-term ambition to improve the Worsley Mesnes area for residents with significant regeneration investment.

“The views of residents and other groups and organisations within the local community form a vital part in getting the regeneration of the estate right.

“We hope they take the time to look at the masterplan and contribute to the improvement of their area and help the plan progress.”

A Government spokesman said: “Estate regeneration can transform neighbourhoods and people’s lives through the delivery of high quality, well designed housing and improved public space.

“Estate regeneration can offer new opportunities for residents by connecting schemes with wider redevelopment initiatives and has the potential to deliver thousands of additional homes over the next 10 to 15 years.

“Through a combination of practical advice and guidance, the Estate Regeneration National Strategy aims to support local partners to improve and accelerate estate regeneration schemes to deliver more and better quality housing, drive local growth and improve outcomes for residents.”

Two public drop-in events have already taken place and further one will be held later in the year to update the community on progress.

The masterplan has been designed by neighbourhood masterplanning specialists Gillespies, supported by Cushman and Wakefield.

The team has worked closely with the council, the HCA, developers and local people through workshops, drop-in sessions and engagement with young people to develop the plan.

Engagement with young people has focused attention on the importance of the environment and safe and attractive open spaces to support good health for future generations of residents.

As well as working with the local community to shape the masterplan a key next step will be to attract the investment needed and developer partner to take forward the proposals.

It is envisaged that the masterplan will be delivered in phases over the next 10 years.

To have your say click here

​The consultation ends on July 31.