Notorious Wigan cul-de-sac is gradually disappearing

The demolition of a Wigan cul-de-sac which has long been blighted by anti-social behaviour, is well under way.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 12:18 pm
Most of the remaining Sandalwood Drive homes are now vandalised shells

Sandalwood Drive in Beech Hill is in the process of being torn down after long-standing problems with vandalism and crime rendered it almost completely empty.

Work at the site began earlier this year, shortly after Wigan Council announced that the successful contractor as Reddish Demolition.

Around half of the homes have now been flattened, freeing up the land to create a housing scheme for the elderly or residents with health-related needs.

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And residents in neighbouring streets say the remaining homes can’t come down soon enough as they continue to be a magnet for young trouble-makers.

Marie Bintley, assistant director for growth and housing at Wigan Council said: “The first phase of demolition at Sandalwood Drive commenced in February 2019 and was completed in March 2019.

“We are continuing our negotiations with private owners to acquire the remaining properties.

“Following this, we will enter the second phase of the demolition works.

“In the meantime we are developing plans for the site and an outline planning application has been submitted for an older persons housing scheme.

“Residents have been updated about the application and we will continue to keep them updated as the proposals develop.”

The majority of the properties are owned by Wigan Council with the rest in private ownership or occupied by private tenants.

It was decided in February 2019, that compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) will be used by the town hall on remaining properties that are not currently in the council’s ownership.

If successful, they will then become part of the second phase of the development plans.

In 2018, cabinet member for housing, Coun Terry Halliwell, gave the go-ahead for council officers to work with residents to assist them in moving to new homes.

Speaking at the time, he said: “Sandalwood Drive has suffered from anti-social behaviour and a lack of demand in housing with a high percentage of homes standing empty and being subject to vandalism.

“The future development of the site will not only address the current social problems the area suffers from but completely transform it into a desirable and attractive residential area.

“We believe this strategy will improve the wider area of Beech Hill ensuring a sustainable, safe community.”