COMMENT - Winners and losers in junction 25 plans

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THE decision by the Government planning inspector not to support plans for a new business park near junction 25 of the M6 is both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, it is undeniable that the motorway is one of the borough’s biggest commercial assets, and one which is under-used compared to competing boroughs both north and south of Wigan.

A large business park, located close to the M6, bringing jobs and workers into the borough, would be a major boost in trying to bring about economic recovery.

However, right from its inception the project ran into fierce opposition from large numbers of residents in several communities near the proposed business park.

Many people feared the development would cause traffic chaos, and it is clear that the road network is not one of Wigan’s strongest points.

Economic improvement must benefit local people, not come at their expense. While it may be frustrating, residents’ anxieties must be listened to and not simply ridden roughshod over.