Petition to be delivered to Wigan Council over concerns for town centre development plans

A Wigan protest group will hand deliver a petition to the Town Hall on Thursday morning to share their reservations over proposed developments for the town centre.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 3:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 3:54 pm
A group want more consultation with citizens over the proposals for Wigan town centre

The Friends of Wigan Town Centre formed last summer, believing citizens had not been properly consulted over future investment, which includes a £135million plan for The Galleries shopping centre.

They have amassed 5,244 signatures so far, and want a full council debate on the matter.

Spokesperson Angela Fell said: “We are not happy with what the plans contain, so we set up this group to have a voice about it, which we are doing through the council’s petition scheme.

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“We are pro-development, we know something needs to happen, but for the sake of the climate and the lack of mandate, we should be looking at repurposing what we already got.”

The proposal includes demolishing some of the Galleries to make way for up to 464 high-quality’ homes, a 150-room hotel and a multimedia centre featuring a cinema, event space, indoor mini golf and a 10-lane bowling alley.

A new market hall would also be built alongside a food and drink pavilion, with day to evening entertainment as well as two ground-floor commercial units.

These plans, drawn up by North West developer Cityheart in collaboration with Wigan Council, have come under criticism from councillors and market traders.

The group also feels the consultation that took place over the development of the town centre has not been sufficient.

“We should’ve got information back from our freedom of information request, but because of unprecedented demand they have been unable to reach the time scales. We know this will help us challenge them and prove it has been a sham.

“We are thinking about the people who use it. Some people go in to get a cup of tea for £1, but there will be nothing like that under the new plans.”

The group will meet at the indoor market and walk up to the Town Hall at around 9.30am, and are prepared for the next stage.

“This will enable representatives of our group to go and state our case. We are trying to demonstrate of democratic rights. We can’t let them keep ruining our town. We will create several working groups, with a range of expertises in different areas.

This group also stems from The Friends of Haigh Hall, who did similar work concerning the future of the county park.