Plan to preserve Wigan Green Belt set to go to public inquiry
A regional masterplan that aims to maintain the area’s green belt for 15 years will go to a public inquiry in November.
Places For Everyone is the plan in question which looks to prevent reduction of the Green Belt within Wigan and Greater Manchester, with a public inquiry set to begin November 1.
Currently, the green land in Greater Manchester is being unchanged and undeveloped despite the landowners and housing developers insisting on building more homes on greenfield land.
Any intended changes have so far been denied by the planning authorities, but developers will be given the opportunity to argue their case at the inquiry.
An area of Wigan that this scheme would affect is Standish.
Standish Voice has for years, been against the reduction of the township’s Green Belt, citing that housebuilding has been too much and too quick over the past decade.
A spokesperson said: “Standish is a hugely popular place to live in but many of our green fields have been lost to development already and the village will have grown by a quarter in a decade.”
The group says it will be monitoring the situation and be sure to keep the local residents informed on the situation.
If the plan manages to pass this hurdle, and succeeds in being adopted by local councils, it will go on to inform development in Wigan, Bolton, Oldham and other areas within Greater Manchester until 2037.
This will include outlining how the region will meet housing targets and maintain a five-year supply of housing sites.
The Standish Voice spokesperson added: “We know homes are needed but, ideally, development must be first targeted at brownfield land, away from the Green Belt, which needs regeneration.
“We are grateful that the regional planning body has so far resisted further development in Standish and we are hoping the public inquiry will not change this.”
Replacing the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – which had gone through three iterations prior to Stockport dropping out in December 2020, leading to the creation of Places For Everyone.
If the scheme is eventually ratified, the sites will be kept as Green Belt until at least 2037.
Standish Voice said: We would like to thank all those in Standish who have supported us by making representations to protect our Green Belt during the process.”