Residents to get public vote over future of their village
Wiganers will be taking part in at least one referendum this year – but it will have nothing to do with Brexit.
Residents in Standish have been given a public vote in July about their own neighbourhood plan.
A majority result would see the legal adoption of the planning framework, handing the community more influence over potential development.
Standish Voice, the neighbourhood forum tasked with creating the plan, said it is a ‘real victory’ for the village that has seen an influx of housing plots in recent years.
A spokesperson said: “The plan has been reviewed for its legality by a planning examiner and Standish Voice and Wigan Council have agreed to modifications the examiner has requested to ensure the document fully complies with planning law.
“It represents a real victory in giving Standish people influence in how further housing developments are agreed and a say in the creation of new infrastructure, which we need in the village due to the increasing population.
“One of its main policies of the plan is that no more planning permissions for homes on the greenfield ‘safeguarded’ land will be allowed until 1,148 of the homes already allowed are built and occupied.”
The framework identifies four sites of green space that will be exempt from development; Victoria Pit reclamation site, ponds at Almond Brook, the Rec on Southlands Avenue and the playing field south west of Standish High School.
Campaigners have previously highlighted that the often grid-locked village is set to see a population increase of 25 per cent because of recently approved housing developments.
The plan – the first of its type to reach final stages across Greater Manchester – is hoped to ensure the housing is supported by adequate infrastructure.
Other policies include capping the number of takeaways, improving sporting and leisure facilities and creating ‘green corridors’ to protect plants and wildlife.
The vote will be run by the town hall and will take place on Thursday, July 18.
The question posed will be ‘Do you want Wigan Council to use the Standish Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Standish Neighbourhood Area?’
All residents in the Standish neighbourhood area will be eligible to vote and a majority of more than 50pc will be required.
If adopted, the framework will be used by planning officers when assessing future applications by developers.
Standish Voice added: “We will be campaigning for a decisive ‘Yes’ vote to show developers and Wigan Council how strongly people feel about putting these policies into effect.”