Plan unveiled to construct homes on allotment plots

A bid to build a Wigan housing development on land used as allotments is being considered by town hall planning officers.

Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 6:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2016, 8:44 am
David Molyneux

The proposed site for the six new properties is off Warrington Road between Abram and Platt Bridge and could spark a backlash from residents.

Self-styled “allotmenteers” have in recent years lobbied the council to turn down applications restricting allotment land, describing it as a “precious and fragile resource”.

But this current bid is said to be in line with the adopted local plan for the area which is “under-supplied when assessed within the context of the wider borough.”

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Planning documents read: “The application site is not used as residential gardens, though some adjacent plots appear to be used as allotments and/or garden spaces.

“In summary, this development proposal provides an opportunity to re-use a piece of brownfield land to provide infill housing in a residential area similar to...approved schemes within the Wigan borough.”

The proposal is for two pairs of semi-detached houses and two detached houses with access from 132 and 176 Warrington Road.

As part of its over-arching allocations plan revealed last year, Wigan Council is in the process of identifying dozens of patches for an extra 13,500 homes over the next decade.

Last year proposals to build a 50-strong development off Billinge Road in Newtown on allotment land prompted users to urge the town hall to “consider the environmental, recreational and community health benefits that these outdoor green allotment spaces provide.”

Speaking about the allocations plan, deputy leader of the council David Molyneux said: “By creating this plan Wigan Council is taking a proactive approach so we can achieve the environmental, social and economic regeneration that is needed to continue to move the borough forward.

“The fact is that we have to permit the building of a large number of houses over the next decade and we have to secure land for employment development. We have a statutory duty to provide this.”

It’s not the first time allotments have come threat of development.

In 2013, hundreds of green-fingered Wiganers told how they feared they could be turfed off plots as part of a council policy shake-up. Those who currently occupy non-statutory borough sites could have them taken away or be relocated as Wigan Council reviewed plans to use the land for development.