Controversial scrap yard housing plan garners dozens of of objections

Wigan's planning committee has received objections to a new housing plan
Wigan's planning committee has received objections to a new housing plan

Controversial plans to build dozens of affordable houses in an old scrap yard which have sparked dozens of objections will be heard by the borough’s planning committee.

Councillors will have to make a decision on Adactus Housing Association’s proposal to construct 49 new homes on the site at Pocket Nook Lane in Lowton.

Coun James Grundy

Coun James Grundy

The plan involves demolishing a detached bungalow and then building the mix of flats and houses on the land formerly used by a scrap business.

Outline consent for the residential development at the site has already been given but the developers now have to return to the chamber with detailed plans.

And those specifics have not gone down well in the local area, with 30 objections being received and Conservative elected representatives for Lowton East ward Coun Kath Houlton and

Coun James Grundy both writing to the town hall to express their opposition.

Coun Kath Houlton

Coun Kath Houlton

The report prepared for councillors says the applicant wants to build 37 semi-detached, terraced and detached homes together with 12 one-bedroom flats.

As it is housing association Adactus bringing the bid for approval to Wigan Council all the homes in the development will be affordable.

The proposal also contains parking arrangements, landscaping and an acoustic boundary, while a new access road will lead from Pocket Nook Lane and two further cul-de-sacs branching off within the site.

The site has industrial units to the west and three detached houses to the east along with a major new housing estate which is being built by Bellway Homes.

To prevent noise from the employment sites being a problem for residents Adactus proposes to build a landscaped bund and acoustic boundary fence along part of the site edge next to the works.

Unhappy residents have raised a number of objections to the proposal, saying there is a high density of development which will bring problems with traffic and parking overspill.

Objectors say a number of bungalows are preferable to the flats and raise issues with a lack of infrastructure to support new homes in the Pocket Nook area, a shortage of public open space within the development and the way houses will overlook existing dwellings on Barford Drive.

The impact on wildlife, effect of construction with HGVs getting to the site and the suggestion Pocket Nook Lane is already at traffic capacity have also been raised.

Coun Grundy said the issues are specifically about the details of the plans, not the idea of building houses on the site.

He said: “People don’t object to the principle of development because it’s a brownfield site, which we should be developing in preference to green belt land.

“However, the concern is over the density of the development in such a small site and there are worries the flats proposed are out of character with the area, which is otherwise low-density development. Residents are concerned they will change the character of the area to the detriment of it.”

However, in the report for the planning committee Wigan Council officers said the representations have been considered but they recommend the development is approved, subject to a list of conditions being met.

The report concluded: “The proposals will remediate and bring back into positive use an unsightly former scrapyard site, while making efficient use of previously developed land and making a valuable contribution to the provision of affordable housing.”