1,500 jobs Wigan business park plan set to be submitted

Developer Glenbrook has said they hope to submit a planning application before the end of the month

Friday, 11th June 2021, 12:30 pm

Contentious plans to build a huge, job-spinning employment park in Wigan are set to be submitted.

In January, Glenbrook launched a consultation for the 40-acre site, Meridian 6 Wigan, which will act as an extension to the South Lancs Industrial Estate in Ashton.

Up to 1,500 jobs could be created from the park, which would have access via Bolton Road, according to the developer. Of these jobs and apprenticeships, around 500 to 600 would be made during construction, following an initial investment of £70m.

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Resident Jack Fletcher with a banner opposing the plans

Now Glenbrook has said they hope to submit a planning application before the end of the month, following the completion of technical surveys and reports.

Dan Symonds, development manager at Glenbrook, said: “The land has been allocated for employment redevelopment since 2006 and is the last remaining allocated site of scale within the borough.

“Delivery of the scheme will certainly play a major role in Wigan’s post-Covid recovery with inward investment, job creation, apprenticeship opportunities and development of local supply chains.

“In terms of planning, the engagement we received during the public consultation period was particularly useful, with the feedback now very much influencing our latest scheme design.

An aerial view of Meridian 6 Wigan

“We still have some technical surveys and reports to conclude and aim to submit a planning application in June.”

Aimed at “meeting the significant regional demand from small to medium-sized businesses”, the site will consit of up to 625,000ft sq of new industrial space.

Since 2006, the land has been allocated for employment use.

More than 650 addresses in the area had a residents’ notice posted to them as part of the consultation, which provided outline details of the proposals and directed residents to the public consultation website.

Coun Danny Fletcher and his son Harvey object to the plans

But not all residents are happy with the plans, arguing that they will infringe on green belt land.

Their main worry is that a link road is expected to be developed within green belt.

Coun Danny Fletcher, of Ashton, who formed the Keep Ashton Green (KAG), said the group could not support anything that took away from the green belt.

He said: “There is no way we could ever support taking the green belt whether it’s through an access road or warehouse.

“The taking of green belt for use for an access road is within the law which is what they’ll argue.

“We’ve got the support of the local MP Yvonne Fovargue who is arguing against the development on traffic grounds.

Coun Fletcher said he would now be waiting for a planning application to be submitted.

The group have also got their own banner after fellow campaigners Bryn Against Development help them fund it.

It reads ‘Keep Ashton Green, don’t destroy the green belt’ and will be put up in the town.

He added: “We were expecting the submission of an outline planning application from February onwards and then the determination of the application from summer 2021.

“So they seem behind but there’s been a strong community response to the consultation.”

He added: “The sheer number of responses to the application may have put this back and maybe even forced them to alter the plans.”

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