Conversion of disused Wigan pub site could turn area into ‘troublesome estate’, residents claim

A controversial development plan for a disused pub in Wigan has been approved – despite concerns it may turn the area into a “troublesome estate”.

A total of 27 objections were submitted in opposition to The Crown being converted into a shop, pharmacy, hairdressers and flats.

The Sefton Road site in Worsley Mesnes has been vacant for a number of years.

Neighbours believe there could be an increase in anti-social behaviour, footfall, rats and litter.

The Crown pub in Worsley Mesnes

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“I want to formally log my opinion against this planning [application],” one person told the town hall.

“The area is slowly turning from a decent, friendly neighbourhood, to potentially troublesome estate due to the extra houses that have been erected on the site of the old care home there.

“We are suspecting the so-called five flats that have been proposed will house potential troublemakers and that the two retail units and takeaway will cause more traffic, litter and dodgy people around an area that has lots of decent families with young children. There are already enough shops and takeaways in the area and this already causes trouble with parking on paths and double yellows as it is.”

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The planning application has been changed to three flats from five. Residents, however, are still concerned about parking. The three-bed flat and the two two-bed flats have a total of four parking spaces allocated to them with one extra for the shops.

After approving the plans, planning bosses said a road assessment will have to be carried out before new residents can move in.

Despite representations against the plan from SP Property (Roche) LTD, the council deemed this “satisfactory”.

Reviewing the objections, a planning report read: “It is considered that the majority of the material points raised in the representations have been addressed within this report, particularly around issues relating to highway safety, impact on amenity and the proposed tenure of the residential units.

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"With regard to points around the need or viability of the proposed retail uses, it is considered that the purpose of determining this planning application is not to decide whether a business venture is financially viable or not, but to assess whether the change of use would be acceptable in planning terms, the latter factors being addressed within the main body of this report.”