Council plan to demolish a Wigan school and replace it with an extra care facility ridiculed
Ann “extra care facility” for over-55s planned to replace a former Wigan primary school has been dubbed as having a “lazy, unimaginative and uninspiring design” by one objector.
Wigan Council’s plan for the old Shevington Community Primary School site – which has fallen into disrepair and become prone to vandalism – has been ridiculed by one neighbour despite it providing affordable housing.
The old school on Miles Lane – that has been vacant since closing in 2017 – would be demolished and replaced by 28 one-bedroom apartments, two one-bedroom wheelchair user apartments and two, two bedroom apartments plus communal facilities. The properties would be available for affordable rent to help meet demand for older persons accommodation in the area, an affordable housing statement said.
“The building has a commercial visual aspect more akin to the red brick market buildings in Wigan town centre,” one neighbour said.
“It is a lazy, unimaginative and uninspiring design and obviously produced on a minimum budget. It does not sit comfortably within grassland and trees – a green belt environment and semi rural area.
“The rear of the building has not been considered and should be covered in an environmentally sourced wooden cladding (cedar or larch) to reduce the massive visual impact on the row of houses on Miles Lane. Screening has been suggested, however this is only effective in the summer months when the trees are in leaf.
“New screening will need many years to grow to the height of two stories and is not adequate.”
This is the only objection the scheme has received since planning permission has been sought. Despite this, the council have said that this will help fill the demand for affordable housing.
According to council figures, there is an identified need within this part of the borough for affordable homes. This is identified within the Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) that seven per cent of households in Shevington and Standish are in housing need.
“The site is a former primary school site which has been closed since 2017,” an officer report said. “Since this time, the site has fallen into disrepair, and has been the subject of anti-social behaviour, resulting in the need for on-site surveillance to ensure the property is not damaged or becomes a hazard.