Council puts land up for sale which could open the door for further homes in Wigan township

Residents fear that a Wigan Council land sale could lead to yet more homes being built in their township.

The former railway land on Chorley Road at Standish is part of the Whelley Loop Line Walkway.

The plot is amenity green space but could be the entrance to a new housing development covering green fields stretching as far as the railway line.

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By the council selling this land, many believe this seems to be the first step in more greenfield areas of Standish being swallowed up for homes that are not needed in the village, after a huge level of housebuilding over the past seven years.

The site on Chorley RoadThe site on Chorley Road
The site on Chorley Road

In 2014, a Government inspector passed planning permission on this land for just over 100 houses after Wigan Council rejected it.

Since then nothing has happened and more planning permission would be needed if it was to go ahead.

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Local residents’ group Standish Voice had this site designated as amenity and open space in Standish Neighbourhood Plan, which was voted through in 2019.

This designation does not stop building but means the landowner must enhance nearby amenity/open space to mitigate the loss of this site. The site also has a number of trees with Tree Preservation Orders.

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This land is classed by Wigan Council as “safeguarded for future development”, the same class of land, where there has been a huge level of housebuilding in the area.

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There is a Neighbourhood Plan policy in place restricting building on Safeguarded Land – but this only delays development and cannot stop it indefinitely.

A spokesperson for Standish Voice said: “We are very disappointed that Wigan Council is considering selling off amenity green space that would facilitate another huge housing estate in


“Hundreds and hundreds of homes have been built on greenfields in the area over the past few years and this development has been too much, too quickly.

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“These extra homes are not needed and any new housing should be on brownfield land away from the Green Belt that has already been


“Standish has given enough land to housing and the village contributes hugely to the council’s finances – it is unfair that the local authority profits from a scheme which is detrimental to the interest of people who live here.

“We are asking the council to think again.”

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A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “The council has invited, and is now considering, objections raised by residents to a proposal of any sale by the council of a small parcel of land adjoining Chorley Road, Standish.

“The consultation process has not yet concluded and consequently no decision about the land has been reached.

“It would therefore be inappropriate for the council to comment any further at this time.”

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