Former Wigan school land could be replaced by affordable housing development

The site of a former Wigan primary school could be used for a social housing development with 47 properties.
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St Mary’s Primary School in Ince was closed in 2004 and demolished in 2015, but the land could be brought back to use by Wigan Council, which wants to create more affordable housing in the area.

The plan is to create a mix of apartments, bungalows and two to four-bedroom houses.

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Should planning permission be granted, the properties would be let on an affordable rent basis and managed by the council.

Former site of St Marys Primary School in InceFormer site of St Marys Primary School in Ince
Former site of St Marys Primary School in Ince

Disused land that had become overgrown in and around the area would also be brought back into use under this proposal.

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Coun Susan Gambles, portfolio holder for housing at the council, said: “I am delighted about this application for 47 new affordable homes on the site of the former St Mary’s School. It is the latest housing development aimed at meeting the needs of the borough’s residents.

“The proposal has been developed following the feedback we received from a consultation earlier this year.

Proposed street scene at the new affordable housing developmentProposed street scene at the new affordable housing development
Proposed street scene at the new affordable housing development
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"If the application is approved by the planning committee, it would deliver a range of homes.

“The existing play area will also be refurbished.

“This is a really exciting proposal that would benefit many of our residents on our housing register. If planning is approved, we hope construction would begin in early 2023. The build would take approximately 16 months.”

The Wigan housing needs assessment confirmed there are 1,763 households in need for Wigan North, with a total backlog of 656 affordable dwellings, and the total annual affordable need for the sub-area is 334. This is the highest demand of any sub-area in the borough.

A planning statement said: “The policy requires 25 per cent of all new housing provision to be affordable on sites of 10 or more dwellings, a figure which the proposals significantly exceed.

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“A total of 277 affordable dwellings are recommended per annum in the policy, which it will help to meet. The proposals will complement the regeneration of Ince.”

All accommodation will have parking, amenity and garden spaces provided.

The plan was amended slightly following public concern regarding overlooking and a pair of three-bedroom semi-detached houses has been changed to a semi-detached block of one-bedroom bungalows