Former Wigan waste recycling depot set to be turned into homes

A former waste recycling depot in Wigan is set to be turned into affordable apartments and semi-detached houses with planning permission in place.

The land off Orrell Road will be used to build two blocks of flats containing 12 apartments altogether as well as four two-storey two-bedroom houses.

The tallest of the new buildings will be three-storeys in height, causing concerns that the property will be ‘overlooking’ private gardens nearby.

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But planners said the developer, Adactus Housing Association, must submit a full site survey before work starts to protect surrounding properties’ privacy.

Coun Michael Winstanley at the former recycling centre siteCoun Michael Winstanley at the former recycling centre site
Coun Michael Winstanley at the former recycling centre site

Conservative leader Michael Winstanley, represents residents in the Orrell ward, urged the planning committee to visit the site before making a decision.

He told the committee that residents are concerned about ‘the nature’ of the one-bedroom flats and who will be housed in these ‘affordable’ apartments.

Residents also objected to the access arrangements, Coun Winstanley said.

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He said: “The devastating impact that this development would have on all residents surrounding the site and in particular those of Orrell Gardens and Orrell Road is immeasurable. This is the wrong development, in the wrong place at the wrong time. We should be building back better.”

Two councillors supported a site visit, but the proposal was voted down, with the committee’s chairman asking members to be mindful of Covid guidance.

After some debate, Atherton councillor Stuart Gerrard proposed approval of the application. Seven councillors supported approval but two voted against.

He said: “I think it’s going to be making use of good scrub land which must cause its own problems there at the moment.

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“I can understand the concerns. But to me, of all applications, this is one that we should be actually supporting and hoping more comes forward like this.”

It comes after a series of planning applications were approved for residential development on the land, most recently 13 three-storey town houses in 2017.

A conversion of the adjacent former council offices has also been approved.

Pemberton councillor Jeanette Prescott, who lives nearby, said she recalls opposition from residents to previous plans to build on the old recyling depot.

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She said: “I’m a bit confused that people think it’ll bring the property prices down because to be quite honest with you, having a tipping area next to your property will bring your price down more than these properties going there.

“And as for noise, that site had scrap metal, bricks, rubble and everything else thrown in there. There was wagons coming in, picking up skips, taking it out, all day long people shouting to each other. This is damn sight better than what they had.

“This site, every time something comes forward, the residents don’t want it. There is no reason for this not to go ahead.”

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