Newts cause delays to Wigan housing development which now needs new access road

Developers will be allowed to create a new access route to a 119-home Wigan estate after amphibians delayed construction.
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The Standish site was approved in 2021 with access via Rectory Lane, but surfacing of the new road will not happen until later as Natural England conducts work to protect the creatures there.

Due to enormous declines in range and abundance, the great crested newt is strictly protected by British and European law – which is why this delay was required.

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A great crested newtA great crested newt
A great crested newt
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Applicant Wainhomes wants to let residents of 22 homes, soon to be complete, access their properties via a neighbouring housing estate named Broadfern.

Grasslands, the street at the back of the Broadfern estate currently used by construction workers, has been picked to provide temporary access for new residents, Wigan Town Hall heard.

Once development of the Rectory Lane access route is finished, the houses will be accessible for residents via Rectory Lane as originally planned, the planning committee was told. But Broadfern residents say they have suffered enough with construction vehicles dirtying up their roads and wanted this new plan thrown out.

Dozens of objectors claimed it would be dangerous to have added vehicles on the estate. But the committee believed it would be more dangerous for new residents to have to use an access route only suitable for construction vehicles.

The construction site off Rectory Lane in StandishThe construction site off Rectory Lane in Standish
The construction site off Rectory Lane in Standish
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Coun John Harding said: “It seems common sense to allow this. If the road through Rectory Lane is opened for construction vehicles and residents could use it, that wouldn’t be safe.”

The development was unanimously approved by Wigan Council’s planning committee.