Opposition to flats plan at former Wigan tip

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
A revised bid to convert a former council yard into a housing development has attracted criticism from Wigan residents.

Developers have lodged plans for the yard behind the former Orrell Council offices on Orrell Road.

The new proposal from Adactus Housing Association - part of Jigsaw Homes - is for 16 properties comprising two-bedroom houses and one-bedroom apartments, replacing the previous plans of 14 two-bedroom apartments.

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The site is a former local authority waste recycling depot, with offices that once served as Orrell’s district town hall. The tip yard would have the houses built upon it, with the one-time municipal building converted into flats.

However Orrell ward councillor Michael Winstanley described the development as “inappropriate” and said it was not in the right place.

The former Wigan Mayor, who has had locals come forward to him with concerns, said: “This is the wrong type of development in the wrong location.

“I have formally written to the council to place on record my objections to this planning application. I have also asked this to be considered by the planning committee.

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“I have already been contacted by a number of residents who are unhappy with these plans.

“I fully support them in their objections.”

Describing the development as being of “poor quality”, he went on to question who would want to live in one and two-bedroom apartments as the country recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “The development also appears to be poor quality and I would argue that as we recover from the pandemic who on earth would want to live in one and two-bedroom apartments.

“This isn’t building back better, it is building back worse. I also object to the development of three-storey buildings, these are not sympathetic to the area.

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“I do not believe that the developer has taken any notice of the pre-application consultation, nor the objections that had been submitted when the plans were originally submitted.

“This area is not suitable for the type of development that is being proposed. One-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in this part of the borough is simply the wrong type of development.

“The Orrell ward has an elderly population and families. It is simply the wrong

development in the wrong area.

“Once again, the developer has taken no notice of the previous concerns. It is no wonder residents feel that consultations as a tick box exercise. As time and time again they are proved correct.”

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As well as the nature of the development, Coun Winnstanley, said he was concerned about the access and traffic.

He added: “Access through Orrell Gardens is also unsuitable for the amount of traffic that will be generated by this development.

“I hope that the planning committee will reject these plans and request a more suitable set of plans to be submitted.”

There was uproar when the local authority first closed its recycling centre in Orrell, at around the same time as it shut another facility on Frog Lane.

It has meant that people in the west of the borough, such as Billinge and Orrell, have since had to make 15-mile trips to the Kirkless recycling centre at Ince in order to dispose of waste.