MP starts petition against massive and controversial development

An MP has kickstarted a petition against a newly proposed housing development on “precious” green belt on the Wigan-Salford border – which she believes is wrong.
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Barbara Keeley MP is opposed to the 350-home masterplan in Boothstown put forward for consultation by Peel L&P last week and is urging residents to sign her petition calling for Alder Carr to be axed.

The plan for the site off Leigh Road – also known as Millionaire’s Row – is for brand new energy efficient homes opposite the RHS Garden Bridgewater. According to Richard O’Brien, design director for housebuilder Northstone, the homes will have the capability of being 90 to 95 per cent energy efficient, meaning a severely reduced electricity bill for these gasless homes.

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An artist's impression of the 350-home development off Leigh Road,An artist's impression of the 350-home development off Leigh Road,
An artist's impression of the 350-home development off Leigh Road,
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Despite this, the MP for Worsley and Eccles believes the adverse impact on the “already dire” traffic situation in the area and the air quality, strain on local services, and the fact there is another 1,100-home development just down the road – are all reasons to kick this into the long grass.

Ms Keeley said: “The proposal to build these 350 new large homes will be to the detriment of local services which are already strained, will add to existing high levels of traffic congestion and pollution and impact our wildlife, ecosystems and waterways. Local people have already stated very strong opposition to this development.

“I hope as many people as possible will sign my petition so that I can present a strong and clear objection to this proposed development.”

At peak hours, traffic snakes down Leigh Road onto the roundabout that connects Eccles to the M60, the Local Democracy Reporting Service was told. The queues would only get worse with “at least 700 cars” from this development, Mrs Keeley has claimed.

Barbara Keeley MPBarbara Keeley MP
Barbara Keeley MP
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Salford councillor for Boothstown, Bob Clarke, has also stated that the area is already “full up” with GP surgeries and local schools having no more spots open. Coun Clarke explained that he has been asking around in the community about this plan and claimed he had received no positive responses so far.

Despite these concerns about the development, which looks to provide a 50 per cent affordable housing provision, there are provisional plans to improve local junctions. Peel L&P bosses say they are already aware of the current problems on the roads so intend to ease traffic with these works.

They have also suggested that the neighbourhood will benefit from “a network of open spaces and footpaths rich in biodiversity with tree-lined streets” as well as community green spaces, children’s play parks, ponds, and fitness trails. A new scenic wetland route will be created along Shaw Brook has also been promised.

Annabel Baker, Peel L&P’s Associate Director for Development Planning said: “We have been discussing the capacity of local services including schools and GPs with the local authority and will be making financial contributions to offset any impact of the development at east of Boothstown. The details will be provided as part of any future planning application and will include land for a primary school as part of proposals for land at Hazelhurst Farm.

“We are aware that J13 of the M60 is an area of congestion and have been developing solutions with the various transport bodies so that additional traffic generated by the development will not make this issue worse. We would encourage local residents, whether they have concerns or wish to express their support, to engage with our public consultation so that their views are taken into account.”

Both Coun Clarke and Mrs Keeley believe the controversial 1,100 home development in nearby Mosley Common, also proposed by Peel L&P, would add more stress to the already overpopulated road network surrounding the East Lancs. This stretch of road connects Wigan to Salford and Manchester and is very busy at peak times – the source of many objections to the Mosley Common plan.

Both of these sites are earmarked for Greater Manchester’s Places for Everyone plan – which sets out how each borough should be developed to meet local need for new homes, jobs and sustainable growth. Coun Clarke is hoping that the review of this plan – currently underway – would see the removal of both these sites, which lay on opposite sides of the Wigan-Salford border.

The 350-home proposal would be subject to a planning application that Peel L&P expect to submit in the next few months. Find out more about the proposals and have your say on the plans at:

To sign or get more information about Ms Keeley’s petition visit: