Wigan villagers say resounding 'yes' to neighbourhood plan

Plans to transform a Wigan village have been approved by a landslide in a public vote.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 11:36 am
The votes being counted in Standish

A resounding majority of Standish residents have given the green light to recent plans to transform their village.

Out of 3,515 Standish voters who took to the polls, 94.5 per cent said “yes” to the Neighbourhood Plan.

This was a turnout of 30.4 per cent which was “higher than expected” according to Standish Voice, the local forum who created and fronted the plan into fruition.

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The plan contained 30 policies ranging from takeaway restriction, leisure facility improvements and green space conservation.

This result also sees the legal adoption of the planning framework for the people of Standish, allowing them to have more influence on potential developments in the village.

Paul Ogden, vice chair of Standish Voice, said: “It is pleasing to see the people of Standish have voted for the plan and they have recognised why we need these policies.

“We were hoping for a 20 per cent turnout and a 90 per cent majority but the village came together and delivered above expectations.”

Four sites within Standish gained “local green space” status overnight, meaning they have green belt-style protection, allowing the promotion of biodiversity.

This plan is the first of its kind to reach the voting stage in Greater Manchester, and it now has surpassed that feat.

Mr. Ogden said: “We want to thank everyone who voted, for or against, and now for the first time in a long time the people of Standish have had a say in these matters and we’re sure they will see the benefits soon enough.

"We would like to thank Wigan Council and its officers for the help and support they have given us in achieving this statutory document and we are sure we will be able to work with them further to improve Standish and tackle the many challenges it faces as a consequence of the widespread development taking place in the village.”

The leader of Wigan Council, Coun David Molyneux, said: “Creating a neighbourhood plan plays a role in giving local people the chance to influence how their local area should develop. It is only by working together through The Deal that we’ll build a stronger borough.”

The question on the polling form was: ‘Do you want Wigan Council to use the Standish Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Standish Neighbourhood Area?’