Public inquiry into new homes under way

The masterplan prepared by Morris Homes for the redevelopment of Standish Court Golf Club
The masterplan prepared by Morris Homes for the redevelopment of Standish Court Golf Club

PLANS to build 360 new homes on the site of a golf club are being scrutinised at a public inquiry this week.

Planning inspector David Prentis began hearing arguments for and against the development on Tuesday, with the inquiry expected to last for at least four days.

Persimmon Homes and Morris Homes submitted a joint bid for 250 new homes on the former Standish Court site off Rectory Lane, while Jones Homes tried to get permission for 110 houses on land off Chorley Road.

The plans drew fury from residents and local independent ward councillors and were eventually thrown out by Wigan Council’s planning committee, but were given a new lease of life after the developers appealed and asked for this week’s inquiry.

Proceedings at the Pier Centre on Pottery Road got under way on Tuesday with legal counsel for Wigan Council, Persimmon and Morris Homes and Jones Homes.

The first day’s proceedings started to look into the issues around highways, as residents had complained throughout the planning application stage about the inadequacy of infrastructure and the potential for severe traffic congestion.

Gill Foster, speaking for residents’ group Standish Voice, told the inquiry there were also concerns about air quality and the impact hundreds of new houses would have on Standish as a whole.

The applications were originally thrown out by the local authority’s planning committee as they were in breach of the Core Strategy, which had set a limit on housebuilding in Standish of 1,000 new homes.

At the time of the rejection last summer the developers said the council’s figure had a 15 per cent buffer and the town hall could not guarantee the houses it has approved would all be built due to issues with the land supply.