Residents stand firm in a bid to thwart homes scheme

Residents protest at the site
Residents protest at the site

Residents on a quiet street in the borough are stepping up their fight against a new housing development they fear will bring traffic chaos.

Wigan Council has received an application to build 57 new homes on land on Bettison Avenue in Leigh.

However, those already living in the area say the extra cars owned by the new residents would create severe problems as the access roads on and off the estate are already at breaking point.

Developer Prospect Homes has teamed up with GL Hearn and wants to build a mixture of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses, with plans for access, infrastructure, landscaping and parking as well.

Bettison Avenue is a cul-de-sac with a large amount of open land at the far end, with the site earmarked for the possible house-building in a fairly wild state full of large shrubs.

Bettison Avenue resident Carol Unsworth said: “The houses are being built in a small area where the access is absolutely ridiculous. There is only one way in and one way out.

“We’re already having trouble with traffic without this, which will bring approximately another 100 cars.

“It’s quite a narrow road and most people park on the pavement because you can’t park fully on the road.

“When you leave Bettison Avenue there is a really tight corner on Highfield Avenue and it’s a bottleneck getting into Hooten Lane.

“Sometimes we have to reverse to let the other cars through.

“We are also concerned about animals because there are deer and other wildlife on the site, which is like a little forest, but that’s not our main problem.”

Plans distributed in the area promise new roads, tree planting and public open space, while around 25 per cent of the new houses will be affordable.

Supporting planning documents say: “The site is currently vacant and undeveloped and has some Japanese Knotweed, shrub and tree growth as a result of its disuse.

“No part of the sites lies within the green belt or within a conservation area and there are no listed buildings on site.

“The site has been identified by Wigan Council as safeguarded land for residential development and as such the land has been removed from the green belt for a number of years.

“The site has been identified as safeguarded land for development since April 2006.”

Prospect said that it has carried out a consultation in the local area and that the feedback is “largely positive” with residents saying that they are happy to support the building of new homes.

Developers say they will retain existing hedgerows and trees wherever possible.

However, the document also makes it clear that Wigan Council does not have a five-year housing supply and there is a considerable need for new homes to be built in the borough.

Neighbours have until the end of this week to submit their comments. A total of 20 responses had been logged on Wigan Council’s planning site by Tuesday morning, with the 19 from members of the public dividing into 18 objections and just one reply in favour of the building project.

To view the full application go to the planning section of Wigan Council’s website and search for A/19/86658/MAJOR