Road is mayhem on chip shop evenings

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COUNCILLORS are to visit the site of a proposed new housing scheme after claims it will affect one of the borough’s much-loved open spaces

The development committee unanimously agreed to defer a bid for nine homes and a storage building in Ratcliffe Road, which borders Aspull Common, for a site visit after passionate pleas from residents.

A decision over Grimshaw Construction’s scheme will now be made at next month’s meeting.

There were approaching 20 objections to the project which will transform land currently used for refurbishing classic cars and old vehicles.

However, ward coun John Hilton insisted that the proposed access being suggested by the builders was common land which should be sacrosanct from development.

Residents also claim that the house building will have an impact on an adjacent row of historic stone cottages.

Neighbour Howard Smith, elected to speak to councillors on behalf of objectors, told the committee that the photographs passed between councillors to show the level of parking on the proposed access road failed to illustrate the true reflection of the road during busy times.

He said: “ The road surface is very friable ... it will disintegrate when it is used by heavy construction traffic.

“It is so narrow as it is that bin wagons have to reverse up to service exiting homes.

“I have been asked on many occasion to remove my car so that it can get through.

“People always fold their car mirrors when parking because it is so tight.

“It is mayhem on chip shop opening nights.

“The upkeep of this unadopted road is the responsibilty of residents at the moment and there is a history of no support from the local authority for repairs or helping us chase up the utilities when they have dug it up.

“We just don’t know how the committee can consider passing this without considering the residents.”

Agent Graham Baldwin, on behalf of the developer, said it was a “very sustainable site” with shops and public transport provision.

He said: “It is a positive use of land which is currently in an untidy condition with its use for the restoration of vehicles.

“These will be good quality housing which reflects the existing character of Aspull and Wigan.

“It fronts out onto green belt land and has been sensitively designed.”