Storm at John's car park plan

A Wigan master butcher's new car park plan has caused a sizzling row.

Standish sausage and steak specialists Noel Chadwicks want to turn former grazing fields next to their abattoir/restaurant complex in High Street, Standish, into a pay and display car park.

Boss John Chadwick believes that the scheme, which will provide 162 spaces, will be just the recipe for the village's car chaos during shopping hours.

Currently non-Chadwicks customers who chance parking in the firm's existing large free car parks risk being clamped and a stiff fine to be released.

But the car park plan is dividing opinion in Standish.

Twenty four neighbours have written protest letters to councillors.

They have backed their complaints with petitions signed by a further 85 households, including one from the neighbouring Horse Shoe pub.

But more than 1,175 Chadwicks customers and other villagers are supporting a counter petition headlined simply: "I would like to see more car parking spaces in Standish Village centre."

Mr Chadwick says the grazing pasture is no longer needed and cars will enter the proposed car park via High Street and a barrier controlled entrance.

Eight of the spaces, he points out, will be for disabled people only.

High Street itself will be modified so that the road is narrowed and the footway built out.

He was backed by neighbouring businessman Peter McCarthy, of Ingeniosys who says the car park will be "valuable and highly beneficial" to the community of Standish.

He said: "Standish has precious little car parking facilities and is suffering from heavily congested roads, particularly during school runs.

"And the continual development of new housing estates in and around the village is set to exacerbate the problem even further."

But neighbour Paul Mason of South Villa Court believe that the car park will create a serious road safety hazard.

He said: "The congestion through Standish is already very severe, being a major route to the M6.

"Over the last year a one-way system has been introduced to try and alleviate the problem.

"There have been two deaths over the last two years at the crossroads just slightly further down the road. "But this car park entrance would be a recipe for disaster, making an already congested, dangerous road more congested and dangerous."

Wigan council's director of engineering Peter Taylor is also unhappy about the entrance to the proposed car park, believing it won't offer good enough visibility to motorists pulling out to avoid creating a road safety hazard.

Councillors will decide about the application tomorrow.