Student flats plans in Wigan town centre given the go-ahead

Plans to convert a heritage-listed building in Wigan into student flats have been given the green light.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 10:23 am
Updated Thursday, 9th May 2019, 11:23 am
The building in Wallgate where the student flats will be developed

Officers said the transformation of 30-32 Wallgate fits in with the council’s policy of “repopulating” the town centre.

The upper floors of the Victorian three-storey premises will now house up to 20 rooms with the Salvation Army outlet at street level retained.

A report, outlining town hall approval, said: “It is possible that the use of an important vacant building in a prominent town centre location, with the risk of further decay leading to the building becoming derelict, could promote confidence in the town with beneficial results to the local economy.”

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Design statements submitted as part of the application process by Wallgate Property Ltd said the building was previously used as a bank and office but it ‘has been deteriorating and something needs to be done’.

“The business sector has moved from this area of the town and therefore there is no interest in this type of development,” they add.

Several recent council development policies are encouraging residential uses in central Wigan with bosses considering them as an option for The Galleries shopping centre, alongside a leisure offering.

At a recent meeting of the full council, leader Coun David Molyneux said there was “more appetite to live in our town centres than ever before”.

And the council’s strategic development framework document – outlining plans for the next decade – includes an aim to work with a university or higher education provider to bring a campus to Wigan.

The developer will work with council conservation officers to maintain and restore aspects of the building’s ornate frontage, according to design documents.

This follows on from the council securing funding to restore the facade of the Tower Buildings, another Victorian era building on

Wallgate.

The building is next door to the town’s central post office which will close next month and reopen the next day in the WHSmith strore in Standishgate despite a campiagn to keep it open.