Residents’ fears over developer-owned land in Wigan township

People have contacted residents' group Standish Voice about seeing 'activities' on land behind Rowton Rise, off Chorley Road

Friday, 7th May 2021, 3:26 pm

Worried residents have voiced their fears that yet another housing development may be built in a Wigan township already home to several major new estates.

A number of people have contacted residents’ group Standish Voice over the past week about activities on land behind Rowton Rise, off Chorley Road, which suggest house-builders may be interested in the site.

This land is greenfield – but not protected Green Belt land – and has been earmarked for future development for around 40 years.

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A sign for walkers on the land

The housing now being built across Standish is also on this land earmarked for development – called, in planning terms, ‘Safeguarded Land’.

But the village’s neighbourhood forum has sought to allay fears, saying that no planning application has yet been submitted for the land.

The Wigan Observer has also been down to the area and could not spot any indications of development surveys on a path and woodland directly behind the houses on Rowton Rise, or on the nearby field where a large public footpath runs through it.

The land is privately owned so the landowner – which is Seddon Homes – can prevent people walking on it, which is what Standish Voice believe is now intended after signs went up asking for people to stick to the designated footpath within it. Tree work has been undertaken.

A spokesman for the groups said they will be monitoring the situation behind Rowton Rise. They called on locals who use the field for recreation to keep them informed.

They said: “Each year, Wigan Council produces a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which details all land available for housing across the borough, including the ‘Safeguarded Land’ in Standish.

“No planning application has yet been submitted for this land. Usually, this permission is in two stages – outline and detailed – and would take several months.

“There are policies in the 2019 Standish Neighbourhood Plan to limit the amount of housing for the remaining Safeguarded Land in Standish.

“We will be monitoring the situation behind Rowton Rise and would appreciate if residents and people who use the field for recreation to keep us informed.”

Standish is currently the subject of a number of housing developments. Earlier this month, Wigan Council gave the green light for plans to build 119 homes on farmland, four years after permission to build on the site was refused.

A mix of properties, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom detached dwellings, is set to be built on the land to the east of Rectory Farm.

Elsewhere, proposals for up to 155 homes built on a brownfield site off Bradley Lane, formerly part of Bradley Hall Trading Estate, Standish, have also been lodged.

All of the houses would be affordable in the development, although residents have said they would prefer the site to be used for employment.

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