Wigan Council unveils plan to build 40 affordable homes on Leigh town centre car park
A new apartment block could be built on a car park in the middle of Leigh – and all of the 40 proposed flats would be affordable.
Wigan Council, which would own and run the four-storey Railway Arches Apartments, has promised "high-quality" homes that will meet local demand.
The scheme has been designed with sustainability in mind with "high levels of energy efficiency and natural light to minimise energy costs and reduce fuel poverty."
Each of the "spacious" one and two-bed apartments would be open plan and boast storage space for a "clutter-free, tidy living environment."
The site off Queen Street and Spinning Jenny Way is currently used as a public car park but that could change if the council’s plans receive the green light.
A report submitted with the planning application reads: “The site forms a major gateway to Leigh town centre but is currently very open in nature hence a very poor marker to the town centre.
“The scheme aims to put back the street edge and create the feeling of an entry point to the town centre.
“There is ample public car parking on the adjacent Spinning Gate car park and there will be 37 spaces for residents of the new scheme provided on-site amongst landscaped grounds.”
Wigan Council has also argued that there would be no justification to give the site over for retail redevelopment – despite its proximity to the town centre.
The rise of online shopping has seen high street footfall plummet, with empty shops a common sight and large chains closing local stores.
But a new housing development nearby could see local businesses benefit, according to the local authority.
“Leigh has been affected in such a way and there is no demand to increase the number of available retail units,” says the report.
“A residential development on this site is not only environmentally sustainable with its close proximity to public transport & amenities but is also economically sustainable by creating a community in close proximity to the town centre and its retail offering.”
“With 40 apartments, a likely customer base is provided for closeby businesses.”