Wasteland regeneration plans approved


TWO of Wigan’s wastelands are set to bring a jobs and housing boost.

Developers have unveiled an exciting new residential and employment scheme on the edge of the town centre.

Polis Real Estate, which has experience of bringing difficult areas of former industrial dereliction back into productive use, is set to breathe new life into the site of the long-flattened former Regent Truck forklift factory off Frog Lane.

It will also inject commercial life back into the former Wigan Cattle Market site off Hey Street and Prescott Street, which has lain abandoned since it last sold its final pens of sheep or pigs a quarter of a century ago.

The major project, which has involved many months of behind-closed-doors talks

between the council and developers, was approved under delegated powers by officers earlier this week.

Polis is now pledging to make an early start on the ground preparation plans for 85 new houses plus 21,000ft sq of commercial space on the site, jointly owned by the council and themselves.

It will ease growing concerns that the cost of cleansing industrial contaminants left behind after Regent’s Barley Brook Foundry works (once part of Walmesley’s paper making machine empire) was swept away a decade ago, had left a question mark over whether the land would ever prove to be an economically viable redevelopment prospect.

Several years ago there was a major health alert after youngsters playing in a hut on the site found potentially deadly mercury.

That was cleared up and the site declared safe. Since then the only time it has been put to good use has been to accommodate a visiting fairground.

The new scheme will link in with the existing road network and the Wigan Inner Relief Road, whose completion has been awaited since the 1980s.

Polis has secured consent and plans to creation the first phase of residential works, with the council-owned portion of the site set to be used for office development in the future.

Director of Polis Real Estate, Geoff Lloyd, said: “We’re pleased to have achieved this consent and can now focus on finding house-builder partners to work with to deliver the new homes.”

Doug Hann, director at Indigo Planning who advised Polis Real Estate, said that the mixed-use scheme will provide much-needed new housing and employment space.

He said: “It will regenerate a prominent derelict site on the approach to the town centre.”