‘Greedy’ and ‘unsustainable’: Plans for 250 new affordable Wigan homes slammed by MP and residents

By Tom Dyson

A storm is brewing in Wigan after residents voiced concerns over ‘greedy’ and ‘unsustainable’ plans to build more than 250 new homes in a suburban area.

The plans for the affordable family homes which are to be built in Astley, on two separate tracts of land covering eight hectares, have been designed to link up with neighbouring houses.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham has supported residents who say that there are too many houses in the area leading to the fear that there could be a potential sprawl in Astley.

The shadow health secretary told MM: “I’ve been raising local concerns with residents and the council regarding how traffic will flow in and out and how it will impact other roads but this development is unsustainable in my view.”

The initial consultation, which started in January this year, has stemmed from the ‘Wigan needs homes’ plan and progress is already well under way for this development off Coldalhurst Lane which will be accessed via Moorgate Drive and Fieldhead Avenue.

Philip Rothwell, the planning director for Peel Holdings, said: “People have objected, they aren’t happy. I think we’ve had about 100 letters of objection so there hasn’t been much local support.

“Everything is now subject to signing and negotiations are reaching a conclusion.

“The legal documents are being put together and we are hoping these things will be sorted out very shortly.”

Councillor Barry Taylor said that residents were given the chance to voice their concerns at local council meetings.

 “We took residents views on board and we made ourselves available at meetings, so the opportunities have been there,” he said.

“The usual concerns from residents were that there were far too many houses and a reduction was needed.”

No sooner had the consultation period finished, a Facebook group was launched to campaign against the proposal.

The Astley Residents’ Action Group has received plenty of encouragement and local support, including the backing Mr Burnham.

Comments flooded the social media site regarding developments around the area.

Sandra Robinson, a local resident, said: “Peel as usual are being greedy and trying to build houses where they are not wanted and this needs to stop.”

Mr Burnham said: “I sympathise with residents. Traffic is already unsustainable so there urgently needs to be public transport available.

“On the whole I think residents would be willing to accept this development as long as it was done in a fair and balanced way.”

As for the future of the development, Peel Holdings say that the site doesn’t overlap into green belt and there would be no adverse effects such as issues with open space and biodiversity. There could be traffic issues but not to a great extent.

Peel puts emphasis on this site being in a sustainable area, having local facilities and a regular bus service to Manchester city centre.

Image courtesy of Andy Beecroft ,with thanks

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