Fears Village Will Lose its Identity

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 1:14pm

By Niall Griffiths - Local Democracy Reporter

A ‘quiet and tranquil’ village in Wigan borough could lose its identity if more than 100 homes are built nearby, worried residents say.

But the move has attracted significant local opposition, with more than 50 objections submitted to Wigan council by neighbours and councillors.

Concerns raised include the possibility of extra traffic, inadequate local infrastructure, loss of recreational open space, and the site’s proximity to the proposed HS2 rail line.

A site plan for the proposed 117-home residential development. Pic: Redrow Homes

Writing to the council, an objector said: “I chose to locate to Lowton as it was green, quiet and tranquil with majestic wildlife. 

“I have recently become accustomed to large oversized lorries passing by on the main roads of Lowton presumably for the building of new homes.

“I fear that Lowton will lose it’s village like character to one of congestion, overcrowding and increased pollution.”

Under the proposals, Redrow would build 117 homes on five-and-a-half acres of vacant open land north of Bainbridge Avenue. Every home would have off-road parking and an electric vehicle charging point.

Most of these properties will be offered on the open market, but 29 houses will be offered as affordable housing through Wigan council’s housing service.

Documents submitted by the developer say: “The overall aim of the proposal is to provide high quality family homes in response to local need

“It will encourage healthier lifestyles by creating a residential development that maintains and enhances pedestrian and cycle access into Wigan’s Greenheart and playing fields.”

Planning officers say the scheme is acceptable as it meets local planning criteria that requires developers to provide 25pc affordable homes on new-builds.

The officers also say the scheme will have an ‘acceptable’ impact on neighbouring properties and surrounding areas – something which has been hotly contested by objectors.

One ‘appalled’ Lowton resident said: “The plans will produce large vehicles and lots of noise for a long period of time which for myself and other residents will cause disruption.”

Another said: “There are already too many houses here. The roads cannot support the current levels of traffic which will become dangerously heavy at rush hour. 

“It would be irresponsible to build more houses in this area.”

All three councillors representing the Lowton East ward have also objected, saying the development will lead to ‘large amounts’ of on-street parking near Bainbridge Avenue.

The site also falls within an area safeguarded for residential development as part of HS2 but, with the project in its early stages, the council says it is not possible to consider this as a reason for refusal.

Redrow will pay £180,772 towards off-site play area improvements, new traffic orders and to compensate for any demand for secondary school places created by new tenants.

Wigan council’s planning committee will discuss the application on Tuesday, December 3.

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