More homes, a new hospital ward but takeaway rejected - all of Wigan's planning decisions in the last week

Manchester Evening News 2 weeks ago

More than 40 homes and a new hospital ward have been given the green light by planning chiefs in Wigan - but one town will not be getting a new takeaway. 

The approved plans will bring vacant land into use for housing - despite some local opposition - and ‘much-needed’ hospital beds at Wigan Infirmary to help over the winter months.

But officers turned down an application for a new takeaway due to an 'over-concentration' of similar restaurants nearby.

Controversial housing estate on vacant land approved

Around two-and-a-half acres of open land will be set aside in Lowton for 24 new homes - but concerns around ‘over development’ and congestion have been raised locally.

Alderwood Homes has been given permission to build 12 semi-detached houses and a further 12 detached properties south of Heath Lane.

Six of the homes will be affordable, with the developer committing £205,530 towards infrastructure and play area upgrades, along with an electric vehicle charging point.

 

But the council received 15 letters from ward councillors and residents opposing the plans, which one objector fears will ‘add to the urban sprawl of Lowton’.

The letter says: “Over recent years the Lowton area to the north of the A580 has been subject to massive development.

“I request the council to draw a line under any further development in Lowton and stop the misery of growing congestion and pollution in the area.”

 

Another objector said: “If Lowton residents, present and future, are to enjoy any quality of life, then remaining green breathing spaces need to be spared.”

In response, Wigan council’s officers described the plans as ‘sustainable’ and said there was no evidence that Lowton’s infrastructure would be unable to cope with the scale of development proposed.

A ‘much-needed’ hospital ward

Wigan’s Royal Albert Infirmary will be allowed to build a new 28-bed ward to provide extra capacity over the winter months.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust has been under pressure to tackle bed shortages at the hospital.

Earlier this year, A&E patients had to be moved to other departments after a period of ‘unprecedented demand’.

 

Bosses were also warned that Wigan Infirmary would have ‘no resilience’ to deal with rising patient figures, or ward closures, unless action was taken.

Officers said the proposed extension would see ‘improved’ facilities on the site.

Richard Mundon, director of strategy and planning at WWL, said in September: "WWL has committed funding for additional beds on the acute site which will not only provide much needed capacity but will also support the Trust in implementing new models of care which would reduce the length of time that some patients spend in hospital beds.”

Vicarage housing development set to expand

A further 18 three-bedroom houses will be built within the grounds of a vicarage in Abram, where 13 homes already have permission to be built.

The vicarage had been demolished, rebuilt and taken over by the Diocese of Liverpool, which sold off part of the site now called Vicarage Gardens.

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Wigan council had approached the developers in 2017 with concerns that some of the land remained undeveloped.

A report submitted by the developers said: “The proposed residential scheme will be designed and built to a high standard. 

“We would hope that the momentum created by this scheme, and the improvement to the streetscape, would have a positive influence on surrounding property values."

Takeaway refused after public opposition

Plans for a new takeaway in Tyldesley has been turned down because there are already too many similar restaurants in the area.

The application sought to convert a former off-licence in Stour Road, which would have created two full-time jobs and two-part time roles.

But 21 letters of objection were received by the council expressing concerns about the number of takeaways, litter and a potential impact on the health and obesity levels in the community.

In their decision notice, officers said: “The proposed change of use would create an over-concentration of hot food establishments which would be detrimental to the Gables shopping centre.”


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