|Clean up your act – Developer fined over Wigan wasteland
The former Twiss Bakery site in Ince.
A property developer has been fined nearly £5,000 for failing to clean-up a former bakery site close to Wigan town centre.
Lymm-based Newbury Homes went before Wigan Magistrates on Thursday March 4 to face charges brought by the council for alleged offences under the Town and Country Planning Act.
The case surrounded the former Twiss Bakery site on Warrington Road, Ince, which has been a long-standing source of complaints from local residents.
The bakery buildings have been partly demolished, leaving heaps of rubble and a damaged security fence. As well as being an eyesore the site has become a target for anti-social behaviour.
It is the second time this year the company has been before the bench relating to the state of the site. In March, Newbury was fined £1,000 with £350 costs for failing to clean up the site after the council issued an enforcement notice in June 2009.
At that hearing Newbury was warned that it could face further legal action if it failed to act.
Representatives from Newbury did not attend Thursday’s hearing but admitted the offence. The company also gave an undertaking to clean up the site.
Magistrates ordered Newbury to pay £4,900 with £300 and a £15 victim support surcharge.
Wigan Council’s Cabinet Champion for the Environment and Ince Ward councillor David Molyneux said: “I am pleased that the court has decided to take such strong action but the situation at this site remains totally unacceptable.
“The state of this site is a blight on the community of Ince and it is on an important route into Wigan town centre. It does not show our borough in a very good light and the time for a clean-up is long overdue.
“We have given Newbury more than enough time to clear this site and they have failed to act. This has meant our only course of action has been through the courts.”
Cllr Molyneux adds: “The community of Ince has suffered long enough due to the state of this potentially dangerous site. Newbury has given us an assurance that they will take action and we will keep them to that. If they fail to clean this site up we have no reservations about taking the matter back before the courts and seeking further financial penalties. I am afraid it really is a case of clean-up or cough up.”