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Residents to have their say on new homes for Standish
Friday 4th April, 2014

Residents are being invited to have their say on plans to build 600 new homes in Standish.

Private developers want to build on land between Pepper Lane and Almond Brook Road in the popular village.

Consultation on the plans has now begun after two developers - Wainhomes and Bloor Homes – submitted separate applications to each build 300 houses in the area. Twenty-five per cent of these would be affordable homes.

The council is now calling on local people to look at the plans and make their views known. Councillors on the planning committee will meet in June to decide the applications and their decision will take local residents’ comments into account.

If the plans are approved, the developers would then have three years to come forward with a planning application for the details of the scheme such as the design of the houses, the roads and the open spaces. These applications would also be subject to public consultation.

Concerns have been expressed by some residents about more housing developments in Standish. As such, the council has advised the developers to scale-down their plans and ensure any proposed development is well designed, integrated into Standish and sensitive to the local area.

The land at Almond Brook could house up to 900 properties but the developers have limited their applications to 300 each following pre-planning discussions with the council. They’ve also indicated they intend to build a small estate road through the development to aid dispersal of traffic from the new housing areas. This is in addition to the £5000 they would have to contribute for every home built - should the application be approved. That money – which could be as much as £3m from these combined developments - would be ploughed back into infrastructure improvements in Standish.

The road – where traffic could be restricted to 20 mph like other residential roads in Wigan Borough - has attracted some local controversy because of concerns about its proximity to a nearby school. The council advised the developers to re-route it further away from the school which they have done. A full health impact assessment will be undertaken as part of the application. The estate road would only be designed if outline planning permission is granted but it is likely to be just 6.4 metres wide.

The plans can be viewed on the council’s website and comments can be emailed to the planning department. Over 650 residents who live close to the site will also be contacted by the council in the coming days and invited to take part in the consultation. But any local resident whether they receive a letter or not can make comments. All comments received will be included in a summary report presented to the planning committee when it meets to determine the applications.

Mike Worden, assistant director of planning at Wigan Council, said: “After much speculation about housing development in this part of Standish, at last the developers have put forward their plans giving the public a proper opportunity to have their say. I’d encourage them to do so because it’s important the opinion of local people is taken into account.

“We’ve made it clear to the developers that applications need to be sensitive to local concerns. I’m pleased to say the developers have so far taken on board our advice but it’s now open for the public to set out how they feel about the plans.”

The council originally did not want to see further large scale development in Standish but the government inspector who conducted last year’s examination of the council’s Core Strategy made it clear that provision should be made for 1000 new homes in Standish.

The council had to accept this otherwise the Core Strategy would have had to have been abandoned and developers would have been able to build without a policy framework. With the strategy adopted, the council can limit the amount of development in Standish and can more easily control where it goes and what it looks like as well requiring that 25 per cent of the new homes are affordable.

Mike Worden said: “We didn’t want to be in this situation in Standish but the inspector decided there should be provision made for 1000 new homes. It’s now important that local residents act to help shape those developments and ensure that they are well designed, high quality and integrated into Standish.

“A thousand new homes would generate more than £5m for investment in Standish, in schools, open spaces, transport and community facilities. As we insist any new housing development must have 25 per cent affordable housing, it means up to 250 affordable homes could be built in Standish. That’s good news for all those people who are currently being priced out of the local community.

“But we’re absolutely mindful any development needs to be right for the local community and that’s why we’re working hard to ensure all applications are sensitive to local areas and people have an opportunity to have their say. It’s up to the planning committee to decide whether these applications should be approved or refused.”

The applications can be viewed on the council’s website www.wigan.gov.uk. The public can email in their views to planningrepresentations@wigan.gov.uk

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