The Galleries Redevelopment

Started by: jo anne (33951) 

“On Tue 2nd Nov, a specially arranged planning committee will take place to consider the Galleries planning application and any comments or objections received.” (M.E.N.)

The meeting’s agenda is now available: here

Document: “Report to Planning CommitteeLink

Officer recommendation to Planning Committee:

Started: 27th Oct 2021 at 09:38

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Maureen O'Bern (Facebook):

These Councillors are on the Planning Committee and will be deciding whether to give planning permission for the disastrous planned demolition of the Galleries and Market Hall.

If you think this should be put on hold and reconsidered, please email them to let them know your feelings. Especially if they are your ward councillors.

Committee Members:
Cllr Stephen Hellier (Tyldesley) Link
Cllr Susan June Greensmith (Leigh West) Link
Cllr Marjorie Clayton (Orrell) Link
Cllr Marie Cooper (Lowton East) Link
Cllr Stephen Dawber (Wigan West) Link
Cllr Jim Ellis (Hindley) Link
Cllr Laura Flynn (Aspull, New Springs Whelley) Link
Cllr Stuart Andrew Gerrard (Atherton) Link
Cllr John Harding (Atherleigh) Link
Cllr Kathleen Houlton (Lowton East) Link
Cllr Paul Terence Kenny (Winstanley) Link
Cllr Gena Merrett (Golborne & Lowton West) Link
Cllr Jeanette Prescott (Pemberton) Link
Cllr Janice Sharratt (Ince) Link
Cllr Frederick Bown Walker (Leigh East) Link

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 09:44

Posted by: JR (311)

I know that at least 700 letters of concern have been handed in.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 10:23

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Yet the report to the Planning Committee gives only 142, JR.

I wonder why there’s a discrepancy.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 10:26

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (8705)

jo anne

The same thing happened with the 'Bryn against Development' group, who were trying to stop the houses being built off Rose Hill, and what happened was that letters of objection had been drawn up, and signed by multiple signatory's, but the council treated such letters has only one letter, so if a letter of objection has got 100 signatures on it, then as far as the council is concerned, that is only one letter of objection.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 13:57

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Thanks, TTS. Could that be what’s happened here as well, JR?

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 14:15

Posted by: GOLDEN BEAR (4449) 

Hello Jo anne, Like JR mentioned i have also sent a written of objection and numerous complaints and comments , but i i think it will be to no avail alas.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 14:25

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (8705)

In 1990 I was having an argument with the then manager of the Market Hall, and the subject of objections and petitions came up, and he said sarcastically whilst smirking, "the council received a petition with over 80,000 signatures on it, objecting to this place being built (the then new market hall) and they took no notice of it, that was from a senior council employee, and with this development, it is just history repeating itself, the council have decided to build 500+ flats on the location of the old Market Square, with no adequate parking provision, the 'podium parking' it will utilise, will only provide a fraction of the parking spaces required, and it will be expensive to use.

The council are programmed to ignore objections from the residents of this town, as Mr Sledge once said on here "the council employ people to answer the phone's people like you lot, so that we don't have to talk to you"

Make of that remark what you will.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 15:08

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Golden Bear, it’s always worth a try.

TTS, it’s really sad. This redevelopment will be so detrimental to a town centre which is already on its knees. It’s certainly a challenge, but I believe there are better ways to proceed.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 16:35

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (8705)

jo anne

I could not agree more with you, it is a horrible development that they are planning.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 16:50

Posted by: AngelWood (645)

I went to Leigh the other day for an appointment and on my way home decided to have a look at their market and shops. Names long gone from Wigan seem to be flourishing there and I bought some beautiful fish from the stall in the market hall.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 17:02

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

That’s interesting, Angelwood, I wonder if there are any lessons Wigan could learn from Leigh?

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 17:11

Posted by: AngelWood (645)

Perhaps bigger is not always better Joanne. Small shops more or less concentrated in one street with the market alongside. On the other side of the market, a small shopping mall next to the bus station.

Replied: 27th Oct 2021 at 18:58

Posted by: JR (311)

Jo Anne,
Originally my friend took a huge petition in, then was told that it would only be counted as one objection. So he went back to his group and they asked everyone to write individual letters. Some started to send in email objections but didn't have any confirmation that they had been received. So they resorted to traditional letters. My friend handed in 200 and his friend handed in 500... all individual objections.

Replied: 28th Oct 2021 at 10:52

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

That’s worrying, JR. Are they able to look into what’s happened?

Replied: 28th Oct 2021 at 14:12

Posted by: GOLDEN BEAR (4449) 

JO ANNE, I take on board what you have said and will continue to keep on badgering the council when they need it , but just to add to what TTS I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT THE HEART OF MY DEAR TOWN OF WIGAN WILL BE RIPPED OUT ,AND FOR GOOD ALAS . GB

Replied: 28th Oct 2021 at 14:23

Posted by: anniedingle (105)

Council will do has they please money wasting no more heart in the town .

Replied: 28th Oct 2021 at 15:47

Posted by: basil brush (17461)

off FB

I nipped into town this morning as I needed a key cutting so immediately thowt of the fella on,t market, he was telling me he retires at Christmas due to the redevelopment off the Galleries. Another long-established business gone. I remember him being at the old market and he still has his wooden board saying “ Key cut here “
Best wishes for your future, you have served Wigan well

Replied: 30th Oct 2021 at 13:08

Posted by: JR (311)

The objections logged so far appear to be those sent electronically through the portal. The reason people wrote letters is because they complained that the portal wasn't working. Just one Wigan West Councillor on the committee and the rest from areas outside the general town. Seems a bit strange!

Replied: 31st Oct 2021 at 16:33

Posted by: fossil (7013)

My opinion is that regular every day markets are a thing of the past,and market days on a certain day would be a good replacement in the Market place maybe!
Something is definitely needed to breathe a bit of life into Wigan but I am not convinced that the galleries and associated buildings in the proposed development should be demolished as in my opinion the clock tower and galleries are very attractive pieces of architecture.
I went to Leigh the other day and they have several empty stalls and the old atmosphere, present a few years ago was missing, and to give Bury as an example of a flourishing market is misleading in the context of what is needed in Wigan,as it is a one off.
I don't like Bury market it is claustrophobic,and Chorleys set up is much better in my opinion, and that around the Market place and Standishgate would work coupled with free parking in the Galleries.

Replied: 31st Oct 2021 at 19:13

Posted by: admin (1087)

Is the public allowed into this meeting? If so where is it and what time?

Replied: 31st Oct 2021 at 19:27

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

The public can usually attend, Admin, and I can’t find anything that says otherwise about this specially arranged meeting.

Meeting is 2pm on Tue 2nd Nov
Council Chamber - Town Hall,
Library St, Wigan, WN1 1YN

Agenda: Link

Planning Committee - Details:
Support officer: Rachel Gibbons
Tel: 01942 488382

Replied: 31st Oct 2021 at 20:01

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

@angelafell (1st Nov):

I think Angela means the speech will be on Twitter tomorrow - Tue 2nd Nov - some time after the meeting begins at 2pm

Link: @AngelaFell

Replied: 1st Nov 2021 at 22:54

Posted by: JR (311)

The normal rule is that members of the public can attend but can't speak up. I would like to go but am away in Bristol at the moment.

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 10:05

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

The objection speech is now available to read on Twitter:

Link: @AngelaFell

I hope the committee listen.

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 13:16

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Apologies, the previous link was to the letter that Friends of Wigan Town Centre sent to Planning Committee Members in advance of decision making today.

Listen to the speech: here

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 14:32

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

A reporter’s tweets from the meeting:

Rest of thread: @JosephTiman

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 16:01

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

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Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

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Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

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Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 16:27

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 16:37

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 16:40

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Who are the Uyghurs and why is China being accused of genocide? BBC, June 2021

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 16:59

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 17:00

Posted by: lectriclegs (4519)

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 17:03

Posted by: admin (1087)

I went to the meeting but had to leave before the vote The names of the councilors who voted for it should have their names published for all their constituents to see and then they will know what to do when the next elections come along. Its a farce concrete and glass and only 1 parking space per 2 apartments AND only 10% of them will have charging points??? Its a complete joke considering by 2030 all petrol cars will be being fazed out so by then, the majority of car owners will have electric cars The answer from one woman councilor "Not everyone will want to charge their cars every night" Yes but more than 10% will.
To be honest I was disappointed with the turn out from the Wigan public..probably only 20 ... Where were the people on here who continually moan about the demise of the town??? Where are the rest of the apartment owners going to park???? MESNES FIELD... I predict

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 17:15

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

I couldn’t make it today or I would have, Admin.

I’ve been to similar meetings before as a member of the public, and it’s a difficult position to be in only able to look on as the horror story unfolds.

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 17:19

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 


The councillors who voted against were Conservative & Independent.

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 18:16
Last edited by jo anne: 2nd Nov 2021 at 18:17:08

Posted by: JR (311)

I was told that the 800 objections were summed up and given the same summing up space as the 10 letters of support. I think the people of Wigan need to publicly demonstrate in their masses. A mass March into the centre and get some real publicity to show how the history of the town has been blitzed and replaced by new complexes that still aren't working.

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 18:45
Last edited by JR: 2nd Nov 2021 at 20:59:41

Posted by: admin (1087)

Wigan councilors don't have an opinion of their own They are told what to do... BUT over and over again the Wigan public keep voting in Labour councilors. Who have proved over the years to totally disregard, what the people who put them where they are want.. I said months ago that the letters of objection are a waste of time They don't have any credence at all and were totally disregarded.

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 22:25

Posted by: admin (1087)

Just checked and of the 15 man committee 8 of them come from out of town WHY should they have any say on what happens to WIGAN? Is it in their best interests for Wigan to have a thriving economy, when it would have a detrimental effect on their own enclaves of Leigh, Atherton, and Tyldesley
Housing, a Cinema, a Bowling Alley, An indoor golf range? We already have a Cinema and a Bowling Alley which are just surviving. Why not go the whole hog and have a ski slope like Kirkby had a few years ago..

Replied: 2nd Nov 2021 at 22:59

Posted by: JR (311)

I'm told that the head of the Planning committee lives in Yorkshire!!!

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 08:47

Posted by: admin (1087)

Yep he does, and he is on £63,000 a year. By the time all this comes into fruition he will be long gone Along with most of the other councilors who voted it through. They have no culpability for what they have done.

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 09:07

Posted by: Tommy Two Stroke (8705)

I found out from the reporting of the meeting, something which I have been trying to find out, and that is how many of these so called 'podium' car parking places will be available for the flats which they will be building, and it will be one space per two flats, in other words if there are 500 flats, there will be 250 car parking places.

1. Will there be 250 car parking spaces in the new complex ?

I don't think that there will be that number of spaces, I bet it will be more like a 100 car parking spaces for 500 flats, so it as obvious as the nose on your face that there will be a massive shortfall in available parking for those flats, so where will the residents of those flats park ?
All of Swinley which will be the adjoining area to those flats is permit only parking, and on top of that where will visitors park ?

2. With the loss of the Galleries car park, will the council provide extra parking in Wigan to make up for the loss of that car park ?

Will they eckers like

3. The prospective owner of the hotel will want to know where their staff and customers can park ?

4. The prospective owner of the cinema complex will also want to know where their staff and customers will park ?

Bear in mind that Wigan Council car parks close at 7.00pm

So will a hotel chain build a hotel in that location ?

Will a cinema chain build a cinema in that location ?

In view of these parking and I think also most probably 'access' problems to this new complex of buildings, will the Chinese company pull out of the project ?

Or am I dreaming

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 11:38

Posted by: admin (1087)

TTS I've said it previously no doubt the extra parking needed will come from changing the Mesnes field in to a parking space Also, not widely reported, There will be no designated parking spaces for the apartments. It's a matter of First Come First Served Can you imagine what it will be like with people fighting over parking spaces. How they can think that 1 space for two apartments will be adequate When most household these day have at least two cars per family.. I would liked to have asked each councilor at the Meeting yesterday "-How Many cars are there in your family?" I would lay 100 to1 odds that they all would all have at least two..
When challenged about the lack of Parking spaces. One woman councilor said that most people would be using Public Transport or cycle to get to work??? I suppose in theory you can get to most places in Britain by public transport, eventually, by changing trains and buses numerous times. But say you work in a place like RAMSBOTTOM to get there for 8.00am you would have to leave home the night before Or you worked in a place with no direct train or Bus route how do you get there if not by car???
Our only salvation is for the Chinese to pull out. As the development company have no cash. Like as happened in the plans for the revamp of the town centre in 2014.

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 14:03

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

From Wigan Today (Link):

400 parking spaces will be lost, but as there are usually over 1,700 unused on a regular basis, developers and planners don’t expect it to be a problem.

The plans are a complete shambles.

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 17:23

Posted by: admin (1087)

A few years ago I went to Moscow and the area I stayed in reminds me of these proposed buildings in the plans.

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 17:43

Posted by: lectriclegs (4519)

I worked at a BCEGI development in Manchester (Middlewood locks)

To buy a parking space on said development would cost you upwards of
20 grand.

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 19:41

Posted by: admin (1087)

Probably end up the same. Apartment owners having to buy a Parking space. Another nice little earner for the councilors. This middle aged woman councilor pontificating that in a few years most people will be going to work on public transport or bikes!!!!!!!!! I bet she didn't go to the meeting on her bike from Leigh or Atherton or wherever she came from.

Replied: 3rd Nov 2021 at 21:08

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

A video report by local journalist, Claire Hannah:

Granada Reports

I actually felt physically sick when they showed us the view from the park … People don’t have a clue what we’re going to be looking at.
Kathleen Leigh, Wigan Market Trader

“The Council didn’t listen.”

View from Crompton St

View from Mesnes Park

View from Hallgate

Replied: 4th Nov 2021 at 10:30
Last edited by jo anne: 4th Nov 2021 at 10:31:13

Posted by: scorpion (860)

I wonder if there is going to be some sort of Back to the future protest? Save the clock tower!!!

On a serious note, when they do knock it down it will be like the demolition of the cooling towers back in the late 80s. I wonder if it could be moved and put in the centre of the proposed expansion of woodcock square?

Replied: 4th Nov 2021 at 19:46

Posted by: JR (311)

Dr Phil Askew has transformed the notorious Thamesmead concrete jungle in outer east London into a green matrix and very desirable place to live. He engages with the community, aspires to give them everything they yearn for, and has ensured that an additional 25,000 homes will be unobtrusive and communicate with the landscape. He has given people in despair an active, healthy and visually pleasing borough to be proud of... and he strives to make even more improvements, with aspiration to create one of the best urban forests in the UK
Wigan desperately needs someone like Phil. Get the right man or woman and every social, aesthetic, environmental and economic problem will be suitably addressed. Just one person can make such an enormous difference.

Replied: 4th Nov 2021 at 20:13

Posted by: jo anne (33951) 

Dr Phil Askew “engages with the community” though, JR, and I’m not sure Wigan Council would be agreeable to that.

Replied: 4th Nov 2021 at 22:44

Posted by: WN1 Standisher (391)

How is it that when we wanted to extend the front of our house, the council had us jumping through hoops and everything had to match the exsisting fabric of the building, ie Stone, that took some considerable sourcing, and the employment of a builder with experience using stone at elevated expense. I look at these buildings that look like a UFO has landed in the middle of Wigan. Is it one rule for one and another for when it suits ? It looks like a bloody warehouse.

Replied: 5th Nov 2021 at 16:28

Posted by: gasmon (71)

Reading about huge problems in China daily, especially in the building sector over there, Evergrand owes $300 Billion worth of debt - and it is near bankrupt having defaulted on it's debt Google it - it's scary, the problems are so huge over there it could tip the world into recession / depression.

I would not be surprised if this project becomes a non starter, gets cancelled, long delayed or worst case the Galleries are demolished then nothing happens making Wigan look like Berlin in 1944.

I'm disgusted at our clueless council. I wonder if thick brown envelopes are involved.

Replied: 5th Nov 2021 at 17:19

Posted by: tonker (24610) 

Gasmon, the "thick brown envelopes" were handed over in 2013.

Admin said, "Just checked and of the 15 man committee 8 of them come from out of town WHY should they have any say on what happens to WIGAN? "

Admin, I don't know how your brain works, but it's not working proper!
Out of the 15 "man" committee, eight of them are 'women' and at least 13 of them are from "out of town"!

Replied: 5th Nov 2021 at 19:31

Posted by: JR (311)

Jo Anne, you're right.
The Council don't want to engage with the community. We are supposed to be a democracy, but it sometimes feels like a dictatorship!

Replied: 7th Nov 2021 at 16:01

Posted by: tonker (24610) 

JR, the current government are the result of a democratic vote.

Replied: 7th Nov 2021 at 21:49

Posted by: JR (311)

Tonker, Yes I agree... but I am suggesting that the Council (continually elected) appear to take the consistent uncontended freedom to dictate, pretending to listen, rather than seriously acknowledging the concerns and aspirations of the residents. It is rather disturbing. I'm not getting into pedantic politics here Tonker, but just offering a concern that speaks for may people in the town.

Replied: 9th Nov 2021 at 18:41

Posted by: tonker (24610) 

JR, 'the council' are the local government, it's directors are on the government payrole.
They are there for the government. They carry out government policies and orders.

What you refer to as 'the council' are, actually, the 'ward councillors'.

As long as people don't know how a local authority works, they will never understand why those 'voted in' councillors so seemingly turn against their electorate's wishes.

Replied: 9th Nov 2021 at 21:18


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