M6 South of Wigan Action Group back in action

posted 7 Nov 2016, 17:26 by j25wigan   [ updated 10 Nov 2016, 07:36 ]

Well we're back in action. Wigan Council are trying for the land which the government inspector threw out 3 years ago, but this time via an alternative route - the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

Here we go again...

Houses to replace industrial units?

posted 15 Jul 2012, 15:50 by j25wigan   [ updated 15 Jul 2012, 15:57 ]

View the plans here

Read the details here

We have been fighting to stop the destruction and development of the green belt at Winstanley and Hawkley Hall.

NOW it looks like the council are planning on using Winstanley and Hawkley Hall as sites to build MORE houses if the current industrial development fails.  See here for maps and here for detailed descriptions.


Remember, once the green belt gets downgraded... its open to ANY development!




The cabinet will meet on Thursday 19th July 3pm at the Town Hall.  They will discuss options available on where to build new houses in the borough.

This is to address the shortfall that the Core Strategy cannot meet at the moment.  This shortfall of houses is NOT because the government set a target our council cannot meet, it is because OUR council set their OWN target.

A consultation process is expected to start Tuesday 31st July to Tuesday 11th September 2012.  This will cover various sites around Wigan which could be developed for new houses.

According to the council they expect to be able to develop up to 2,300 homes in Winstanley and 1,500 in Hawkley Hall.

Can you imagine the impact so many houses would have?


The other sites the council are looking at are:

Standish, Goldborne and Lowton, Standish Lower Ground, Beech Hill, New Springs.

Expect to receive some sort of consultation letter regarding these plans very soon.

The council cabinet will be discussing the options on 19th July.

The public can attend the council cabinet meeting on Thursday 19th July at 3pm at the Town Hall.

This is open to the public to observe.  See how our council operate and make decisions that affect our everyday lives in Wigan.

When we know more we will pass on any information.

Westwood Park drop in sessions

posted 8 Jun 2012, 15:44 by j25wigan

Westwood Park

You may or may not be aware that the council are proposing to develop the former Westwood Park power station site.

Recently limited flyers have surfaced advertising public drop in sessions (sort of open days) to look at what the council are proposing.  These sessions are on June 12th at St Marys Community Centre, Warrington Road (near Ince Cemetery)
& June 13th at Clifton Street Community Centre, Poolstock.  The drop in sessions will be 11.00am - 2.00pm and 4.00pm - 7.00pm on each date.

We would strongly encourage you to go to one of these sessions to see first hand what the council are proposing.

Basically they are planning to build a new road to reduce congestion on Poolstock Lane.  The 2.5km A49 link road will start at a new roundabout junction with Warrington Road at Goose Green (suspected to be where the former St Paul's vicarage used to be).  To the east of Warrington Road a dual carriageway will follow the route of the old railway line to Westwood Park.

The initial planning application is expected to be submitted July 2012.  They estimate that work will commence early 2013 so you have limited time to have your say on it.

The council plan to build the following at Westwood Park.

1.  New homes
2.  Business park (of sorts)
3.  New foodstore, forming a local centre and serving the business park and local community
4.  Enhanced access to Greenheart and the Wigan Flashes (although it's unclear if the link road will go STRAIGHT through the flashes)
5.  New public transport links

Plans are vague at the moment but you can read more about it on the councils website


If you are concerned about this then please try and attend a drop in session - they run until 7pm on each date.

Public enquiry suspended - send in your comments!

posted 19 Apr 2012, 04:05 by j25wigan

We thought all the hard work would have been paid off by now and the results published... but...

The public enquiry into Wigan Councils Core Strategy still continues.

State of play – please help

You may have received a letter from the council or email asking for your comments on the new National Planning Policy Framework. It is important you respond to this via email, letter or phone by 16th May.
The new policy has been released which supersedes previous planning guidance notes (PPG’s) that the Core Strategy was following. The new guidance explains how Wigan Council can draw up plans and allow planning applications. Within these guidance notes are guidelines for green belt use and traveller sites.

What this now means is that the public enquiry/examination will now be based on the new guidelines and not the old ones.
Anyone who objected during the consultation phases last year can comment on these new policies.
It is important that you either email, write a letter or ring Rachel (who is the intermediate contact on behalf of the inspector) at the council with your views.
Kevin Ward is giving EVERYONE who objected until 16th May to comment on these planning policies. Specifically if it affects the objections you originally sent as new guidelines might make them redundant.

The fact still remains the same. DO NOT DESTROY THE GREEN BELT. KEEP IT GREEN.

The new guidelines now say green belt should not be changed except in “very special circumstances”. The old one said “exceptional circumstances”.

What EVERYONE needs to do now is email, write or ring Rachel with your views on the new national policy.

Just a quick comment will do. As long as you tell them in your own words “NO DEVELOPMENT should be done on the green belt. The green belt should remain green. My objections are still valid – there are no exceptional or special circumstances to destroy it”.

Rachel’s contact details are:

Rachel Huxtable

Programme Officer

Direct line: 01942 487321

Email: programmeofficer@wigan.gov.uk

Wigan Council, Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1YN

The outcome of the enquiry now means that THE CORE STRATEGY EXAMINATION WILL BE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED!! until housing matters are resolved.

What happens NOW??
1. Kevin (inspector) is waiting for EVERYONE (anyone who objected to any part of the Core Strategy including YOU!) to send comments about the new National Planning Policy Framework. The deadline is 16th May.

2. After the 16th May Kevin will look through comments and if necessary arrange more hearing sessions!

3. He will also write to the council justifying why he thinks there is a housing shortfall.

4. The council expect to spend 6 MONTHS looking into new options. They will CONSULT BOROUGH WIDE on new options to accommodate the extra houses. Approx 6 weeks of consultation will be allowed for any comments. New land will be released by using safeguarded land such as land in Standish, adjusting green belt boundaries or using Windfall sites (sites which have become available for development unexpectedly such as vacant industrial sites).

5. The outcome of all the above will then be either another public enquiry or Kevin will submit his final report.

Inspectors verdict coming soon

posted 16 Feb 2012, 16:02 by j25wigan

At the final hearing session, the inspector told the council that by 25th February he would be able to inform them of the date his FINAL report will be submitted.

So not long to wait now.  We believe the verdict on M6 J25 will be in the report and expect it to be published mid March.

Public inquiry update

posted 7 Feb 2012, 06:41 by j25wigan

Wigantoday have published a very brief article about the first hours worth of discussion at yesterdays public inquiry.


Public Enquiry is here

posted 4 Feb 2012, 17:19 by j25wigan

The day has come.  Monday 6th February will be our last stand to stop this madness.

Please come to the enquiry.  Show strength of feeling.

9:30am - Wigan Investment Centre.

Public enquiry - What will be discussed

posted 29 Jan 2012, 12:45 by j25wigan

It's only a week off but here is a list of items that will be discussed on the 6th February.  If you have any comments about any if these items please let us know at the St Aidan's Meeting on Tuesday 31st January or via email.

Wigan Core Strategy Examination


Hearing session for Matter 7a: Junction 25, M6 Motorway, south of Wigan (Policy SP4.5)


9.30 am Monday 6th February 2012 (all day)



1.   The effect on the purposes of including land in the Green Belt

·         Urban sprawl

·         Encroachment into the countryside

·         Merging of neighbouring towns

·         Urban regeneration


2.   Other potential adverse effects

·         Increased traffic including combined effect with Landgate

·         Loss of open land / effect on character and appearance of area

·         Recreational value

·         Residential amenity

·         Biodiversity / wildlife

·         Air quality


3.   Regional Strategy

·         What does the RS say about Green Belt changes?

·         Is there a recognised need for such a development?

·         Does the proposal represent a substantial strategic change or a detailed boundary change?


4.      Quantitative need

·         Is there a quantitative need for the additional employment land at J25? 

·         Existing and proposed supply elsewhere and realistic take up rates

·         Potential effect on take up of existing and proposed employment land e.g. Landgate

·         Potential displacement of jobs from elsewhere in the Borough


5.      Site of exceptional quality

·         What are the criteria for a site of exceptional quality? What is the basis for this definition?

·         Evidence to justify a need for such a site

·         What uses are proposed and is this clear?

·         How would the proposal differ from existing and planned sites in terms of the uses proposed?  What would it offer that other sites wouldn’t?

·         How would the economic benefits differ?  How many jobs are envisaged and what type?  What are the assumptions about job densities on the site and how does this compare with other sites, particularly those used for distribution?


6.      Site assessment process

·         Were the factors used and the relative weight given to them appropriate?

·         Should location within Green Belt have been factored in at the start?

·         Does the proposal actually meet the criteria for an exceptional site in terms of visibility from M6 and nature of J25?  How will one way nature of junction affect the proposal?

·         Was sequential approach to office development in town centres taken into account?  How would the proposal sit with national policy on this (PPS4)? 

·         Overall, is there clear and robust evidence to support the proposal compared with other potential sites?


7.           Delivery

·         Is the proposal realistically deliverable?  What effect will the current economic climate and potential competition from other sites have?

·         What are the likely development costs and how would these be met?


8.           Clarity

·         Is the policy sufficiently clear about the location and extent of the area to be removed from the Green Belt?  Which areas of Green Belt would remain and is this clear?

·         Does it leave too much to a later DPD?

Statements are in

posted 14 Jan 2012, 12:58 by j25wigan

Well thats it for the evidence gathering.  We have worked really hard as a group and used some great ideas and feedback from the community.  All our statements went in to the council on Friday 13th January.  We hope that the structured evidence will show the inspector that we have thought about the issues and consequences if J25 went ahead.  It is now up to the inspector to review the communities arguments and the councils arguments.  Time will tell and we will be discussing it more at the public enquiry 6th February.

Government inspector tells council stick to original plans

posted 7 Jan 2012, 16:08 by j25wigan   [ updated 8 Jan 2012, 06:41 ]

The inspector has told Wigan Council that the public enquiry will NOT focus on the Schedule of Minor Changes to the Draft Core Strategy.

This now means that the revised plans which brought the ENTIRE development onto Winstanley will now be put back to what was originally planned - Both Winstanley and Hawkley Hall.

Basically the council said they had listened to residents objections and submitted a "minor" change to their plans.  These minor changes put the entire development on the Winstanley side of the A49.  At the pre-hearing meeting 13th December 2011 the inspector told the council that these changes were not acceptable as a full consultation should have been done on the "minor" changes.  He said that the public enquiry will focus on the original plans.

The revised plans were:

A location of around 30 hectares for a high quality employment park comprising offices, industrial, manufacturing and logistics, with access to/from the A49 Warrington Road at, or very close to, the roundabout at the end of M6 motorway spur road at junction 25. Development will be focused on the land to the west of the A49, Warrington Road. Any proposals must incorporate appropriate mitigation measures including the siting, design and orientation of buildings and the use of substantial effective landscaping and green barriers, in order to minimise the impact of development on the amenity of nearby residential areas. The proportion of the different types of employment use and how they will be controlled, along with the detailed boundaries of the land to be removed from the Green Belt, will be determined in a subsequent development plan document.

Now the plans will be:

A location of around 40 hectares for high quality industrial and logistics (storage and distribution) development, with access to/from the A49 Warrington Road at, or very close to, the roundabout at the end of M6 motorway spur road at junction 25. The need for and extent of the development and the removal of that land from the Green Belt will be determined in a subsequent development plan document.

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