Building on green land will create a danger

Coun James Grundy
Coun James Grundy

PLANS to build almost 30 houses on green belt land has concerned a Wigan councillor.

Housing and building contractors George Moss and Sons Ltd have submitted a planning application to Wigan Council to erect 28 properties on land off Sandy Lane, Lowton between Bodden Street and Brook Street.

But ward councillor James Grundy said and fellow residents nearby are unhappy about the proposals and fear that if the authority was to pass the notion, it would spark a “free for all” for building on green belt land.

He said: “This is not just a development of 28 houses. It is all about the principle of developing on green belt land.

“It proposes a danger as by allowing this it would breach rules of green belt protection and it would undermine the boroughwide Core Strategy.

“All the arguments we have had about building in Standish and other areas would be reopened if the council gave permission for this to go ahead.

“Developers in other parts of the borough who have had plans rejected on the basis they could not touch green belt land, will then resubmit their plans to see if they could get a u-turn and be allowed to build.

“It would render the Core Strategy a dead letter.

“I believe this application should not be allowed to go ahead on these grounds.

“The green belt is there for a reason. We would lose protection of other places in the borough.

“We have a Core Strategy for a good reason – there is designated land for housing so we can control it so there is not a free for all.

“Builders would ignore brown belt and run down areas and go for green belt spaces instead.

“I am hopeful the planning committee will reject it on the grounds it represents a danger for planning control across the whole borough,”

He added that residents are also unhappy about the plan as it would cause traffic congestion in Sandy Lane and there would be lack of parking.

Coun Grundy added: “They are feeling under siege at the moment under the big battle over the Core Strategy.

“They are also very disappointed that the developers submitted plans over the Christmas build up when people are caught up in activities. I feel this is a sly attempt to take it off the radar.”

Wigan Council’s Core Strategy sets out the authority’s housing plans under government guidance.

Residents have until January 2 to give comments on the proposals.

People can either e-mail planningrepresentations@wigan.gov.uk or write to Places Directorate, Economy and Skills, Development Management, Wigan Council, PO Box 100, Wigan WN1 3DS