Canal bosses change plans after listening to concerns

An artist's impression of the proposed West Leigh Waterfront development for 470 homes
An artist's impression of the proposed West Leigh Waterfront development for 470 homes

Plans for a huge development of hundreds of homes on land along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal have been submitted to Wigan Council.

An outline proposal has been put in for the site, which is jointly owned by the local authority and the Canal and river Trust (CRT), made up of brownfield land in Leigh.

If approved the 20-hectare site will become to around 470 apartments, two-bedroom houses aimed at first-time buyers and three or four-bedroom family homes.

Around a quarter of the site will be retained as open land, including a large patch of woodland, and there will also be a new cycle-friendly footbridge linking the development to Pennington Flash and the wider area including Leigh town centre.

Wigan Council director for economy and environment Karl Battersby said: “We have been working jointly with the CRT over a period of time to prepare this scheme. It will provide new housing in a canal-side setting close to Leigh town centre.

“We are required to build an extra 1,000 new homes per year in the borough and this former colliery spoil site, along with a number of other sites, will make a major contribution to the council meeting that commitment to the borough’s residents.”

The new development would also be linked to the nearby marina project with an upgraded cycle route and footpath on the northern edge of the site.

Access will be via a new roundabout on Plank Lane at the western end of the site and a new road branching off the existing roundabout at the junction of Firs Lane and Wigan Road at the eastern edge.

Cul-de-sacs south of Firs Lane and Plank Lane will not be linked to the new houses by road but will have access paths for cyclists and pedestrians. The scheme also includes a park between Mersey Street and Radnor Drive.

The CRT says several changes have been made to the plans after the public was asked for its views in a consultation last autumn.

CRT senior development manager Cheryl Blount-Powell said: “We held a public consultation event last September and listened to many different views about how the development should look.

“As a result, we have carried out further studies and increased public landscaped areas and restricted road access to two main entry points at either side of the development.

Residents can now view the proposals and comment by searching for reference A/16/82492/OUTMES on Wigan Council’s website.