Fury as developers fence off path

The fence barring access to the North Leigh site at the bottom of Tiverton Avenue
The fence barring access to the North Leigh site at the bottom of Tiverton Avenue

Residents are in dispute with a developer after a path leading across a controversial housing site was fenced off.

The metal fence appeared at the bottom of Tiverton Avenue in Leigh last Friday together with a sign saying the area is private property.

“There has always been a path across the field and now they’ve fenced it off so nobody can use it. We’re now waiting for information on what the right of way position is.”

Resident Terry Pemberton

Residents who have used it as a short cut for years have asked ward councillors to investigate any rights of way inssues but developers Bellway Homes insist the public is not allowed to go onto the land.

Complaints have also been made about Bellway’s vehicles covering nearby streets in mud and dirt and about damage to a pavement on Tiverton Avenue.

The site is at the centre of an ongoing row between residents and Bellway, with people living on the street forming a human blockade to prevent the company’s vehicles accessing the North Leigh site when they first turned up.

Terry Pemberton, a resident on nearby Taunton Avenue who also co-ordinates the local Home Watch, said: “There has always been a path across the field and now they’ve fenced it off so nobody can use it. We’re now waiting for information on what the right of way position is.

“They’ve left the road absolutely filthy and they damaged the pavement bringing a mechanical shovel off the field.

“Everybody is upset by all the mess and noise, especially as we weren’t warned about what is going on. It has all just been gone about completely the wrong way.”

Bellway has firmly insisted it has the right to fence off the area but said it was sorry the dirt was not cleaned up.

A spokesman said: “The land has always been private property, with no rights of access granted to the public. This can be seen on Wigan’s public right of way online register which clearly shows that there are no rights of ways crossing the site.

“We apologise that the clean-up works were not undertaken in the time we expected. We had arranged for a road sweeper to attend on Friday evening but due to an error by the subcontractor, this did not take place. The sweeper has now attended site to rectify the situation.”