Seedy massage venue bid fails

Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who condemned the massage parlour
Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who condemned the massage parlour

Attempts to create a massage parlour in Leigh town centre which were greeted with public outrage have failed.

Owners of the Leigh Road building have now abandoned their bid to open the facility after being informed it was highly unlikely planning permission would be granted.

The building’s lurid window displays, featuring two huge red silhouettes of scantily-clad women, sparked outrage among residents when they were installed last year.

The unsubtle designs, which also included a list of services the parlour was proposing to offer in large letters, have since been blacked out, a spokesman for Leigh MP Andy Burnham told the Observer.

Wigan Council informed the owners last November a full planning application would be needed for use of the building.

Karl Battersby, the town hall’s director for economy and environment, said at the time: “The premises does not currently have planning permission for this use. The owners have been contacted and requested to either cease the use, or submit a planning application.”

Mr Burnham was also outspoken in his condemnation of the massage parlour after being contacted about it by concerned residents.

He took to Twitter to say there was little chance of the planning application being granted and he would make strong representations to Wigan Council suggesting it should not be granted if permission was sought.

Greater Manchester Police were also informed of concerns about the premises but they said it had not opened so there were no issues with criminal or illegal activity.

It is strongly believed that the parlour never actually opened before being abandoned. The sight of the premises prompted an outpouring of social media condemnation from residents alarmed about the damage it could do to Leigh’s image.