Nearly 50 affordable homes are coming to the area with the construction of a major new housing estate.
Work has begun on Belmont Place, next to Owens Farm in Hindley Green, as part of a wider 192-property development.
The project, being overseen by Countryside Properties, is one of the first housing initiatives which it is anticipated will transform open land between Leigh and Wigan over the next few years.
Backers say a quarter of the homes being built have been targeted at first-time buyers.
More than 100 jobs are being supported, both on-site and off-site, through the overall package, which is expected to take around four years to complete.
The 49 properties will be managed by social housing specialists Torus, in partnership with the Sigman Capital Group, and represents a fledgling venture in the borough for the St Helens-based outfit.
Ten of the units will be offered at ‘affordable’ rents and the remaining 39 will be sold off under a shared ownership scheme.
Bill Lacey, Torus’ development director. said: “This is our first scheme in the Wigan area and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to give local people the chance to rent or buy a stunning new home without overstretching themselves financially.”
Deborah Hughes, Countryside’s regional marketing director, added: “Our vision for this scheme is to create a welcoming community that will stand the test of time for generations to come.
“We look forward to building on our already successful partnerships with Wigan Council and Sigma Capital Group to deliver these much-needed homes.”
Proposals were approved for the scheme earlier this year, with two new access roads set to be created off Smiths Lane.
Planning agents have said previously that two public footpaths, one to the west and another towards the south-west of the site, should not be affected by the Hindley Green blueprints.
Rachel Hoy, of Sigma Capital, believes the estate will prove as popular as their other scheme, for 120 homes, 60 for rent and 60 for sale, at Howe Bridge Mill near Atherton, which was also secured with Countryside.
Before now the land, under the borough’s Local Plan, had been safeguarded from house building but developers successfully argued that it should be released to meet the locality’s long-term housing needs.
Another property giant, Wainhomes, had been angling to redevelop land around the former Bickershaw Colliery since as early as 2008.
The proposed housing is situated only a short way from the borough’s largest single proposed regeneration initiative, with 1,800 houses planned as part of an ambitious £310m scheme for North Leigh.