Building battle lines drawn

Wigan UKIP's Steven Jones (centre) and supporters with their signed petitions at Wigan Road, Bryn
Wigan UKIP's Steven Jones (centre) and supporters with their signed petitions at Wigan Road, Bryn
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A COMMUNITY activist has launched a campaign against a massive Bryn redevelopment.

Plasterer Steve Jones welcomes new building jobs but is concerned that the massive proposals for Landgate set to go before planning councillors later this year will “completely overwhelm” the area’s infra-structure.

The proposed scheme includes 465 homes, a major supermarket, plus an industrial and trading estate.

It will eventually incorporate a new by-pass between Wigan Road and Bryn Road along with sports fields, landscaped parkland and a pavilion-style community centre.

The scheme is the latest brainchild of Dave Baybutt’s Greenbank Partnerships company which has specialised in restoring and redeveloping the borough’s huge swathes of former mining sites.

But Mr Jones insists that the overwhelming majority of residents he has contacted on the existing Landgate estate oppose the scheme.

The community, he says, fear that the new estate will put “immense” pressure on current school and medical facilities, as well as choking up the highways.

Mr Jones said: “Within a couple of hours I had 80 signatures on our petition and out of all the doors we knocked on, less than half a dozen weren’t against it.

“We were made aware of this about six months ago but the problem is that nobody seems to know the exact details.

“We don’t know what supermarket is being proposed but we do know that on the plans are 450 car parking spaces so it is a serious one, for sure. We are not against the development as such, but the effects it will have on the infrastructure and what they are planning to do about it.

“People told us time and again that they are already waiting days for doctors appointments and they dread to think what will happen when 450 new families move into the area.

“It would be great is somebody would come down from the developers and explain what exact infrastructure they are going to put in place alongside the houses, but that just hasn’t happened.

“The MP Yvonne Fovargue said that there will be a consultation meeting but they haven’t told her when.

Developers Greenbank, however, insist the proposals will be subject to feedback from local residents.

A spokesman said: “The development team has been working with senior officers at the council who have provided guidance on the emerging proposals that are intended to be submitted in due course in the form of an outline application with all matters reserved except for access.

“The emerging draft scheme has now progressed to a stage where we would very much like the opportunity to present the proposals to members on an informal basis in order to seek preliminary feedback ahead of seeking the views of the local community via a static public exhibition.”

Council director of Economy and Skills Steve Normington confirmed that the Landgate site was a “long standing” employment site allocation, which has been subject to several discussions with developers in the past.

He said: “Various schemes show the potential to use internal site roads to provide local transport relief.”