Housing proposal for Formby Hall

Formby Hall

More than a dozen bungalows for supported accommodation are to be built on the site of a once popular borough venue.

A planning application has been submitted to the council to develop the former site of Formby Hall, which was demolished in September.

The documents seek permission to erect 13 bungalows for supported living, with associated access and landscaping, at the Alder Street site in Atherton.

Two blocks of one-bedroom, single-storey units, and a separate L-shaped building for staff will be built into the footprint of Formby Hall by the Hilldale Housing Association.

The facilities will be used to support people with a range of mobility problems, with additional aid for residents with bariatric issues (extreme obesity), and those unable

to find suitable housing after being discharged from hospital.

Residents and politicians had expressed sadness after bulldozers moved in to begin demolishing the popular venue earlier this year, after a lengthy battle to save it fell through.

The venue, which hosted a huge range of community events over the years including the popular Bent n’ Bongs Beer Bash, was ultimately flattened to make way for the nursing and supported living accommodation.

Members of a local residents’ group fumed over Wigan Council’s decision to sell the building in the first place, claiming a key part of Atherton’s history was disappearing.

Atherton Residents’ Association chair Stuart Gerrard said: “We knew it was going to happen when we lost the fight to put it back in the community’s hands but it’s a sad day.

“Atherton is being torn apart bit by bit.”

Bolton West MP Chris Green also said he was sad to see Formby Hall demolished.

“This hall was at the centre of our community for so long and its destruction fuels concerns about the future of other important Atherton landmarks such as the town hall and library,” he said.

“Wigan Council could have - and should have - protected this vital asset and they still owe us answers as to how this happened.”

The application is currently pending consideration, with a decision expected to be reached by early March 2018.

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