Waste centre plan is put on hold

Maxilead Metals' site at  Parr Bridge Works
Maxilead Metals' site at Parr Bridge Works

Work on a waste recycling centre has suddenly been put on hold following a dramatic intervention by the Government.

Secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Sajid Javid has announced he will look again at Wigan Council’s planning decision to allow Maxilead to build its new facility in Atherton.

Related: Waste firm hopes for double planning success

Bolton West MP Chris Green asked for the transformation of land near the Chanters Industrial Estate to be reviewed.

This was due to the strength of feeling among Atherton residents about the development, which was approved by the borough’s planning committee in January.

The minister has now taken these concerns on board and said more scrutiny should take place.

In his letter to Mr Green, Mr Javid said: “Given the concerns you have raised, my officials at the Planning Casework Unit have contacted Wigan Council, which has agreed not to issue planning consent for this development until I have considered the matter.

“The application will therefore receive consideration and the views expressed by yourself and your constituents, along with all other relevant information, will be taken into account in deciding whether or not to call in the application.”

Mr Javid will now look at the decision made by councillors before deciding if a planning inspector should be brought in for a full inquiry.

Mr Green acted following a meeting in Atherton attended by himself and ward councillors, where concerns were raised about the lack of information and potential problems with HGVs using the roads around the new site.

Preliminary work which involved cutting trees down required the intervention of Labour elected representative Coun Karen Aldred after lights from a waste facility ended up shining directly into homes.

Writing in his column in this week’s Leigh Observer, Mr Green says there is a long way to go to halt the plan for the scrap metal business but expressed satisfaction the matter was being considered.

He said: “I am delighted that, because of the hard work of local residents, we now have another chance at over-turning Wigan Council’s decision.

“I must stress that the chances of this are very small and it is not guaranteed that the Secretary of State will even be able to call-in the application in the first place.”

A council spokesperson said: “We appreciate the points raised by residents and wait to hear the minister’s conclusions before determining the application.”

Maxilead also applied to turn their existing site at the Parr Bridge Works in Tyldesley into a mixture of houses, community facilities and business premises.