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Inspector halves number of homes planned for Lowton area in Wigan's Core Strategy
7:20am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
CHANGES recommended by the inspector who has scrutinised Wigan Council's Core Strategy development proposals would halve the number of new homes planned for Lowton and Golborne.
In response to inspector Kevin Ward's findings, Conservative councillor for Lowton East James Grundy said: "I welcome the the decision of the government inspector to limit the number of houses to be built in Lowton from almost 2,500 to what we estimate to be about 600.
"The plan the council put forward was strongly opposed, and even Andy Burnham broke ranks with his Labour colleagues on this issue because the plan was so poorly concieved.
"Councillors Pam Gilligan and James Cowley voted in favour of putting 2,500 houses in Lowton.
"Wigan Council has got into a real mess over this issue, but has no one to blame but itself. I would like to thank people for backing me on this issue, but we still have a lot more work to do on this before the job is finished."
Leigh MP Andy Burnham MP said: "I have consistently argued that the council's plans would lead to the over-development of the east of the borough. I conveyed to the inspector my fears that the plan would be a recipe for gridlock.
“I am pleased that the inspector has listened to the strength of feeling and cut by more than 50 per cent the number of homes recommended by the council in Lowton and Golborne."
Mr Burnham said people would still be concerned about the effect on the roads of 1,000 extra homes and stressed that any development should be made conditional upon major improvements to public transport.
“I know there will be disappointment in Atherton that land to the south is still included. However, I welcome the inspector's acknowledgement of the practical problems with this site and I will continue to support local residents should any application come forward."
Mr Ward's report stated: "I have some doubts over the assumed combined annual rates of delivery at Northleigh, South of Hindley and East and South of Atherton at times during the plan period "Given that the council is yet to determine the application for outline planning permission at Stone Cross Lane, the delivery of houses in 2013/14 appears unduly optimistic.
"Likewise, I am concerned over the realism of expecting 50 houses to be delivered at Garrett Hall in 2014/15 given that a planning application has not yet been submitted."