PLANS to turn a former recycling centre into a housing development look set to be given the green light.

More than 30 letters and a petition with eight signatures contesting the proposed 27-home Oaktree (Construction and Management) Ltd development on Manchester Road in Leigh were sent to Wigan Council.

But the council planners have concluded in a report that the brown belt land development should go ahead.

A Wigan Town Hall committee decided yesterday, Tuesday, October 10, to delay a final decision on the plans until a site visit has been conducted.

The decision looks set to be made at its next planning meeting in November.

The report says: “The proposal is consistent with the objectives set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and the policies contained within the Wigan Local Plan Core Strategy.”

SC Chadwick and Sons Ltd went into liquidation in April 2016, leading to 35 job losses at its waste sites on Manchester Road in Leigh and Bolton.

The homes set to be built at the former waste and scrap metal transfer station in Leigh are a mixture of two and two-and-a-half story detached and semi-detached houses with associated garages.

Concerns raised by residents include a loss of privacy, building on the Pendleton Fault, disturbance by construction vehicles, the use of Kenwood Avenue as a ‘rat run’ for the Higher Folds estate, no affordable housing included in the development, existing parking issues, the presence of bats, flooding, rats and removal of waste and a lack of neighbour notification.

But having looked into the objections the council planners concluded there are no grounds to justify Oaktree’s application being refused.

The Coal Authority has highlighted that a fault line runs through the site and further investigations on its stability are required prior to building work starting.

However the report shows the non-departmental public body of the Government has no objection to the houses being built on the Pendleton Fault subject to satisfactory foundations and works to prevent any further ground movement on the site.

It also shows a district valuer has assessed the proposed development and ruled that the provision of affordable housing would make the site unviable.

Addressing other concerns raised, the report says: “As bats are a protected species and are covered under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, an informative will be added to the decision notice to ensure that care is taken.

“Should bats be found to be present on the site works should cease until further advice is sought from a qualified ecologist prior to any demolition.

“The Environment Agency will oversee the removal of waste on the site and vermin (rats) within the site will be appropriately dealt with.

“The lead local flood authority has raised no objections to the proposed development, subject to a sustainable urban drainage system being installed.”

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework aims to allow 25,000 new homes to be built by 2035.