A HS2 depot has been labelled a ‘monstrosity’ by Leigh MP Andy Burnham.

The Shadow Health Secretary met with the head of HS2 David Higgins to urge him to drop plans for a major depot to the north of Lowton and Golborne.

Under the Government’s current proposals, the depot would be in an area of open countryside recognised for its scientific and environmental significance.

“I asked David Higgins for a face-to-face meeting as I wanted to convey directly the strength of feeling of my constituents. I am grateful to him for giving me a hearing and listening to my concerns,” said Mr Burnham.

“This is not about nimby-ism. Leigh and Lowton people are fair-minded and will always accept their share. But this is taking far too much from us. It will shatter our peace and destroy our precious green space.

“Surely the preferred location for a facility of this kind should be a brownfield site, not an area designated by Wigan Council as its ‘green heart’, bordering a site of special scientific interest and close to the historic Lightshaw Hall and Byrom Hall. It’s hard to imagine a less appropriate site.”

When Mr Burnham asked residents on HS2 earlier this year, there was strong opposition to the plan, including from people who support HS2.

Mr Burnham added: “If it is ever built, this depot will be an industrial monstrosity looming large over Pennington Flash and the houses of nearby residents. Pennington Flash has become a significant visitor attraction and this would damage its appeal.

“I have urged HS2 to listen to Lowton, go back to the drawing board and relocate this facility to a more appropriate site.”