ANGRY residents have called on Wigan Council to stop more houses being built in communities that are steadily becoming an "urban sprawl".

Hundreds of people have signed a petition objecting to an "absurd" amount of housebuilding which has seen nearly 1,500 homes approved in Golborne and Lowton in recent years.

Campaigners say further development will exacerbate existing traffic and speeding problems while the loss of green belt land, and air quality impacts, are also causes for concern.

Bloor Homes, which already has a housing estate near Heath Lane, has submitted fresh plans for 69 new homes nearby – bringing the total number of homes on the site to 268.

People living in the area have already expressed fears that the village was losing its "tranquil character" after 117 homes were approved on the other side of Lowton in December.

Such frustrations have been directed into the petition backed by more than 500 people, which was delivered to Wigan council last week.

Leigh Journal:

A site plan for the new 69-home development proposed by Bloor Homes, which has already built homes nearby. Picture: Wigan Council/Bloor Homes

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Christine Lewis, a Lowton resident who started the petition, said locals were not opposed to new homes being built so long as "vital" infrastructure was put in place.

“Green belt land is disappearing across the borough when there’s plenty of brownfield sites that can be used,” said Ms Lewis.

“But developers are instead turning Golborne and Lowton into an urban sprawl. 

“It’s not a village anymore, it’s a disaster, and we’ve had enough.”

Ms Lewis also co-founded the Traffic Action Group for Lowton and Golborne, a Facebook community group boasting more than 1,200 members.

The issue of congestion is what is primarily driving the petition, and its signatories say the roads serving the two communities are already heavily congested.

“You’ve got lanes doubling as roads even though they were never intended to be used that way, and brake lights as far as the eye can see “ said Ms Lewis.

“It’s taking people an hour extra to get down these lanes to get about their business. 

“Our schools and surgeries are also running out of space.. One teacher told me that she couldn’t deal with having 40 pupils in her class.

“It just beggars belief.”

Areas across Golborne and Lowton have been earmarked for around 1,000 homes as part of the borough’s long-term housing strategy.

Objectors have pointed out that the number of homes with planning consent has exceeded this figure, but Wigan council has already been stung for giveing this as a reason for refusing development.

The council took too long to make a decision on plans submitted for 128 homes at Rectory Lane in Standish, where an allocation for 1,000 new homes had already been exceeded.

In 2017, an inspector saw little merit in the argument that exceeding their approximate allocation would harm the overall strategy. The application was approved and Wigan council were ordered to pay the developer compensation.

With this decision in mind, Bloor Homes say further exceedance of Lowton and Golborne’s housing allocation would not constitute a reason to refuse their new proposals.

The planning application has already received almost 150 objections.