THE council insists it is following national government policy requirements following the row over the possibility of powers being used to take over property without permission to develop land at Pocket Nook.

It was reported last week that powers to take over property without permission from the owner are "likely to be needed" if plans to develop land at the Lowton site are to progress.

The plans are to build around 600 homes and 15,000 sqm of work floorspace are part of Greater Manchester’s proposals for homes, jobs and the environment.

But one of the landowners at the site, Peter Adamson, has repeatedly told a number of authorities that he has no intention to sell his farm off Carr Lane.

Half of Carr Farm is already under threat from the new high speed railway, HS2, which would involve the loss of 32 acres of his farmland if it is to go ahead.

Mr Adamson, who has already discussed compulsory purchase orders for HS2, says he is waiting for a decision from parliament on the future of the project.

A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “The council is providing a land supply in line with government’s national planning policy requirements and in accordance with the government’s housing land need methodology.

“The alternative is to release more land from the green belt, instead of using this land, which is safeguarded for future development.”

The local authority says compulsory purchase orders may be used to build on the rest of his land as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework plans.

Leigh Journal:

Nick Clarke, planning and transport policy service manager, briefed the cabinet about the latest spatial framework developments last week.

He said: “I need to highlight the potential requirement to use compulsory purchase orders to enable the assembly of sites for development.

“These are likely to be needed at some sites across Greater Manchester, including Pocket Nook in Lowton.”

Mr Adamson said the farmland, used to grow grass and cereals, is in good condition and he has no intention of selling it in the foreseeable future.

He feels as though he is being ‘attacked’ on three fronts after his recent failure to gain planning permission from Wigan Council to build a new farmhouse.

Leigh Journal:

He said: “We’ve got HS2 wanting to compulsory purchase half the land I’ve got and now for the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, they say they may compulsory purchase the other part of the land.

“I just don’t want to sell basically. I don’t want to move.

“For the foreseeable future I have no intention of selling.”

His friend Ed Thwaite, who is chairman of the Lowton East Neighbourhood Development Forum, said the residents’ association will ‘fight it all the way’.

He said: “Mr Adamson has been telling Wigan Council since 2013 that the land’s not for sale. But they’ve still persisted and put it in their documents.

“It seems that from all angles, he’s being attacked and being forced to concede and sell up and leave – and I feel that’s wrong of any council to do.”

Leigh MP James Grundy, who is still a councillor for Lowton East, said he was ‘astounded’ and ‘angry’ that Wigan council would consider such a ‘misuse’ of its powers and promised to ‘denounce’ them in the House of Commons.

He said: “Many local residents will consider this proposed course of action by Wigan council oppressive, tyrannical and unethical.

“Wigan council should hang their heads in shame for even considering such a malign scheme.

“Mr Adamson has my full backing, and I suspect the general public will back him overwhelmingly in this fight as well.”

Any decisions on compulsory purchase orders must be agreed by the cabinet.