CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 29 homes off Plank Lane in Leigh have been given the green light.

Developers Taylor Wimpey are set to build 17 houses and a four-story building with 12 apartments inside, which will also have a shop on the ground floor.

This is a continuation of the redevelopment of the old Bickershaw Colliery site that closed in 1992 with construction of the Pennington Wharf Marina nearby.

When these proposals were first brought to Wigan Council in late 2019 they were met with objection from residents who thought a pub was being included in the development.

However, developers have stated there was no interest in the pub during their marketing campaign.

A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said: “We are pleased to have received planning consent for our plans for 29 homes and a shop off Plank Lane, following initial consideration by Wigan Council’s planning committee in February 2020.

“The outline planning permission for this site includes a public house in addition to the retail unit, but following active marketing of these proposals from 2016 to 2018, no interest in the public house was generated. 

“Therefore, the decision was made to develop residential and retail only.”

Residents claimed the change of plan to have apartments instead of a pub goes against the promise that the area would be its own community with a pub and shops.

Several of the residents who voiced their opinions on the planning documents on Wigan Council’s website said they bought homes based on this community promise.

A planning statement read: “The site has been designed to complement the surrounding area, creating local identity and reducing antisocial behaviour. 

“Well-informed design and material choice will give the development longevity, contribute to the townscape and raise the aspirations of the area.”

The estate will be aimed at those looking to downsize while also satisfying the local need for family homes.

There will also be a dedicated cycle storage area and the retail development will have six dedicated car parking spaces.

Each apartment would have one parking space and each dwelling would have two.