Concerns over a housing development blighted by Japanese Knotweed were quelled as the 29 home proposal for Abram was approved.

The Ashtons Tenement Farm site on Bickershaw Lane already has 13 houses built on it but the developer wanted to add 16 more, Wigan Town Hall heard on October 11.

The busy road that connects Leigh, Wigan and Golborne already has traffic problems during rush hour but, despite residents raising objections that the addition of these houses would amplify them, the highways team did not believe it would be an issue.

Tenement Farm Homes – who said this was an ‘opportunity to provide much needed high-quality dwellings with private gardens and off-street parking’ – will not make any of these homes affordable due to it not being financially viable.

Leigh Journal: The housing development on Bickershaw LaneThe housing development on Bickershaw Lane (Image: Wigan Council)

Despite there being 11 public objections relating to parking and bin collection issues, Japanese Knotweed was the main topic of discussion at Wigan Council’s Planning Committee meeting – with Coun Kathleen Houlton wanting assurances it will all be eradicated.

“If it continues to grow where the buildings are it will eventually get into the houses and I think it is quite serious,” she told the chamber.

“What if they don’t get rid of it? If it takes five years to eradicate and the developers are gone and it came back, what about the residents? I don’t think they’re taking it seriously enough.”

The planning officer made it clear there are assurances in place to make sure the knotweed – which is particularly difficult to get rid of – would be gone.

The officer also responded to Coun Jim Ellis, who wanted to make sure there was a contact in place for residents to report the knotweed if it came back.

Parking is still a major factor for residents – which led to the developers making amendments to make sure current homeowners don’t come up short when it comes to parking their car outside their houses.

There was trouble during the first phase of the development with neighbours saying ‘contractors on site have been uncourteous, rude and inconsiderate to the residents’ with their actions and location of parking.

Residents are hoping that with the committee’s approval, they won’t suffer the same fate this time around.