THERE are several huge developments that could start to materialise across the borough over the course of 2024, which could see more than a thousand new homes brought to the area.

Major redevelopments of Eckersley Mill and the Galleries are two key changes in Wigan town centre, while there are project proposals for 1,000 new homes in Mosley Common and 146 homes planned for Moss Bank Nurseries in Leigh.

There is also hope of a new train station for Golborne, which could get the green light from the government in the new year.

Golborne Station

Leigh Journal: A further public consultation is expected for a new station in GolborneA further public consultation is expected for a new station in Golborne (Image: GMCA)
Plans for a new train station in Golborne have taken another step forwards at the back end of 2023.

The new year is likely to see locals engaged in providing a final draft of the plan for the station which is still pending a government sign off. The proposals would see the new train station built in the corner of Wigan – bringing better public transport connectivity to the borough.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is working with Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to deliver what would be the city-region’s first new railway station in more than 20 years.

This project would form a key role in the Bee Network and highlight the GMCA’s ambitions to make local rail an integral part of the Bee Network by 2030. Public consultation is due to go live on January 4, 2024 to gather views on the proposed design of the station facilities and its links to the local area. It will also gather information from respondents about people’s potential future use of the station.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham is hopeful that Golborne Station would become the Bee Network’s flagship station. He warned earlier this year that this project was  no “pie in the sky” idea.

Mr Burnham said: “The first Bee Network buses under public control are already carrying passengers in Wigan and Bolton, with other areas across Greater Manchester joining by 2025.

“By 2030 we want local rail services to be part of the Bee Network too and having a new station Golborne will mean that people in the area will be able to enjoy the better connectivity and all the opportunities that would bring.

“It’s now really important that everyone has an opportunity to have their say on ensuring that plans for the new Golborne station are shaped in the best possible way.”

Links to the proposed station would be provided by new walking and cycling routes, as well as existing bus services. Rail users, residents and businesses will be invited by TfGM to give their opinions on the scheme to ensure that local views are considered before a final business case is submitted to the government.

Back in January 2021, £16m was approved by Greater Manchester Combined Authority for the development and delivery of a new railway station at Golborne. An extra £1m has also been put on the table to establish the outline of the project, generate more proposals for funding, and scope how much it would cost to deliver and operate the development.

Mosley Common development

Leigh Journal: A map of the 1,050 home development in Mosley CommonA map of the 1,050 home development in Mosley Common (Image: Peel L&P)
As one of the most controversial housing developments in the borough’s recent memory, the 1,050 homes planned for Mosley Common are sure to cause a stir at the beginning of 2024.

The site, based in the Tyldesley area, is set to go before the planning committee at the start of the new year. The original 1,100 home masterplan had been scaled down and split into two separate applications after it was green lit by Wigan Council in September 2022. 

The application to go before the committee will mean building work can start, if approved. The new plan will now have two sites on either side of the Leigh Guided Busway.

Peel L&P’s massive plans were reduced by 50 homes as the developer seeks to build a new community submerged within biodiverse green space.

The plans submitted for the land north of Mosley Common will connect the northern and southern section of the site – ‘Twire’ – creating extensive parkland and pedestrian routes throughout the area. Peel L&P also has ambitions to include sports and play facilities as well as a new green corridor to bring ‘ecological improvements’ to the area with an extensive new parkland including three new parks. 

Currently the land north of Mosley Common, in Tyldesley, is used as grazing space for farm animals and agriculture. Sitting on the border of Wigan and Salford, this would be one of the key developments included in the Places For Everyone – a Greater Manchester wide plan which has been submitted to the Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

As well as 25 per cent affordable homes, there are plans for a new transport hub in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester to improve connectivity and active travel via the Leigh Guided Busway and commuter routes. As part of the 1,050-home proposal, 202 homes planned for ‘Twire’ below the transport hub are suitable for first time buyers, families, older people with additional care needs and those looking to downsize.

Concerns around traffic and oversubscribed schools, GPs and dentists have all been aired by objectors. However, Peel has put forward plans for traffic improvement works as well as funding for increasing school places in the area.

Moss Bank Nurseries

Leigh Journal: 146 homes are proposed at the Moss Bank nursery site146 homes are proposed at the Moss Bank nursery site (Image: Bellway Homes)
After a decision on the plan for 146 homes on the old Moss Bank Nurseries site was deferred – the development will finally be decided at planning committee in the early part of 2024.

Following a back and forth planning committee in December, votes to approve and refuse the development failed – which was unprecedented for committee chair Coun Paul Kenny. This meant that no decision was made and it was kicked down the road to a planning committee in early 2024 (provisionally pinned for February).

If approved by the planning committee the Hooten Lane site would be demolished by Bellway Homes and replaced with houses with “an attractive green gateway. 

The application had previously been for 158 homes, but consultation responses led to the developers reducing the scheme by 12 homes. Proposals for the site would be split into two phases which will allow for Phase 1 to be delivered as housing while the nurseries are relocated to other premises. 

Once the nurseries are vacant Phase 2 can then be delivered which will involve the demolition of the outbuildings. For objectors, increased traffic congestion on an already busy Warrington Road is a big concern. 

They believe the mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes could lead to road safety issues and the creation of rat runs in the surrounding residential streets.

Because only 12 homes are penned for affordable housing, not meeting the 25 per cent criteria, Bellway Homes will have to provide just over £40,000 in Section 106 contributions. This would go towards signal work at the ChapelStreet/Warrington Road junction, a study on the risk of rat runs and travel plan framework.