THOUSANDS of people have voiced their objections regarding the plan to build 1,050 homes on the border of Wigan and Salford.

Mosley Common, which sits just on the edge of Wigan borough, has been subject to these plans from developer Peel L&P for more than a year – and many residents have pushed back at every turn. Soon more calls to reject the plan are sure to come with the application due to go before the planning committee this month.

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.

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Leigh Journal: Map view of how the new 1,050-home development would sit within the current landscape of Mosley CommonMap view of how the new 1,050-home development would sit within the current landscape of Mosley Common (Image: Peel L&P)
The application to go before the committee will mean that 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. 

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.

Leigh Journal: What the ‘Twire’ development could look like at Mosley CommonWhat the ‘Twire’ development could look like at Mosley Common (Image: Peel L&P)
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.

For many in the area, traffic as a result of the development is a huge concern. With Mosley Common Road already experiencing long queues onto the nearby East Lancs Road (A580) on the regular – they believe these homes would only exacerbate the problem.

Another key issue is the local infrastructure, Independent Network councillors around the Atherton and Tyldesley wards have often spoken about oversubscribed GPs, dentists and schools. Whenever a new housing development comes to the forefront, the question of ‘where these new people will go’ is often put forward by the local representatives.

Leigh Journal: Objectors point to traffic and infrastructure concerns around the potential developmentObjectors point to traffic and infrastructure concerns around the potential development (Image: Google Maps)
Coun James Paul Watson, of the Independent Network, said: “The one question that I ask is all about the need for these houses and who are we building these houses for? ONS data shows that between the last two censuses (held in 2011 and 2021), the population of Wigan increased by 3.6 per cent, from just over 317,800 in 2011 to around 329,300 in 2021.

“The population here increased by a smaller percentage than the overall population of the North West (5.2%), and by a smaller percentage than the overall population of England (up 6.6 per cent since the 2011 Census).

“This will lead to more traffic on the East Lancs which is already at beyond capacity, this in turn will have a knock on effect to Tyldesley and Atherton commuters and increase road congestion.

“These modifications (to the Places for Everyone plan) only favour the developers profits and will put further pressure on an already overstretched local infrastructure. Then one must ask why the Mayor of GM, Andy Burnam put an exemption on calling in these modifications when they went to each of the local councils’ cabinets to be initially passed. 

“This for me highlights that this is not a local plan and still a GMCA plan to the detriment of the residents of Wigan borough.”

However, Peel has offered a response to these arguments in the past, promising network and junction enhancements to go with this development. They have also included a new bus stop on the guided busway system as well as funding towards the expansion of local schools.

A spokesperson for Peel said: “We are dedicated to creating a new thriving neighbourhood at the site North of Mosley Common, providing up to 1,050 new homes to help meet Wigan’s housing needs, including up to 262 affordable homes.

“Following several rounds of consultation, our final plans help address local transport concerns by taking a sustainable transport led approach, including the first new stop on the Leigh-Salford-Manchester Busway and an adjacent travel hub. There will be a network of cycleways and footpaths, along with local highway and junction enhancements. 

“We are committed to promoting education locally and are working with Wigan Council, the LEA and the Diocese to create the necessary school places, through both the expansion of St John’s Primary School, and the funding of additional secondary school places in the area.  

“The applications have responded positively to issues raised locally on what is a key development to help meet Wigan’s needs. We hope for a positive decision in early 2024.”