CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 1,000 homes on green belt land at Mosley Common in Wigan go before town’s planning committee on Friday (January 19).

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition against Peel L&P’s proposal which will see the homes take shape on either side of the Leigh guided busway, if it is approved.

The ‘hybrid’ application is for full permission to build 200 homes – including 50 affordable properties – on land of Mort Lane, including public open space, children’s play areas and improvements to footpaths and cycleways.

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Leigh Journal: The Leigh Guided Bus Route already runs through the land proposed for 1,100 homes at Mosley CommonThe Leigh Guided Bus Route already runs through the land proposed for 1,100 homes at Mosley Common (Image: Peel L&P)
Outline permission – meaning more detailed proposals will be submitted later – for a further residential development with access off City Road, including a new bus stop and travel hub on the guided busway, bars and restaurants, takeaway, more parkland and children’s play space and further enhancements on footpaths and cycleways.

The application site is about 115 acres of land north of Mosley Common, with Tyldesley to the west, Boothstown to the south, Ellenbrook to the east and Little Hulton and Walkden to the north and north east respectively.

It is bounded by agricultural fields with the Manchester Piccadilly to Wigan railway line beyond and is split by the Leigh to Salford guided busway.

In years gone by the site has seen below-ground coal mining with mine entries recorded on the site and there is currently a high-pressure gas main to the west of the land.

The first phase of the development, known as ‘Twire’ will comprise 200 homes, comprising two-bed houses, and three, four and six-bed properties.

They will consist of a range of bungalows, maisonettes, detached, semi-detached and terraces. Two six-bedroom ‘multi-generational’ houses are proposed.

A report to the planning committee said improvements to the A580 East Lancs Road at Mosley Common will be necessary with funding from the applicant, known as a Section 106 agreement.

Other changes to the Ellenbrook Road, Newearth Road junction and the A580 Walkden Road junction would also be required.

A financial contribution would also be required from Peel for improved education facilities with the expansion of St John’s Primary School and £2.4million for a new secondary school.

Open space and play areas would also be funded out of a Section 106 agreement with Peel.

Leigh Journal: The land could become the site of 1,100 homes if approvedThe land could become the site of 1,100 homes if approved (Image: Google Maps)
Objectors have pointed out that there are ‘numerous’ houses on current developments which are unsold and that more than 1,000 new-build houses have gone up around Mosley Common and Tyldesley in the last three years. 

There are also concerns about the ‘impact of the development on the village, health, quality of life and the impact on future generations.

Some say the development will not improve public transport, but generate more than 1,000 cars on the roads, thus increasing traffic problems between Wigan and Manchester between 7am and 9am and 3pm to 6pm.

There are also fears vehicles would use side roads to avoid main road traffic, causing ‘further issues’.

One says: “Building on green belt means ruining the local area and the common will be lost to urban sprawl.”

Another says: “Common land is precious and should be protected.”

Tyldesley and Mosley Common ward councillor Jess Estoe has also submitted detailed objections to the plan. 

She writes: “We are struggling with school, doctors and dentists, as these services cannot handle more people expected with these developments.

“The area is green belt. Although we need to build more houses to tackle the housing crisis, we should be prioritising brown belt sites – and we should build affordable and social housing.

“The ‘affordable’ housing on each Peel site is a block of flats. The rest are unaffordable properties in respect of the average income of Tyldesley and Mosley Common [residents].”

However, the report says that the officers’ recommendation is that the application be approved with long list of conditions for the developer.

The application has been brought forward ahead of the final determination of the Greater Manchester Places for Everyone masterplan which sets out development objectives in the city region for the next 15 years.