PLANS to build 14 detached houses on the site of a derelict Morrisons beansprout factory in Astley have been approved, despite its location on a former coal mining area.

The industrial site at Hadbutt Farm in Tyldesley will be bulldozed before developer Oak Tree (Construction, Design and Management Ltd), based in Leigh, begins work.

Accompanying the notice of the granting of planning permission, the builder has been told by Wigan’s planners the site lies ‘within a coal mining area’.

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It says: “In the circumstances when carrying out of their proposals applicants should take account of any coal mining hazards relating to stability, health and safety or adverse environmental impacts. 

“This includes considering the potential for existing property and new development to be affected by mine gas.”

Meanwhile, Morrisons will pay Wigan Council £29,106 towards new play equipment and surfacing works at Astley Street Park and landscaping, footpath improvements and park furniture as part of the planning permission – known as a Section 106 agreement.

Documents on Wigan’s planning portal say that access to the 1.7-acre site will via an unadopted track off Hadbutt Lane, which is also a public footpath.

A design and access statement submitted to the council by PAB Architects Ltd on behalf of Oaktree says the site is flanked by existing open fields to the north and west and fields to the east and is classified as green belt.

It goes on: “We believe the development will not be harmful to the green belt as the scheme will not have a greater impact on the openness of the green belt than the existing use.

“Given the nature of the surrounding land uses and the planning policy framework, residential development is an appropriate use for the site.

“Such a use is consistent with the council’s desire to provide high-quality family accommodation in support of its economic regeneration initiative.”

It said the location is predominantly a well-established residential area served by a number of immediate local shops and community facilities within a close walking distance. 

Bus stops are nearby which provide regular services to the market town of Leigh and to the larger towns of Wigan and further to Manchester city centre, the statement said.

The homes will consist of one five-bed house and 13 four-bed homes.