Last month I held a public meeting in Winstanley to consider the proposals to include land off junction 25, M6, for ‘new industrial and warehousing’, in the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. Many residents will recall the successful campaign in 2011/2012 when together with the M6 South of Wigan Action Group we stopped this proposal from being included in the Wigan Core Strategy. However, due to devolution of power to Greater Manchester, the potential removal of the Greenbelt status for this site is again being considered.
As far as I can see, nothing has changed in relation to this proposal since the inspector upheld residents’ objections in 2013. I, therefore, will be objecting again to this proposed development of our greenbelt and will be including, for your information, the following issues of concern:
• The purposes of including this land in the Green Belt are still relevant. The need to stop urban sprawl, the merging of neighbouring towns and encroachment of the Countryside.
• The argument to remove the greenbelt status from this site is not sufficiently exceptional or strong enough to release this land for development. Nothing has changed in this respect since the Planning Inspector agreed recently this was the case.
• Adverse amenity impact and disturbance for residents due to air pollution, loss of wildlife, loss of open land/recreational site, noise nuisance. Any amount of safeguarding carried out by developers cannot alleviate the detrimental impact on residents.
• Traffic: – Proposed development will result in a massive increase in traffic volume in the already problematic areas of Bryn/Ashton, Pemberton and Orrell. As Junction 25 is not two way, northbound vehicles will have to seek alternative routes through the local community to the M6. Creating a two way junction 25 is no more than an aspiration.
• The Planning Inspector just 3 years ago agreed that the Council’s argument to remove the greenbelt status from land off junction 25 was not strong enough and supported residents’ objections. Nothing has changed since then other than the area of the land under consideration has been increased, exacerbating the negative impact on the local community.
Should you wish to submit your own objections then comments must be made by 5pm on Friday 23rd December 2016.
I did ask for an extension to this date but was advised that the consultation period was already two weeks longer than the guidelines require.
Those constituents wishing to object can use the concerns I have listed if you wish, but I would also encourage you to include your own views on the impact of this proposed development. I encourage people to also view the M6 South of Wigan website for updates and suggested content for writing objection letters.
An update meeting convened by the M6 South of Wigan Action Group will be held at St Aidan’s Social Centre, Highfield Grange Ave on Thursday, 8th December at 7pm.