Housing plans a recipe for total gridlock says Leigh MP Andy Burnham

Lowton residents Shelley Kilheeney and Ian Ball voice their concerns over housing plans to MP Andy Burnham (front) and Clr Pam Gillighan (right).

Lowton residents Shelley Kilheeney and Ian Ball voice their concerns over housing plans to MP Andy Burnham (front) and Clr Pam Gillighan (right).

First published in North West
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MORE housing development on top of that already in the pipeline is a recipe for total gridlock.

That's the view of Leigh MP Andy Burnham who joined campaigners at Saturday's protest against proposals for a further 1,750 homes at Lowton and Golborne.

“I believe it would be much fairer to all residents in the borough to look to meet the requirement for new housing by seeking to share the burden across all communities prioritising the use of existing brown-field sites and making better use of vacant land and properties in our town centres," said Mr Burnham.

"Future development has to be done in a way that is fair to existing residents, spreads the burden and does not overload existing public infrastructure. As far as I can see, the proposals fail these tests."

He was joined by Lowton East Clr Pam Gilligan who said: “I have met with Peter Smith to raise my objections. Lowton cannot and should not be the sacrificial lamb at the altar of housing development."

Mr Burnham acknowledges that the Council has been obliged to carry out this further consultation but finds the options agreed to open up huge swathes of valued green space in Lowton, Golborne, Leigh and Atherton to be completely unacceptable.

He has vowed to take the argument direct to the planning inspector when he reconvenes his hearing sessions in March.

He said: “My principle objection is that the logic of the alternative options that have been presented points to an unbalanced approach to land use across the borough with the potential for the heavy over-development of the eastern half of the borough.

"Concentrating a number of large-scale, single-site developments in this area where public transport is simply not an option for many will have a major detrimental impact on the quality of life of local people.

"Planning new major development in the East, on top of existing plans at North Leigh and Bickershaw South, would be a recipe for total gridlock.”

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