Residents help save land from housing development
8:10am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in NW
SAFGUARDED land in Atherton has been saved from future development by residents.
The land, to the south of Atherton, had been earmarked by Wigan Council for a housing development as part of its core strategy.
But a campaign by residents and the Save Atherton South Group has prevented the land from being included in the strategy.
A spokesman for the Save Atherton South Group said: “We are delighted with the Planning Inspector’s decision not to include the land south of Atherton in the Core Strategy. We feel that the Inspector listened to our representations.
“This is a tremendous result for all those involved in our sustained campaign over a lengthy period”.
The group held a number of activities on the public land including a nature walk, bat walk and will be organising a summer festival next year.
The spokesman said the Grey to Green Project from the Greater Manchester Record Centre had recorded numerous different species at the site, including some which are protected.
The spokesman said: “Our thanks must go to local residents for their generous donations which enabled us to secure the services of a planning expert who gave us expert advice and representation. This was vital to our campaign.”
Wigan Council assistant director of planning and transport, Mike Worden, said: "The Inspector specifically asked for the land south of Atherton to be included as part of the consultation on the options for identifying additional housing land.
“In the light of the further work undertaken by the council to assess potential supply in the borough, the Inspector decided that the land did not need to be identified as a broad location for housing development.
“He expressed concerns about the potential short term impact of the development of the site on the ability to bring forward other major housing sites in the local area, such as North Leigh, which has planning permission.
“This does not mean that the land is unsuitable for housing, just that it is not necessary to identify it now. It remains safeguarded for possible development in the future.”
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