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LEIGH JOURNAL
Leigh Green Belt threatened by housing quota
9:18am Wednesday 15th August 2012


COUNTRYSIDE campaigners are urging people to act quickly if they want to preserve the Green Belt.

Wigan Council has opened a consultation process to canvass public opinion regarding proposals of options to meet an alleged shortfall in land available for new housing in the Borough over the next 15 years.

As the independent planning inspector was not satisfied with the original draft core strategy submitted, the Council is being forced to consider building on, among other unpopular proposals, two areas of Green Belt land in Leigh, at Coldalhurst in Astley and north of the A580 East Lancs Road at Lowton.

Hope Carr resident Melanie Day is urging people who are against the rezoning of Green Belt land told the Journal: "I enjoy the countryside and the open space. I wonder do we need these houses. I've spoken to neighbours and they're not aware of this.

"My reckoning is that notices went out to a handful of residents who live adjacent to the sites, plus those little notices put up close to the sites for the public to see.

"But, realistically, who ever takes any notice of those little signs? Who writes down the details when they are out walking the dog.

"Lack of publicity means that the majority of people are not even aware of the proposals, let alone the consultation, and therefore they are missing out on their opportunity to express their views.

"If there have been very few responses by the time consultation closes on September 11 the independent inspector will no doubt think that nobody cares about the Green Belt in Leigh, and it will be an easy target. People need to respond now."

A Council spokesman said full details were available on line at

http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/Planning/Policies/DevelopmentFramework/ShortfallOptions.htm
and documents could be viewed at Leigh Library.