Leigh MP’s call for public inquiries into two controversial developments a success

James Grundy MP’s request to 'call in' two controversial large-scale industrial developments have today been granted by the Secretary of State.

Shortly after his election as MP for Leigh, Mr Grundy wrote to the Government urging them to hold a public planning inquiry into both the proposed Parkside freight interchange on the border of the Leigh constituency, and the Junction 25 industrial development in the west of the borough.

Mr Grundy made his representations for the planning call in to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government after the approval for both applications sparked outrage from local residents due to their significant impact on the green belt, traffic and the increase in air pollution these developments would bring.

In letters sent to the Leigh MP today, Housing Minister Chris Pincher MP confirmed that both Parkside and Junction 25 applications had been called in, with both applications to appear at the same public inquiry in due course.

Speaking about the Secretary of State’s decision, Mr Grundy said:

“The Parkside development and the Junction 25 development will strip the local areas affected by them of significant sections of green belt, which would be a considerable loss to those local communities."

“The Parkside development in particular will also bring about a massive increase in traffic to local roads that are already under great strain, in particular Winwick Lane and the wider Lane Head area, which already suffers from near constant gridlock and traffic chaos at peak times."

"Parkside will bring thousands of extra HGV movements to Winwick Lane, a small country lane never designed for such volumes and weight of traffic. Heavy congestion at this site is already the source of high levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions and this development can only result in even higher levels of air pollution, which are already at levels so threatening to public health that Wigan MBC is under ministerial direction to address the problem."

“I’m pleased that both applications will now be subject to a public inquiry and I’d like to thank local community groups, who have spoken out and campaigned against these developments for so long, for their support.”

Adding to the statement, Cllr Michael Winstanley, Leader of the Conservative Group at Wigan Council said:

“I am delighted to hear that the Secretary of State has agreed to call in this controversial planning decision to build on Greenbelt land at Junction 25 of the M6. No one in the local community wishes for this land to be developed and it is right that a public inquiry should be held with regard to this application.

“This Greenbelt site is totally unsuitable for this type of development given the already congested roads at peak times on the A49 at the junction with the M6. Given air quality is a major issue, creating even more traffic and congestion in the area will make it worse.

“Accessibility to the site is poor given that this junction of the M6 is limited to traffic travelling south. This could have a major knock on effect on congestion in Ashton-in-Makerfield and Bryn.

“I welcome the Secretary of State’s decision to call in this matter, and would like to thank James Grundy MP for his support in requesting this decision be called in. We now look forward to the next steps in trying to protect local communities across the borough from inappropriate development.”