Hopefully you will have had a questionnaire through the post from Wigan Council this week. It’s your chance to have a say on how £8.6m of funding will be spent locally in Lowton and Golborne – so please make sure you get involved.
The cash is available to spend on community projects and local improvement works as a result of house building in the area. As a condition of planning permission, developers like Wainhomes, Taylor Wimpey and Bloor Homes must make a financial contribution to mitigate any impact their new housing might have on the area – such as on local road infrastructure or school places.
In total, our towns have secured £8.6m from this ‘Section 106’ money. £1.9m of this will be used for education and community provision, and £6.7m on infrastructure.
Now Wigan Council wants to get your views on which projects would most benefit the area, before a final decision on which of them receive funding is taken.
What kinds of projects are being suggested?
All the possibilities are set out in the consultation document, and as you fill it in, you’ll be asked to score each one based on how great you think the impact will be. The council is clear that not all the projects can be funded, so it is important for us to help it understand which are most important to people living in Lowton and Golborne.
Some of the suggestions include:
- Part fund the extension and improvement work to the existing facility at the Lowton Hub on Newton Road
- Upgrade the facilities at St Mary’s Community Hall on Newton Road
- Additional facilities at Golborne Library, making it suitable for youth groups to meet there.
In order to ease congestion and improve traffic flow, we’re being asked whether we would like to see:
- The creation of a new left turn from the A580 to Newton Road (Southbound) and widen Stone Cross Lane to create three lanes, with an additional right turn lane
- Golborne Roundabout replaced with traffic signalled crossroads
- A new left turn from the A580 to Church Lane (northbound).
The consultation also looks at how to improve local walking and cycling options, and improve outdoor play areas for children. Some of the proposals we’re asked to consider include:
- Upgrading the existing public right of way near the Rothwells Farm development, providing links with Byrom Hall Woods, Bridgewater Canal and Pennington Flash
- Upgrading the off road public right of way connecting Barn Street, Barn Lane, Peter Street and Croft Street, giving better connections to schools
- Better off road connections from Bridge Street to Yew Tree Way
- Improving footway provision on Slag Lane
- New play equipment, outdoor gym and other improvements for Golborne Bonk
- Better footpaths at Byrom Wood
- Resurfacing the play area at Winton Road and enhancing play equipment.
There are also some suggestions about how parking could be improved in the Bank Street and Railway Road car parks in Golborne.
Some of the funds have already been committed to providing more school places including a possible expansion of Golborne High to accommodate future school places.
What about a bypass diverting traffic out of Lowton and Golborne?
The council acknowledges in the consultation documents that the preferred option for most residents would be a bypass, meaning traffic that is simply travelling rhrough Lowton and Golborne would be encouraged to avoid the two towns. However it estimates that this project alone would cost upwards of £8m, and the planning process would be complex as it would involve two neighbouring local authorities as well.
However, they do also say that this option does continue to be under consideration and further work is being carried out to see what funding may be available to pursue this in the future. And at a public meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, March 17, there was clear support from residents that this should be the preferred option.
How do I get involved?
You may have had a paper copy of the consultation through your door this week. If not, you can go online to www.wigan.gov.uk/consultations and you’ll find it there.
Complete the form and post it back, or submit it online, before 21 March 2021.
It’s really important that we all take the time to have our say. This money WILL be spent in our local area and we have the opportunity to make sure it makes the best impact on our towns possible.
Want to know even more detail, or attend a virtual meeting?
Residents and businesses who would like more in depth information about the schemes should email SGLConsultation@wigan.gov.uk expressing their interest of being invited to a virtual meeting which will take place on Wednesday, 17 March at 6.30pm. You’re asked to include your name, the area you are interested in and the scheme or schemes you’d like to discuss.