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News - 31/10/2023

Options and Preferences - Wigan Local Plan Update

The next phase of Wigan's plan update has launched with feedback received during initial consultations.

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Last year, Wigan Council announced its Local Plan Update consultations, where residents, businesses, developers and other stakeholders submitted their comments on growth and development options for the future of the borough. The Council proceeded to develop a ‘Call for Sites’ campaign for developers and landowners to promote their land through the planning process.

On the 24th October 2023, Wigan Council launched the next phase of the plan update, titled ‘Options and Preferences’, which has been informed by the feedback received by the Council during the initial ‘Issues and Opportunities’ consultation of autumn 2022.

This second consultation will review the past year’s initiatives that sprung into action from the 2022 local plan review, assessing if it meets the criteria of setting out an ambitious future and whether local stakeholders are satisfied with its progress. Factors to be considered in the second part of the review include jobs, town centres, people, places, and the environment, all in the effort to meet Wigan’s future plans for the borough up to 2040.

Notably, the key messages emanating from the consultation document are as follows:

  • The borough is targeting up to 15,000 new homes for 2040;
  • In terms of employment, the Council will support and grow sectors that have traditionally provided jobs, including manufacturing, construction, health & care services, and logistics;
  • A preference to ensure that, when development is appropriate in the Green Belt, it complements the character of the area and minimises its impact on the openness of the Green Belt;
  • Key ambition for the local economy to become more resilient to climate change and move towards zero-carbon. This includes supporting measures for the renewal and refurbishment of existing business premises to ensure they remain fit for purpose, retrofitted with low carbon energy generation and energy conservation measures, and to incorporate green infrastructure.
  • The borough will seek to consolidate the retail offer in Wigan town centre to ensure it functions in a multi-functional way which establishes vibrant residential town centre communities;

 The council has ambition to enable the rapid transition to renewable and low carbon energy generation needed to mitigate the effects of climate change. Wigan’s priorities include:

  • Supporting the rapid expansion of solar power generation on roofs and at ground level when it is compatible, including on new developments.
  • Incorporating hydro power generation at locations on the River Douglas.
  • Provision of wind power generation if feasible and practicable within the borough, including micro generation within developments.
  • Generation of hydrogen power from renewable energy schemes.
  • Development of heat networks utilising the spare heat generated by industrial processes, and potentially from mine water, to provide district level heat and power;

This phase of consultation will inform the Initial Draft Local Plan, which is expected to be published in 2024. The ‘Options and Preferences’ consultation document sets out, and invites comments on, Wigan Council’s preferred policy approach across 7 key themes – Homes, Jobs, Town Centres, Transport, Places, Environment and People.

This is a key opportunity for you to get involved and to influence what is in the Local Plan by providing comments on the consultation document. The consultation is open until 23:59 on Monday 18th December 2023 and LSH would be more than happy to assist you with this process.

Our team of specialist planners can help by drafting a comprehensive response to the consultation document. We can also provide a thorough review of the consultation document and assess whether Wigan’s proposed visions and objectives align with your needs.

For more information on how you can navigate the second local plan review, please get in touch with a member of our team below.

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