Council considers new planning guidance for Leigh town centre to protect local area

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Wigan Council has launched a consultation on additional planning guidelines for parts of Leigh town centre.

The authority is proposing to create an ‘Article 4 Direction’, which will remove some permitted development rights in certain parts of the town centre.

This will mean some types of development, which would normally not require permission, will require planning permission.

These may include alterations and extensions to residential properties, for example new windows and doors, replacement of or alterations to roofs, new porch or driveways.

Leigh town centre is one of the borough’s 23 Conservation Areas, which is an area of special architectural or historic interest.

Councillor Paul Prescott, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Environmental Services and Transport, said: “Conservation Areas are protected for their special character and appearance which is beneficial to preserve for the benefit of current and future generations.

“This means extra care is taken when designing, planning, and building in these locations.

“In line with our commitment to preserve the borough’s heritage, we are looking at all our Conservation Areas to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect them.

“Article 4 Directions are made to protect and preserve the character and heritage of a specific area.

“They don’t aim to prohibit work to properties, but to bring the works within the planning process to provide the council with the opportunity to enhance design and protect the special features of that area, meaning that residents can continue to enjoy the benefits that living in a historic conservation area brings.”

The council recently pledged to refresh its plans for historically significant locations as part of its Historic Environment Strategy (HES).

The strategy is the first of its kind in the borough and looks at how public and privately owned locations can be preserved, enhanced and play a key role in regeneration plans for local communities.

It also sets out expectations for building owners and tenants and outlines the council’s top priorities for preserving the borough’s rich heritage.

Cllr Prescott added: “We all have a responsibility to protect this borough’s heritage for future generations and the HES ensures that will happen. It is vital we do what we can to protect our borough for generations to come.”

Have your say here before 31st March: www.wigan.gov.uk/consultations