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Bickershaw South

Plank Lane - Leigh - Wigan - WN7 4QD

Taylor Wimpey received Reserved Matters Planning consent for the mixed-use re-development of the former Bickershaw Colliery site which is also known as Bickershaw South. 

  • Overview

    Aerial Photograph

    This web page relates to the background of our Pennington Wharf development.  For sales information, please visit our sales website.

    Bickershaw South is a former colliery located 1.5 miles to the west of Leigh Town Centre and 2.0 miles to the east of Lowton Town Centre, within Wigan Council’s jurisdiction. 

    The site is in the ownership of the Homes and Communities Agency who have been responsible for the delivery of extensive remediation works and infrastructure works to bring this derelict site back in to active land use. The infrastructure works have included the construction of a narrow boat marina with capacity for 40 berths, the realignment of Plank Lane and Crankwood Road, and the provision of services infrastructure sufficient to serve the new development. 

    Following a lengthy tender process, Taylor Wimpey were selected by the Homes and Communities Agency and Wigan Council in November 2012 as the preferred development partner to deliver a mixed-use residential led development on this site.  

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  • History of Bickershaw South

    Bickershaw Colliery

    Bickershaw South was formally known as Bickershaw Colliery and is located on the Wigan Coalfield. The first shaft at Bickershaw was dug in 1830 by Turner and Ackers. A tramway connected the pit to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal which was used for transporting coal. In 1872 work started on two new shafts, located at Plank Lane beside the canal. In 1877 two further shafts were sunk with the fifth and final shaft completed before World War One.

    In 1973, National Coal Board super-pit development was started. Completed in 1976 at a cost of £3 million, it linked Bickershaw underground with the neighbouring Parsonage and Golborne collieries. The project required the installation of 7 miles (11 km) of conveyor belt underground to consolidate coal extraction to the surface at Bickershaw. The total underground colliery workforce at this point was 550 men.

    Production at the colliery began to decline through the 1980’s and was finally closed on 13 March 1992.
     

    Remediation & Redevelopment

    Managed by English Partnerships (Now renamed the Homes and Communities Agency), the derelict site became part of the National Coalfields Programme in 1996 which was a Government initiative to remediate a number of former colliery sites across the country. In 2005, a discussion was opened with the community on redeveloping the site as a mixed use development to create new jobs, homes, leisure facilities and open space. In 2007 Outline Planning Permission was granted for residential development of up to 650 dwellings and 2,750 square metres of floor space for commercial or community uses. 

    In October 2009 Birse Civils was awarded the contract to remediate the site and prepare the site for redevelopment. In 2012 the Outline Planning Permission for a residential led mixed-use development was renewed.

    Taylor Wimpey's Involvement

    Photograph of our community consultation event in Lowton

    Photograph of our community consultation event in Lowton

    In November 2012 Taylor Wimpey was formally selected by the Homes and Communities Agency and Wigan Council as the preferred development partner to develop the site. Since then Taylor Wimpey have undertaken further community consultation and obtained a Reserved Matters Planning Application for 471 residential dwellings, 6934 sq.ft of office space, a community centre and cafe as well as setting aside land for future planning applications for a family pub/restaurant and a local convenience retail store.


    About the Homes and Communities Agency

    The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and Regeneration delivery agency for England and the Regulator of Social Housing Providers.  The vision is to:

    • Create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas; and
    • Focus on governance, financial viability and value for money as the basis for robust economic regulation that maintains lender confidence and protects the taxpayer.

    Bickershaw South is part of the HCA’s national coalfields programme which is a Regeneration programme introduced to assist former coalfield communities across England by addressing the environmental legacy of the mining industry and to create new employment, homes, leisure facilities and quality open space.  

    The nearby town centre has benefited from regeneration initiatives in recent years, including widespread pedestrian areas, a new outside market and a town centre management initiative.  It is intended that this development opportunity will play a key part in raising awareness of the momentum of change in the area and will set new standards in sustainability to the local area.

    Several factors that are imperative to the development of Bickershaw South include:

    - Affordable housing 
    - Employment and training provision
    - Community engagement 
    - Creativity and healthy living
    - Compliance with the minimum level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes 
    - Building for life ‘silver award’
    - Lifetime home compliance

    In 2009 the HCA was given the green light for the multi-million pound transformation of the site securing £19.14million of funding to enable major regeneration work to start.  In a short space of time the engineering and remediation works commenced on site with the successful appointment of Birse Civils Ltd on a 24 month programme of works.  

    September 2011 saw the final completion of the infrastructure works on time and in budget.  Shortly after, the procurement of a developer started with advertising the site through the OJEU process.  

    The main factors established as part of the procurement process centred on the 18 hectare remediated site with the requirement to bring back the land to create up to 650 homes, a 40 berth canal boat marina and a minimum of 2,750 meters squared of employment space, which is to include high quality food and drink venues.

    While HCA led the procurement process the 40 berth Marina basin had received some recognition itself after being formally named to commemorate the diamond jubilee year and being opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester with members of Wigan Council and HCA.

    The site also saw recognition with an award for ‘CEEQUAL Excellent’ for the recently completed works undertaken by Birse Civils Ltd on behalf of the HCA. 

    In March 2013, the successful developer signed the agreement that emphasises a Commitment to deliver the mixed use scheme within 8 years, taking key factors in to the design of the scheme including:

    • Deliver high quality design combined with high environmental performance
    • Deliver innovative housing which achieves at least code level 4 of the code for sustainable homes and consideration towards achieving building for life silver award and Lifetime home compliance
    • Deliver BREEAM and CEEQUAL accreditation for commercial and community buildings and civil engineering works
    • Deliver high quality vocational training and apprenticeships accessible to the local population

    In continuing with positive news for the scheme in 2013 a further award was received by HCA for ‘flood risk design’ on the site.  

    The HCA welcomes Taylor Wimpey to Bickershaw South with enthusiasm and confidence in the knowledge that the development will progress with a professional and high quality approach that brings exciting plans for the scheme encapsulating the vision of HCA and Wigan Council in delivering Bickershaw South development.  

    The HCA know that Taylor Wimpey are keen to deliver a project which meets the needs and aspirations of local people, creating much needed affordable homes, leisure facilities and more.  Not only will it impact on tourism, but it will create jobs for local people, improve the look of the area and bring disused land back to life.
        
    For more information visit: www.homesandcommunities.co.uk or follow us on Twitter.


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  • What's Proposed?

    Approved Site Layout

    The below is our approved site layout.  We have currently completed the construction of just over half of Phase One.  In 2017 we expect to commence on Phase Two and the development of the land to the north of Plank Lane.  

    Bickershaw South Approved Layout

    Approved site layout for Bickershaw South

    To see a larger version of the layout, please click here.

    What our proposals include

    • 471 residential dwellings made up of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom houses
    • Community Centre
    • Cafe
    • New promenade around the marina with the delivery of the pontoons and infrastructure to bring the marina into operational use to follow
    • Office space for commercial use
    • A new one acre village green
    • Retention of the two green swales and Great Crested Newt protection area that are already on site
    • Land set aside for a future planning application for a family pub / restaurant
    • Land set aside for a future planning application for a local convenience retail store

    What will the new homes look like?

    In order to establish a sense of place within the new community that is being created at Bickershaw South we are proposing to develop a series of character areas by using different materials and types of houses in different areas. 

    We are proposing five different character areas across the site;  

    • Green Fringe 
    • Local 
    • Village 
    • Canal Edge 
    • Marina 

    Street Scene 1 - Larger

    Latest Street Scene Section 4-6 - Bickershaw South

    Latest Street Scene Section 7-8 - Bickershaw South

    Latest Street Scene Section Layout - Bickershaw South

  • Economic and Local Benefits

    Local Economic Benefits

    Expanding the community will give it a greater economic base. It is estimated that the new residents will spend around £3.7m in the Leigh conurbation each year and £5.3m in the Wigan Local Authority area each year in local businesses, shops and services creating and sustaining around 50 new full-time equivalent jobs in Leigh, inclusive of multiplier effects, and around 80 full-time equivalent jobs across Wigan.

    The development activity will create a £37m investment into the Leigh area and will attract £4.5million from the Government’s New Homes Bonus Scheme. The New Homes Bonus money will be given to Wigan Council to be spent in the local community, by the local community.

    More housing in the area means that Wigan Council and other public bodies will receive additional money from the Government and from local Council Tax to support extra local public services every year. 

    New Homes Bonus

    The Coalition Government has introduced a new mechanism to incentivise Local Authorities to increase their local housing supply. The old system of regional targets has now been replaced with the ‘New Homes Bonus’. Councils will receive a payment based on the annual net increase in the number of dwellings on which council tax is paid from year to year. The payment they receive will be based on the national average rate for a B and D dwelling and will include a bonus for affordable homes. 

    Assuming all the new homes built at the proposed development were classified as typical B and D dwellings, this would mean that Wigan Local Authority would qualify for a total payment of £4.5m over a period of 6 years. With considerable pressure on public sector finances and Local Authorities required to implement budget cuts, NHB revenue has the potential to provide an important source of funding for investment in facilities and infrastructure in local communities.

    Local Employment Benefits

    At present, Leigh’s unemployment is higher than national and regional averages with nearly a quarter (23%) of the working age population claiming some kind of out of work benefit. However, in addition to the 80 new jobs created in local shops, restaurants and services, around 90 jobs will also be created annually through the construction of the new homes during a ten year construction period. These jobs would range from semi-skilled labouring jobs, skilled trades such as bricklayers, plumbers and electricians, as well as site foremen.

    Apprenticeships and training opportunities for local people will also be available with Taylor Wimpey and its contractors. We would work with local colleges and other training providers to support apprenticeships in the building trades and provide training opportunities for young people. Taylor Wimpey is also committed to using local suppliers and contractors, wherever possible, to maximise the opportunities for local people.

    This is demonstrated at our Raploch development in Stirling, Scotland. In an area of high unemployment, the scheme has provided 10 apprenticeships, 10 operative jobs and 46 training placements. Local businesses have benefited from £3m of work through the construction of the new homes, and local sub-contractors have received mentoring and support to help them tender for work. The scheme also won Social Regeneration Project of the Year at the Regeneration and Renewal Awards 2009.

    Our proposals to redevelop this derelict former colliery site will benefit the local economy in Leigh and across Wigan.  

    Community Centre

    The Community Centre will be constructed by Taylor Wimpey and we hope that this will be open and in use within the first four years of the development. 

    The community centre will be managed by an independent management company. The community centre will be available to hire for a wide range of different facilities from private functions to businesses and individuals that want to run classes in the hall. The ability to hire the hall will be open to existing residents as well as new residents and the classes that are held in the hall will also be available to both new and existing residents.   

    Cafe, Public House/Restaurant & Retail Store

    The public house / restaurant and the local convenience retail store will not be constructed by Taylor Wimpey.  The land that we have set aside will be sold to a commercial developer who will be responsible for obtaining a detailed planning consent for their proposals. We anticipate that the pub and retail store will be open within the first six years of the development. The cafe will be constructed by Taylor Wimpey and will be located within the same building as the community centre. We hope that the cafe will be open within the first four years of the development.   

    We do not yet know who will be likely to operate or occupy the public house / restaurant, local convenience store or cafe. We expect however that once the residential development becomes occupied that these opportunities will be attractive to an end user operator and that these facilities will then be delivered and opened.

    Public Art

    Taylor Wimpey Manchester has recently given the students of Westleigh High School and Wigan and Leigh College an invaluable opportunity to design a piece of art work to be displayed at Pennington Wharf.

    The piece will be displayed on the public open space at the development for years to come, and has the potential to be seen by thousands of visitors.

    The art work must commemorate the miners who lost their lives in the Bickershaw pit disaster of 1932, as well as Alfred Wilkinson VC who fought in World War I and was a recipient of the Victoria Cross for his bravery. Alfred too died in an accident at Bickershaw Colliery, but in 1940.

    Entries are now in and the team at Taylor Wimpey Manchester along with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Wigan Council and Leigh MP, Andy Burnham, will judge the entries.

    The winning entry will be produced by a professional artist in time for an unveiling ceremony in 2018.

    Public Open Spaces

    Photograph of swales on the site that are currently inaccessible to the public but will be opened as the development progresses

    Photograph of swales on the site that are currently inaccessible to the public but will be opened as the development progresses

    At present the site is not accessible to the public however as each phase of the development is completed more of the site will become accessible providing a quality environment for new and existing residents to enjoy.  The new one acre village green and the existing swales on the site will provide areas for walking, cycling, play and recreation.  

    Marina

    British Waterways Marinas Limited (BWML) are installing the pontoons and infrastructure for the marina during summer 2016. The marina will then become operational with the first boats mooring in Autumn 2016. The marina has space for 45 berths, all of which are for leisure use and not for permanent live aboard use. The ongoing maintenance and operation of the marina will be managed by BWML so any queries regarding the marina should be directed to BWML on http://bwml.co.uk/contact-us/ or 0115 9077 433.

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  • News and Updates

    Planning consent was granted by Wigan Council on 11 February 2014 for 471 dwellings, office space, a community centre and a café.

    We started construction on site on 14 April 2014.

    Our show homes are now open. Click here to see our show home opening times.

    On 9 January 2015 we held an event on site to commemorate a successful start to the development, the first few homes becoming occupied and the development being awarded a CEEQUAL Excellent Award for its pioneering sustainable design. 

    Andy Burnham MP, Wigan Council Members and the Homes and Communities Agency joined Taylor Wimpey and new residents in a presentation in one of the new homes on the site.

    Chloe Dunn, Associate Sales Director for Taylor Wimpey Manchester said "Pennington Wharf has continued to attract interest since we launched in April last year and this is absolutely a credit to the fantastic range of homes, buying schemes and sustainable attributes which the development boosts.  We're thrilled that this has been widely recognised through the CEEQUAL Award and look forward to offering more Wigan home-hunters some viable options to progress on the housing ladder as the scheme evolves".

    Presentation at Pennington Wharf

    Photo of presentation at Pennington Wharf

     

    Projected Timeline

    Sales Cabin open - Now open
    First house occupied - October 2014
    Show home open - 27 September 2014
    Operational marina - Autumn 2016
    Community centre open - 2018
    Pub and retail store open - 2019
    Work on site complete - 2024
    The above dates are subject to change.

    The pub / restaurant and the local convenience retail store will not be constructed by Taylor Wimpey. The land that we have set aside will be sold to a commercial developer who will be responsible for obtaining a detailed planning consent for their proposals. We anticipate that the pub and retail store will be open within the first six years of the development. The cafe will be constructed by Taylor Wimpey and will be located within the same building as the community centre. We hope that the cafe will be open within the first four years of the development. 

    We do not yet know who will be likely to operate or occupy the pub / restaurant, local convenience store or cafe. We expect however that once the residential development becomes occupied that these opportunities will be attractive to an end user operator and that these facilities will then be delivered and opened. Please keep checking this website regularly for updates.

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody once again for the feedback during the public consultation exercise that took place in May 2013. Your comments have helped form our proposals and ensure that the final approved scheme is a design that the local community can be proud of. 

    Purchasing a Property 

    If you are interested in purchasing a property please click here

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