A plan to construct a huge business park on more than 130 acres of green belt land in Wigan, which would create 1,600 jobs, has been approved by the Government.
The final go-ahead has been granted for Symmetry Park, the £37m logistics hub proposed for land off junction 25 of the M6 near Winstanley, which was approved by Wigan Council’s planning committee in January 2020.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced its decision after the plan was first called in last year.
Extending to a total of 134 acres, Symmetry Park has the capacity to deliver up to 1,442,000 sq ft of logistics floor space.
A document issued by the Government said: “The secretary of state finds no conflict with development plan policies, and thus concludes that the application is in line with the development plan overall.
“He has gone on to consider whether there are material considerations which indicate that the proposal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan.
“The material considerations weighing against the proposal are the definitional harm to the Green Belt by virtue of inappropriate development, the limited and localised harm to Green Belt openness and the moderate harm from encroachment into the countryside.
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“The Green Belt harm carries substantial weight. Also weighing against the proposal is the moderate visual and landscape harm, which carries moderate weight.
“Weighing in favour of the proposal are the delivery of logistics floorspace which he accords very substantial weight.
“The locational benefits carry further significant weight. The socio-economic benefits also carry substantial weight.
“The biodiversity net gain and highway benefits collectively attract moderate weight.
“The secretary of state has considered whether the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and the other harms he has identified, are clearly outweighed by other considerations.
“Overall, the secretary of state considers that the economic and other benefits of the proposal are collectively sufficient to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and to the landscape such that very special circumstances exist to justify permitting the development.”