Bickershaw gauges residential demand

The appetite of house builders for new land acquisitions will be tested by the Homes & Communities Agency as it releases 44 acres at Bickershaw Colliery near Leigh to the market.

The site is primed for development following the completion of £11m of infrastructure works by contractor Birse Civils and engineer Scott Wilson Group.

The land has been decontaminated, new roads built and a 40-berth marina created on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.

There is planning consent for 650 homes to be built around the marina, alongside 29,500 of commercial space. Jones Lang LaSalle has been retained by the HCA to market the site.

Birse Civils reused excavated materials on site rather than contributing to landfill and installed a new drainage system, designed especially to improve and protect existing wetland habitats for water voles, great crested newts and nesting birds.

Deborah McLaughlin, executive director North West at the HCA, said: "This is a major milestone for what is a key development for Leigh. The new marina is a stunning feature that will be a key attraction for people looking to live or work here. We will now be working closely with our partners to find the right developer to ensure that Bickershaw South fulfils its undoubted potential as a truly transformational scheme."

The site was handed over by the North West Development Agency to the HCA as part of the wind-down of the NWDA ahead of its closure in April 2012.

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