The National Grid has started the demolition of two large gas holders in Wigan town centre in a move that the council said will open up development opportunities.
The 1930s-built storage holders, off Darlington Street, have been unused since 2011 and their removal has long been a priority for Wigan Council.
Cllr David Molyneux, deputy leader and portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “I eould describe the gas holders as being a necessary blot on the landscape for many years. Now they are finally being removed we have a really exciting opportunity for new development in this key part of town.
“This location is close to the town centre and key road links as well as being close to the west coast main line. Once demolition and removal of the infrastructure is complete, we look forward to helping to move this site forward and realise its potential.”
The holders sit next to Chapel Lane car park and are being brought down as part of a national programme by the Grid to remove infrastructure rendered obsolete by the storage of gas underground or within the pipe network – in September the removal of two gas holders in Birkenhead’s Hind Lane was announced. The site is one of the key brownfield regeneration sites in the town centre part of Wigan Council’s economic prospectus.
Kat Scargill, land regeneration manager for National Grid, said: “We will remove the gas holders as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible to minimise the impact on local people and the environment.
“We have written to people who live and work in the local community to explain what we will be doing. If anyone has any questions about the project they can contact our community relations team.”