Fresh fight over golf club development

12 Nov 2020 09:31
Published by: Scott Callan

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to oppose the latest plans submitted to build homes on Horwich Golf Course.

Stocks Residents Association (SRA) is calling on people to join it in opposing the application which it says has now been submitted to Bolton Council by developer Northstone.

Northstone, which is owned by property giant Peel L&P, is proposing to construct 150 new homes on the site.

Two previous applications to build homes have been rejected by planners. An initial bid for 300 homes was turned down by Bolton Council and the Planning Inspectorate in 2019. That was followed by an unsuccessful application for 276 properties.

In a statement at the end of last month, Northstone revealed it was submitting an outline planning application to build up to 150 energy efficient family homes and create a new 15-acre area of ecological and recreational green space, which will be accessible to the community.

It said a third of homes will be earmarked for affordable housing needs and Northstone will help to fund improvements of the Beehive roundabout and contribute financially to local schools.

The statement added: "Peel L&P acquired Horwich Golf Club in 2012 and has since helped to keep the struggling business running for the past eight years. An alternative for the site is now required and the location means it could deliver a sustainable housing offer.

"Northstone is bringing forward this outline planning application to bring a fresh approach to developing the site following Bolton Council's decision to refuse an application brought forward by Northstone's parent company, Peel L&P, for 276 homes at the site in early 2020.

"The application for 276 homes addressed the issues that were identified by the planning inspector with the previous proposals for 300 homes, which went to a planning inquiry in summer 2019.

"Given the significant changes made to address the planning inspector's findings, Peel L&P submitted an appeal for the 276 homes in order for the scheme to be considered at a public inquiry. This outline planning application runs parallel to this appeal."

Malcolm Harrison, from the SRA, says the organisation will be opposing the latest application. He said: "There were more than 1,300 objections to the last application. We know there is strong opposition to the building on our green spaces when there are enough houses coming here anyway."

Among its objections, the group says that the proposed development would cause significant visual harm to the landscape and Bolton Council has committed to make the land green belt. It also says Horwich is "becoming severely over-developed."

The group is also calling for any decision not to be made under delegated powers.


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