CGI for Bellway's proposals in Westhoughton. Credit: via planning documents

Bellway appeals Westhoughton refusals

In what seems to be commonplace for the housebuilder’s five-phase Bowlands Hey project, Bellway is turning to the planning inspectorate to push its plans through.

Bolton Council had rejected Bellway’s two applications for permission to build a total of 302 homes on land by Westhoughton Golf Club and Dobb Brow. Both applications had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Councillors rejected the plans because they “would represent inappropriate development of ‘other protected open land’” and because of the visual impact the homes would have on the local landscape, according to the minutes from the March planning committee meeting.

The two applications represented phases three, four and five of Bellway’s Bowlands Hey neighbourhood, which has repeatedly clashed with the council.

The first phase of Bowlands Hey was rejected in 2017 by Bolton Council, only for the planning inspectorate to rule in favour of Bellway that summer. That phase had called for 129 homes to be built.

Similarly, Bellway won the appeal for the second phase of the scheme, which was for 167 houses, in 2020. That phase had been twice refused locally. Work on that second phase began in August.

In deciding in favour of Bellway in both appeals, the planning inspectorate noted that Bolton Council could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

In the committee report for the latest two applications, the council’s officer noted that the council still does not have a five-year housing land supply.

Bellway confirmed its decision to appeal but declined to offer further comment. Bolton Council did not respond to requests for comment either.

Papers for the appeal have yet to be published on the planning inspectorate’s website, however, the council’s planning portal does acknowledge that an appeal has been received for both applications.

The two refused applications break down to one application for 183 homes for the fifth phase of the scheme and another for 119 homes, representing phases three and four.

The homes would be a mix of four-bedroom, three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom properties. Both applications included several acres of open space and private gardens for the houses.

Lichfields is the planning consultant for both phases. APD is the architect.

The 183-home plan’s application number with Bolton Council is 11567/21. The second application’s reference number is 11568/21.

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why still no 5 year plan?

By Bolton not at Home

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