Bellway Westhoughton Resubmission

Bellway tries again after losing Bolton planning appeal

Charlie Schouten

The housebuilder has resubmitted proposals for 174 homes on a 20-acre greenfield plot in Westhoughton after its previous application was dismissed following a planning appeal.

Bellway had initially put forward an application for the site at Bowlands Hey in February last year, marking the second phase of development at the site. The first phase of 129 homes secured planning permission on appeal in 2017.

However, the second phase did not fare as well, first being refused by Bolton Council against officer recommendation; the planning committee knocked back the scheme arguing it would result in “inappropriate development” of Other Protected Open Land [OPOL]; that it would have “significant local landscape and visual impacts” and would “not maintain or respect the landscape character of the area”. The planning committee also raised issues over school places in the local area along with highways access.

Bellway took the decision to appeal but was unsuccessful, with the Planning Inspector ruling against the housebuilder.

In its judgement, the Planning Inspector argued the original application would “fail to safeguard positive characteristics of the local landscape which enhance the sense of place, the character and appearance of the site and locality and the relationship between the landscape and the built edge of the settlement.”

“The total harms to the character and appearance of the site and locality would be very substantial, permanent and long lasting and run contrary to aims to protect the urban fringe,” concluded the report.

Working with planning consultant Lichfields, the housebuilder has now resubmitted plans for the site in an attempt to address some of the inspectorate’s concerns.

The proposals still include 174 homes, the same as the previous application, with a mix of 62 four-bedroom houses, 77 three-beds, and 35 two-bed semi-detached mews properties. Bellway has designated 35% of these for affordable tenures.

The main amends to the plans look to address the inspectorate’s issues with the landscaping; according to Lichfields, the updated proposals provide “significantly increased landscape buffers around the periphery of the site”, including Old Lane to the north, Dob Brow to the west, and open land to the south, which is being retained.

A refreshed application has now been validated by Bolton Council, which has not yet set a date to discuss the plans.

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Very well in re-submitting but what have Bellway done with issues regarding school places in the local area and highways access which are nearly gridlocked in the evenings? Hopefully rejected again by Bolton Council.

By Anonymous

Greedy property developers! I just hope the council and the planning inspector see sense and reject this proposal once again.

By Anonymous

Bellway- NO means NO ! Westhoughton is already bursting at the seams. You obviously care not a jot for the people who already reside in Westhoughton. Come and join the daily traffic queues or try to get a doctor’s appointment, that is to say nothing of extra school places which would be required. All that Bellway are concerned about is raking in money at our expense. I hope the planners will see fit to again refuse this application and leave what’s left of our green belt alone!

By Anonymous