Three different iterations of the project have all been refused by Bolton Council but the developer maintains the scheme would boost the local economy and help tackle the borough’s housing shortage.
To be constructed on Horwich Golf Club off Victoria Road, the £34m project has been scaled back twice in order to appease Bolton’s planning committee, but to no avail.
The first proposal for the site, which Peel L&P has owned since 2012, mooted 300 homes and was refused in 2018. An appeal was lodged but subsequently dismissed.
A second application, which saw the number of homes on the site drop to 276, also met rejection.
The second refusal prompted Peel to appeal again and the five-day inquiry begins today.
The developer maintains the project would “boost Bolton’s economy by £15.4m and help aid a post-pandemic recovery”.
A total of 94 of the 276 homes would be allocated for shared ownership or affordable rent, and a £274,000 contribution towards education and highway improvements at Beehive roundabout would also be made, Peel said.
Northstone, Peel’s housebuilding division, lodged a third application last year, requesting permission for 150 homes. Those plans were turned down in December. An appeal against this refusal will also be heard this week.
The nine-hole golf course, which is open to members only, is due to close in 2023 when Peel withdraws funding support.
Phil Wilson, executive director for land, communities and homebuilding at Peel L&P, said: “Bolton has a housing shortage that isn’t being met and we want to provide a mix of quality, energy efficient homes that suit a range of needs and give people more choice.
“We’ve adapted our plans based on local feedback and public inquiry recommendations by reducing the size of the schemes to lessen the impact on the landscape. We hope the inspector will recognise the benefits the proposals bring to the area – economically, socially and environmentally.”