Planning Inspectorate rules in favour of Bolton resi
The government body ruled that the council’s failure to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land meant that Westchurch’s plans for 94 homes off Inverbeg Drive should be given the go-ahead.
Last June, Bolton Council refused the housebuilder’s scheme, which will deliver affordable houses on a site owned by amateur football club Bolton Wyresdale. The land is made up of two football pitches and a derelict clubhouse.
The authority argued that the five-acre development would be delivered to the “detriment of highway safety” and also highlighted concerns over the loss of recreational land.
The Planning Inspectorate put forward the arguments that the width of the carriageway off Inverbeg Drive is above the council’s own minimum adoptable standard, while the existing football pitches on site are not fit for purpose, overruling these concerns.
There are also plans to deliver four new football pitches nearby off Radcliffe Moor Road and Bury New Road.
It was the council’s failure to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land that sealed the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. In summing up, inspector Clive Coyne said that Westchurch’s scheme will address the “significant shortfall” in affordable housing provision.
Lichfields advised Westchurch on the application and the appeal.
The project team also includes landscape architect Trevor Bridge Associates, consulting engineer Betts Geo, transport advisor Tetra Tech, RJP Surveying, and flood risk consultancy Waterco.
This is not the first time Bolton Council has lost an appeal as a result of its short housing supply. Last year, the authority lost two appeals to Bellway regarding the housebuilder’s Bowlands Hey neighbourhood. Once again, the council’s Green Belt arguments fell flat because of its failure to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.
To find out more about the plans for the site, search for application number 12412/21 on Bolton Council’s planning portal.
The appeal’s reference number with the Planning Inspectorate is APP/N4205/W/3308869.