inverbeg drive, westchurch homes, p planning documents

Bolton Council refused Westchurch Homes' plans last year with concerns over highway safety and loss of recreational land. Credit: via planning documents

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.

Your Comments

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Horrible site layout. How are people supposed to connect into surrounding neighbourhoods when the streets don’t match? Looks grim, I’ll stick to my apartment in the city thanks.

By Anonymous

Another greenspace surrounded by houses lost. How can 1000’s of houses by approved in Westhoughton yet Bolton still not have a 5 year supply???

By MJ

It isn’t a ‘greenspace, it’s private land owned and used by the club who are being provided a much bigger and better facility down the road. Win/win for everyone

By P

I live on one of the neighbouring road which will be used as an accesss road. There will be an additional 200 cars now coming down my road everyday. This will make the road very unsafe for the citizens in the area.

By Anonymous

It’s only win win for the club and the developers. No one in the area wanted it.

The club have let the pitches go over the years in a view to getting it built on. They’ve tried twice before. There used to be a public right of way through the car park, until they blocked it off with no notice with a fence. It’s also over development for the size, and will dwarf over the bungalows in the roads next to it, due to the land already being several feet higher. And it will cause a huge increase in the amount of traffic trying to exit what is a pretty dangerous junction onto a very busy road.

The council were right to turn it down, unfortunately it also seems it’s their fault on why the appeal was successful. Also really disappointing that the Sport England grampian agreement doesn’t seem to have been put in place. They wanted the new pitch to be provided before building work could start.

By Anonymous

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