HUNDREDS of homes and jobs are to be created after councillors approved plans for a major new employment and housing development — provided a link road is built by developers.

Two applications, submitted by the same developers, Bellway Homes Ltd, Taylor Wimpey Manchester and B&B Boys Ltd, outlined the development of 309 semi-detached and mews-style homes for land south of Crompton Way, and employment units on land north of Britannia Way, Tonge Moor.

Initial plans for a highway link road were changed to make it a "normal" road to allow traffic to travel from north to south.

At a planning meeting at Bolton Town Hall yesterday, David Diggle, supporter of the plan, said with the addition of a link road from Crompton Way to Britannia Way, the application was a “win-win scenario.”

But Cllr Sufrana Bashir Ismail, for Crompton Ward, raised concerns that the road needed to be big enough for the sheer volume of traffic.

She said: “It appears highways have conceded defeat with the developers, but as a ward councillor who wants to make a difference to not only the ward, but also to all of Bolton, I am not going to give up opening up access to the north of Bolton from the A666.

“Crompton is a deprived ward. We have large employers like Warburtons, but they do not employ local people because they do not have the right skill set.

"It is my priority to persuade employers in my ward to take on people from the ward.”

Further concerns were raised by Cllr Mudasir Dean.

He said: “If we were to approve plans for 309 houses we will close the chapter on any future bypass being built to ease the ever-increasing traffic.

“Let’s not look at this with a short-term view, let’s look at the importance of the site for the future of our town.

“This committee does not want to be in a position where we approve the scheme and regret it in years to come.”

But Cllr Nick Peel said: “The only alternative is to develop on green belt. It’s down to local authorities to develop on previously developed land.”