AN INQUIRY into plans to build a controversial 300-home estate in Westhoughton will be held this month.

Persimmon Homes wants to develop 45 acres on land at Lee Hall, between Platt Lane and Manchester Road, but had its proposals rejected by Bolton Council in 2015.

After the developer appealed against that decision, the inquiry has been delayed twice — most recently when the council complained that Persimmon submitted its traffic models too late to allow for proper scrutiny.

A date for the four-day hearing to begin has now been set for June 26 at Bolton Town Hall.

As well as Persimmon, appeals have also been lodged by Harcourt Developments and Peel Investments.

A council spokesman said: “We are pleased that the inspector gave us additional time to review the traffic model, which was submitted to us too late to allow for proper scrutiny if the inquiry had gone ahead in April. This will now ensure that the inspector has all the facts before them in order to make a decision on this case.

“The case for the council is on the highways impact on the local area and the council will be robustly defending this position.”

Westhoughton North and Chew Moor councillor Martyn Cox says that rejecting the plans would sent a strong message to Peel, which wants to build a huge golf course and housing development on the nearby Hulton Park Estate.

He added: “If the inquiry leads to the rejection of the planning application it would send a clear message to Peel Holdings that they can’t build all over the Hulton Estate.

“I think residents are hoping that the plans are rejected and it is made clear that this kind of development is not wanted by the people of Westhoughton.

“It certainly should not be done before any infrastructure is put in place.”

A council report earlier this year said that the promise of a new Westhoughton Bypass would put the local authority in a stronger position to put a stop to the Lee Hall development.