Campaigners want open space to be given protected status

PLANS for 13 new affordable homes on land in Farnworth have been given the green light.

But the proposals could still be scuppered after residents applied to have the land given protected “village green” status.

Great Places Housing Group submitted proposals to build homes on land in Highfield Road, as well as a new road which would be built down the centre of the site.

A report to the council’s planning committee said that the land is currently used for informal recreation use, and approval would lead to the loss of land used by children, dog walkers and a communal open space for residents.

But the site is earmarked for housing in the council’s core strategy and at a meeting on Thursday planning chiefs referred the scheme to the authority’s director of development and regeneration for final approval.

It is expected to be approved following the signing of an agreement by Great Places to provide up to £5,000 to improve nearby play facilities.

But at the meeting it was also revealed residents have applied to have the land made a village green, which would prevent any building taking place there. Objector John Sterling, speaking on behalf of residents in and around Highfield Road, said: “We feel that our objection doesn’t have anything to do with the building as such — it’s the loss of amenity.

“This green is loved and used and valued by a lot of people.”

Planning committee member Kevan Jones said: “We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place here.

“We have a need for this type of affordable housing in the area, but we’ve got to balance that with the use of a greenfield site.”

Hanif Darvesh, the committee’s deputy chairman, said that the housing association had got it wrong and said it should have planned to build fewer houses but retain some of the green space.

Cllr Nick Peel said that the only alternative was building on protected green belt land to fulfil the need for new housing.

He said: “Unless we’re prepared to relinquish whole swathes of green belt land, mainly in the west of Bolton, then we’ll have to relinquish small pieces of land like this.”

Comments (3)

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8:42am Tue 11 Dec 12

oftbewildered2 says...

Good luck to the residents in their campaign - if the land is loved and used, it should be left for the purpose of recreation
Good luck to the residents in their campaign - if the land is loved and used, it should be left for the purpose of recreation oftbewildered2

10:17am Tue 11 Dec 12

Brumas says...

This is happening all over Bolton, every bit of green recreation space is being targeted. Because it is an easy target, some of these area were created under the old six acre rule. Which stated for each Thousand capita head there should be an area about the size of a football pitch should be created.
we should fight tooth and nail to save all such Green area's. If the area under threat as been used for formal sports then it is afforded greater protection and if built upon should be replaced by the same or better than by the developer. We talk about obese children and adults, what can be expected if all the green space is developed. Do the powers that be expect our children to travel miles to play on grass? Fight for the Land.
This is happening all over Bolton, every bit of green recreation space is being targeted. Because it is an easy target, some of these area were created under the old six acre rule. Which stated for each Thousand capita head there should be an area about the size of a football pitch should be created. we should fight tooth and nail to save all such Green area's. If the area under threat as been used for formal sports then it is afforded greater protection and if built upon should be replaced by the same or better than by the developer. We talk about obese children and adults, what can be expected if all the green space is developed. Do the powers that be expect our children to travel miles to play on grass? Fight for the Land. Brumas

6:43pm Wed 12 Dec 12

saveourgreenspace says...

I live directly in this area, we are constantly plagued with antisocial behaviour at the moment, we have a very nice picturesque green area in which we can relax exercise meet other residents in short enjoy our neighbourhood, as night falls we are constantly on our guard due to the mindless minority of youths who do not live near us.
To build "affordable" housing is surely going to make this situation worse, myself and i am sure a good majority of the local residents are fed up of the lack of thought given by OUR council, you (the council) want to potentially make our lives a living nightmare by letting this building project go ahead for the offer of a 5000 pound play park a play park which will attract even more mindless morons to the area. BOLTON COUNCIL WE DO NOT WANT A PLAY/ RECREATIONAL AREA HERE THE ONE WE HAVE IS QUITE GOOD ENOUGH AND HAS BEEN FOR MANY MANY YEARS.
As for the housing build it on your doorstep and watch your property become unsellable destroy your neighbourhood, then come back to us and put your proposals forward.
I live directly in this area, we are constantly plagued with antisocial behaviour at the moment, we have a very nice picturesque green area in which we can relax exercise meet other residents in short enjoy our neighbourhood, as night falls we are constantly on our guard due to the mindless minority of youths who do not live near us. To build "affordable" housing is surely going to make this situation worse, myself and i am sure a good majority of the local residents are fed up of the lack of thought given by OUR council, you (the council) want to potentially make our lives a living nightmare by letting this building project go ahead for the offer of a 5000 pound play park a play park which will attract even more mindless morons to the area. BOLTON COUNCIL WE DO NOT WANT A PLAY/ RECREATIONAL AREA HERE THE ONE WE HAVE IS QUITE GOOD ENOUGH AND HAS BEEN FOR MANY MANY YEARS. As for the housing build it on your doorstep and watch your property become unsellable destroy your neighbourhood, then come back to us and put your proposals forward. saveourgreenspace

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