DEVELOPERS behind the multi-million-pound Middlebrook Masterplan have failed to win over councillors.

Westhoughton Town Council is opposing the £100 million proposals to redevelop the Reebok Stadium and Bolton Arena and the surrounding land.

Whites bosses hope to build sports facilities, a free school, run by the club for pupils aged 16 to 19, and a large office development.

At Westhoughton Town Council’s meeting, Cllr David Wilkinson, who represents Hoskers and Hart Common, raised concerns about the increase in traffic the development would cause.

He said: “This application does nothing for Westhoughton, but the application will at some stage get passed.

“This application shouldn’t be held on its own. We need a full masterplan for the whole area, not a salami slice.

“Traffic in Wingates Lane, Lostock Lane and Church Lane has gone up and up and up.

“It’s from Emerson at Middlebrook, and then we will have Horwich Vision and this.

“People will have to walk on the roofs of the cars.

“Unless I see something from a developer I would say get lost. If they want things they will have to cough up some goodies.”

Cllr Freda Henderson, of Wingates Ward, said traffic in Church Lane, where she lives, has increased since she moved there about 11 years ago.

She said: “People are trying to get out to beat the traffic. In the summer, it’s more and more. It’s not a rat run — it’s a nice lane that should be kept as it is.”

Cllr David Chadwick, representing Central ward, said the proposals do not adhere to Bolton Council’s core strategy, which details what the authority wants the town to look like in the future.

He said it would have a detrimental impact on the Church Wharf regeneration plans for Bolton town centre.

A spokesman for the developer said Bolton Arena runs on a “minor reserve figure”

and needed long-term investment.

He said if given the goahead, work to the education and leisure parts of the plan were likely to take priority.

Westhoughton Town Council does not have power to approve or reject the plan, but it has made a recommendation to Bolton Council planning committee, which will make the decision.