RESIDENTS are celebrating after plans to build eight houses on the old Bolton Open Golf Club were thrown out by Bolton Council’s planning committee.

Company Open Golf and Leisure wanted to demolish the derelict clubhouse and driving range of theHarwood club to make way for the four-bedroom houses, each with its own back garden and space for two cars.

But residents and councillors objected strongly to the plans, arguing the land off Longsight Lane should remain as green belt.

Cllr Stuart Haslam told the committee this application, the fourth on the site, was “as unacceptable now as it has ever been”.

He added: “It is not an area of land which is brown field for redevelopment — there is plenty of this in Harwood already — and therefore it should not, and must not be developed for housing.

“It is greenbelt land, and it is the duty, and the policy, of this council and this committee to protect it from unwarrantable and inappropriate development.

“It is an area of recreation for the benefit of Bolton people, and an area where Bolton people should be able to appreciate the openness and amenity.”

Paul Sedgwick from agent Sedgwick Associates tried to reassure the committee that the scheme was the best way to regenerate the site, which has fallen into disrepair.

He said: “As a resident in Bolton, I have seen how the area of Longsight Lane has deteriorated.

“As a planner I wouldn’t be putting this forward unless I thought it was the right solution for the land.”

However councillors backed the objectors, and rejected the application unanimously.