FRUSTRATED neighbours have expressed concern over the length of time it is taking to deal with five controversial luxury homes that were built without permission.

The partially-built mansions at Grundy Fold Farm in Chorley Old Road, Horwich, were put up by Sparkle Developments after it purchased the land when it won planning permission in 2014.

But the homes were constructed in a different size, design and location than had been agreed, causing complaints from people living nearby.

After Bolton Council ordered the developers to cease construction last year, a retrospective planning application was submitted, which was refused in June.

But Alan Ainsworth, who owns a property in Scant Row, directly opposite to the homes, said nothing had been done and the neighbours were getting angry.

He said: "There is some frustration because the situation that annoys me is they never got permission to erect these buildings and they only applied after they had started building them.

"This is what has been absolutely ridiculous. Obviously it is taking a long time for someone to decide what is going to happen.

"If they do not make a stand about this, other builders will be able to get away with it."

He said there were rumours that one house could be pulled down and the others could be altered, but these have not been confirmed.

Paul Whittingham, assistant director of planning at Bolton Council, confirmed at the recent Heaton and Lostock area forum that Sparkle Developments has been given a deadline to return to the council with amended plans for Grundy Fold Farm — or face action from the council.

A council spokesman said: "The developer has been given a deadline to return to the council with amended plans.

"Should these plans not be received, we will then consider what action to take."

The spokesman would not reveal what the timeframe was.

Before the retrospective application came after Bolton Council advised the developers 'on a number of occasions' that the dwellings were unauthorised.

Officers had deemed it inappropriate to force work to stop and Sparkle Developments chose to proceed with the work and submit the retrospective application.

At the planning committee, a spokesman from Sparkle claimed to have been given informal permission for the altered designs by the former head of planning Jon Berry.

The spokesman also said that the company wished to explore ways of improving the estate, and suggested adding a landscaped area for walkers and cyclists.