I WAS proud to stand with the 250 to 300 residents of Westhoughton and Over Hulton who turned up on a very cold Thursday morning to greet members of Bolton Council planning committee on their site visit.

The committee can be left in no doubt about the strength of feeling from people in the area against the application by Peel Holdings to build a golf course and 1,000 houses.

Of course we need more housing in the borough, and we really need affordable social houses for our young people, but brownfield sites are where the houses should be built.

And we have more than enough brownfield sites in the Bolton area.

The Campaign For Rural England estimates that there are brownfield sites across England that could accommodate the building of one million homes.

Hulton Estate is a area of natural beauty, with many rare insect species, and a wide range of wildlife.

The number of healthy trees that will be cut down to allow Peel's vanity project does not bare thinking about, and we have had far too many healthy trees chopped down in the Bolton area in recent times.

Trees are very beneficial to our environment and help reduce our carbon footprint, by absorbing harmful carbon dioxide and storing it.

Trees feed out oxygen into our atmosphere, which, of course, benefits us all.

One other very important factor in why Peel's plans will not benefit the local community in area, is the infrastructure will not be there for the extra cars when 1,000 more homes are built, and there are fears that Peel intends in the future to build more houses on the estate.

Currently, the traffic congestion at peak times is already chronic, and potentially another extra 1,000 cars in the area will cause extra air pollution, that we, our children, and grandchildren will forced to breath in.

On all counts, this project is not a good idea.

And once this beautiful greenbelt land has gone, it will be gone forever.

Alan Johnson

Green Party