IN response to Cllr Kevin McKeon's letter on November 6, Horwich golf course is at risk of housing not because of government policy, but predominantly due to Bolton Council's own policies and a failure to plan in Horwich and Bolton.

Bolton Council is behind on its housing allocations, relying on the Horwich Loco Works/Rivington Chase development being much further on than it currently is to deliver much of their housing numbers.

Because the council can’t show it’s got any realistic plan for house building, the independent inspector has had to allow similar inappropriate developments to go through in Westhoughton and the council also withdrew its objection to a similar development on green open space in Blackrod.

In Horwich, the College Field was designated as open green space (rather than a sport field as it should have been) and the Labour Council had no issue with allowing building there on that green space and community facility, that also sets a precedent!

A Neighbourhood Plan is a statutory document stating in addition to the style and types of housing, it can specify the location where housing should and should not take place.

It is great news Kevin McKeon and Labour in Horwich after two years of delay and obstruction finally seem to support a neighbourhood plan for Horwich, a plan that Horwich First promoted and the independent town councillors Steven Chadwick and Marie Brady were both elected with a mandate to deliver!

It is a plan which is also supported by the local Liberal Democrats and was supported by Conservative Cllr Bob Allen during his time on Horwich Town Council, cross party support.

It is worth noting, however, if it hadn't been for two years of delays before getting the support of Labour in Horwich, the plan would be near completion now rather than in its initial stages, and if complete may have offered extra protection to green open space in Horwich, including the golf club.

Craig Rotheram

Horwich First Community Group