A £10 million all boys school has been approved.

Bolton Council’s planning committee agreed that the 700-place Eden Boys’ faith school can be built on the site of the former Wolfenden School in Astley Bridge.

Although it will be a Muslim faith school, staff have said the school will welcome applications from families of all faiths in a bid to promote community cohesion in the area.

Concerns had been raised by residents about potential traffic issues in the area, but the committee heard that the developers will put £100,000 towards resolving any highways issues.

Labour councillor Nick Peel said: “The money being offered is very welcome, because if there was no financial offering for dealing with the highways, then this application would have been on dodgy ground.”

The school, for 11 to 18-year-olds, has already opened temporarily in the former Falcon View Social Education Centre in Cotton Street, with 150 boys currently attending.

Developers now plan to build the new school on the site of the former Wolfenden Street School, which closed in 2003.

The plans were submitted by the Tauheedal Free Schools Trust and the new building is due to open next September.

UKIP councillor Paul Richardson told the meeting he thought the school could be “socially divisive”.

He said: “It is a single gender faith school, which means we could have thousands of boys passing through the school and they will be segregated from girls from their own culture and from others.”

But Conservative councillor Bob Allen said: “As the planning committee we are here to judge plans on technical grounds — that doesn’t include issues of faith or gender and I want to distance myself from such comments.”

The committee voted in favour of delegating the decision on the application to the director of development and regeneration, Keith Davies, who will now iron out any technical issues, including traffic management, before rubber stamping the plans.

After the meeting, the school’s principal, Shabir Fazal, said he was “very excited” about the proposed development and would continue to work with local people.

He added: “This is a great opportunity for children in Bolton.

“We want to keep liaising with local people on any issues they have, including traffic, because we want the school to be as safe as possible for the children and for local people.”

See our live updates from the planning meeting here.