CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 300 homes on open land in Westhoughton have been submitted to Bolton Council.

Developers Persimmon Homes want to create the new housing estate on a 45-acre site at Lee Hall, between Platt Lane and Manchester Road.

The land is owned by Peel Holdings but Persimmon have an option to build on it.

The scheme has been met with sustained opposition from local residents and councillors since it was first outlined last year — but a formal application has now been sent in to the council.

A range of objections have been voiced concerning the proposals — including fears over increasing traffic in an already busy area and concerns over the range of wildlife that inhabit the area of land in question.

Councillors have also pointed out that the site is not in the authority’s allocations plan and have asked the planning committee to reject it outright.

As well as housing, the outline application includes plans for public open space, two children’s play areas and access routes at Platt Lane and the Chequerbent Roundabout.

If approved, the housing development would consist of a mix of houses, apartments and bungalows — with the majority being two-storey houses.

Persimmon has said that the development will make a "valuable contribution to the council’s five-year housing land supply” and represents an “attractive and sustainable residential environment”.

Cllr David Chadwick, who represents Westhoughton South on Bolton Council and is also the leader of Westhoughton Town Council said: “As far as we are concerned, development on a green field like this is a no go.

“There is also a lot of concern that 300 houses could bring at least 600 extra cars into an area that is already like a car park at peak times.

“The proposed access to the site from Platt Lane and the Chequerbent Roundabout are a nonsense and there are a lot of people who are worried about the effect on local wildlife."

Adele Snook, strategic land director for Persimmon Homes North West, said: “It is a logical and sustainable location and one which we believe has good accessibility to public transport, shops and services in Westhoughton.”