NEIGHBOURS have slammed plans to build a new employment hub on green belt land.

The proposal for the site next to the Wingates Industrial Estate in Chorley Road was revealed by the Howarth Group earlier this month.

The masterminds behind the Logistics North development are attempting to create a new business hub that will bring "hundreds" of jobs to the area.

But residents living nearby have voiced their opposition and have created the online action group Fourgates & Wingates: Keep our fields for the future.

Chris Green, who lives in nearby Dicconson Lane, said: "I think there are a lot of local residents that feel extremely strongly about this.

"From our perspective, we are aware of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and there is a lot of concern about why they are consulting when the framework has not been passed.

"It just feels like we are being dismissed by big organisations and that they are not listening to what the people of Westhoughton are saying.

"We have not got the infrastructure and nobody seems to be addressing that. There are a number of aspects of this land.

"Many of the units at the Wingates Industrial Estate are not being filled so why do we need another industrial estate.

"There is about 400 acres of land there that is green belt. Do the residents of Westhoughton want to live in a concrete jungle? No.

"We are saying enough is enough. This is green belt land and we want it to remain that way for future generations."

Further details about the plans are yet to emerge but Harworth will be holding two public consultation events in July.

A spokesman for the Harworth Group said: "We're asking local residents to come to either one of two events in early July to look over a proposal for using land near junction six of the M61 for future employment uses, principally for manufacturing and distribution.

"What we've shown at Logistics North is that we are a responsible land developer that delivers on its promises to deliver jobs to Bolton and Greater Manchester whilst also delivering community benefits, including the 550-acre Cutacre Country Park.

"With Logistics North now around 18 months away from being full, we plan to use our experience to deliver another high-quality employment scheme which could deliver several hundred new jobs for the borough.

"Any plans, as at Logistics North, will also include an effective buffer between existing settlements and any development that comes forward.

"We also want to stress that our plans are not finalised and we need local people to come and view the plans in person and to speak to us direct.

"This is why we are holding two consultation events at the Macron and we look forward to hearing from people further."

The two consultation events will take place on Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3 from 3pm to 7pm in the Platinum Suite at the Bolton Whites Hotel.