PROTESTERS have turned out to demonstrate plans to build 300 homes on Horwich Golf Club.

Members of the Stocks Residents Association wielding banners have been protesting the proposed development, which is due to go before Bolton Council's planning committee today.

A demonstration took place at the golf club while councillors on the committee carried out the site visit in the morning.

And then a crowd formed outside of Bolton Town Hall at just before 1pm, an hour before the planning committee meeting was due to start.

The plans, proposed by Peel Land and Property, have bene widely opposed in the town by both residents and councillors.

The nine-hole course, off Victoria Road, and adjoining fields are classed as “open protected land” which should be safeguarded from “inappropriate development” under the council’s local plan.

The committee has been advised to approve it on the grounds the council cannot currently cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.

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Malcolm Harrison, chairman of Stocks Residents Association, said the group feels the officer’s report “dismisses issues raised” and “takes the easy way out”.

He added: “If councillors follow the planning officer’s recommendation for approval, it will be with blatant disregard for the rules, the council’s own policies and the views of their constituents.

“A beautiful rural location is obviously going to attract opportunistic interest from developers looking for high profits from luxury homes. Surely the councils’ own policies preventing inappropriate development on protected open land should outweigh the need for luxury housing? Developers should instead be required to develop the abundance of brownfield land in the borough.”

The planning committee meeting was due to begin at 2pm today (Thursday, June 28).