OVER HULTON could be in danger of losing its village community appeal, say concerned residents.

More than 50 local people voiced their fears at a public meeting at Over Hulton Conservative Club organised by volunteers and councillors who are creating a Neighbourhood Plan to present to Bolton Council.

Many residents expressed disquiet over the amount of potential housing development in the area, claiming the roads are already “jam-packed full”.

Geoffrey Mort said: “It has a semi-rural atmosphere. It’s a good place to live. We don’t want to see the character of the area suffer.”

Mr Mort, who has lived in Over Hulton with his wife for 14 years, was worried about the impact that a tournament like the Ryder Cup would have on the area.

An application to build 1,036 homes and a Ryder Cup golf course on the Grade II-listed estate had been accepted by Bolton Council before it was called-in by the government in July.

The volunteers shared a list of objectives for the neighbourhood plan including the public access to green spaces, putting the community before commerce and retaining a village feel in the area.

Residents also wanted the history of Over Hulton, including the Pretoria pit disaster, the area’s links to the Peterloo massacre and the historic Hulton Park Estate, to be celebrated.

And others said any new housing should be affordable to their children and grandchildren.

Many were also concerned about the rising level of pollution that new developments would cause.

Geoff Hamlett, aged 78, said that the amount of traffic that comes through Over Hulton is already putting residents’ health at risk.

He said: “I’ve lived her for 50 years and the difference is unbelievable.”

Dr Emma Gardner, head of environmental sustainability at the University of Manchester, moved to the area five years ago.

She said that her main concern is preserving green spaces and ensuring that future developments are sustainable.

Dr Gardner said: “It gives me an opportunity to partake in something that’s really important for today and the future and the preservation of our natural world.”

Cllr Toby Hewitt, who led the meeting, said that there is a clear sense of community and a village feel in the neighbourhood.

He said: “People are quite clear that they want an appropriate level of development.” A second draft of the plan is expected next year.