THE public inquiry into Bellway Home's application to build an additional 174 homes in Bowlands Hey will begin on Tuesday.

Inspector Helen Heward will be in charge of proceedings which are expected to take four days.

Only five per cent of planning appeals and casework dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate is conducted by a public inquiry.

These events are usually held in council buildings to allow local residents to attend.

The council will argue that residential development needs to be focused on areas where there is a housing shortage and not on valuable areas of open countryside.

Bellway Homes, represented by Kirstie Hopcroft, will argue the development will provide economic, social and environmental benefits.

This includes helping to meet Bolton's housing requirement, providing 61 affordable homes, and an investment of over £21m in the local economy by creating 45 construction jobs and 68 indirect jobs.

New residents could add an extra £2m.

The council could also benefit from an additional £975,000 in council tax, according to the developer.

The inquiry will take place in the Paderborn Room at Bolton Town Hall, opening at 10am on January 22.

Members of the public wishing to attend should go to the One Stop Shop.