THE government could intervene in the fight to stop an asphalt plant coming to Bolton.

Darcy Lever residents have written to secretaries of state demanding that the company behind the controversial plans carries out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

This comes as J Hopkins (Contractors) Ltd temporarily withdrew its application to relocate a mobile asphalt manufacturing plant to Burnden Works last week.

Bolton Council told the company it would not have to carry out an EIA in a letter dated July 20 despite regulations requiring an assessment for proposed developments which would produce dust, fumes, toxins and contribute to air pollution.

Ministers have stepped in similar cases elsewhere in the country by overruling a local authority's decision.

Last year, communities secretary Sajid Javid overturned a decision by City of York Council by deciding that an EIA should be prepared for the Hessay asphalt plant.

Clayton Street resident Alan Gaskell delivered 500 letters about the plans to his neighbours when he spotted the application which was submitted in November.

Now, with the support of Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi, he has written to the government on behalf of his community.

He said: “This will give all the residents in the area who will be affected by air, noise and dust pollution a chance to voice their opinions and for the council to see that, just like the last time, there are very many residents and businesses who are totally against the facility.”

Cllr Sean Hornby asked for the planning committee to discuss the application and vote on it themselves rather than leaving it to council officers.

However, the plans will not be put before councillors until plans are resubmitted by November, according to the company.

Ms Qureshi met residents on Clayton Street to see how close the proposed plant would be to their homes.

She said: "It was immediately obvious that this proposal would have a hugely negative environmental impact on the residents and also on traffic congestion in the area. I believe that this proposal is wholly inappropriate for this location, and I have written to the Secretaries of State to support the residents’ request that they ensure that an EIA be carried out in advance of any decision being made on any similar future application for this site.”

J Hopkins adopts a proactive stance over environmental issues and carefully manages local environmental issues, according to its corporate social responsibility statement.

It says: “We are always open, honest and ethical in all of our working practices and we endeavour to ensure that any work we undertake is done with the utmost care and consideration for the local community.”