CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 209 homes on a former school playing field site could be approved next week.

Bellway Homes want to develop the 16-acre site in Walkden to create hundreds of family homes – 20 per cent of which would be affordable.

Town hall officers are recommending approval.

Developers say they are bringing a vacant site back into use and creating high quality accommodation in a sustainable location.

Residents were alarmed to see ‘no trespassing – private property’ signs put up by the council at the former St George’s RC High School playing fields earlier this year – even though the land is currently still owned by the town hall.

Salford Council said at the time the land remained in council ownership and the sale to Bellway was subject to planning permission being granted.

More than 50 people have objected to the scheme, complaining about everything from overdevelopment to the project’s design. Many argue the development would represent the loss of a ‘green lung’ in an area used by dog walkers and are also concerned it could generate ‘horrendous’ traffic along Hilton Lane even worse.

Officers recommend approval, providing Bellway pays more than a £1.4 million in contributions to local projects.