A DECISION to refuse plans to build a housing estate next to a former tip could be overturned on appeal.

The proposed 42-home estate on the site of a disused railway cutting in Kearsley was refused planning permission because of its proximity to Singing Clough.

This initial proposal involved using the site between Bolton Road and Springfield Road as an infill for soil and clay before building the homes.

Kearsley councillor Julie Pattison shared reports about the adjacent site with the committee warning the dangers of development.

One described the former landfill site as a “ticking time bomb” and councillors were also concerned about unidentified mine shafts in the area.

All but two councillors voted to refuse the application.

Applicant W Maher and Sons Ltd has now put in an appeal to try and reverse the decision.

Attached with the appeal is an expert report by environmental consultancy firm TerraConsult into the risk from contamination and ground gas at the site.

Putting the case forward on why the appeal should be upheld, planning agents Axis wrote: “There is an indisputable need for new housing.

“The Appeal Site is located within a suitable, sustainable location and the development would be in keeping with the surrounding area.

“Detailed evidence provided with the Application and Appeal demonstrate there will be no unacceptable effects as a result of the development.”

Farnworth and Kearsley First councillor for the Kearsley ward, Paul Heslop said it was not the creation of homes that was an issue but the history of the site.

He said: “We accept the fact that we need new homes but this particular development is a major concern for us.

“The land was previously condemned for more than 100 years due to the toxicity of the soil.

“We feel as if unsettling this land could have a huge negative impact.

“It simply cannot go ahead.”

Kearsley UKIP councillor Mark Cunningham admitted he was “disappointed but not surprised” to see an appeal lodged.

He added: “I tend to agree with the decision of the planning committee. It shouldn’t go ahead.

“This type of work can be devastating to the area and inconvenient to residents. There would be a massive amount of traffic and an increase in congestion to a residential area.

“If you’re going to start creating movement in that area, there can be a risk of damage and leakage.”