A HOUSING development which has been refused by the government is now being recommended for approval — after plans were reduced by just seven homes.

Determined developers have made a step forward in their latest attempt to push through controversial housing at Bowlands Hey, despite plans being refused by both government and council planning bosses last year.

In April, the government's planning inspector turned down the second phase of the Bowlands Hey development, which included 174 homes. The planning inspector said that the development would result in “major adverse” landscape and visual impact on the area and fails to protect “positive characteristics” of the local landscape.

But developer Bellway Homes has revised the plans, reducing the number of homes by seven, to a total of 167. The plans are on their way back to the council's planning committee, having passed the first test of being recommended for approval by town hall officers.

Officers said in their report: "The provision of up to 167 dwellings, including 58 affordable dwellings, would help to address the shortfalls in the supply of market and affordable housing in the borough."

Councillors for Westhoughton are again making arguments against the plans, Councillor Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon says that the area is being choked with housing developments: "In three years we have had applications for Hulton Estate, Lee Hall, Bowlands Hey, the greyhound stadium, three developments in Bolton Road alone, developments along the A6 and Wingates Industrial Estate."

The councillor also voiced concerns about the site being on green field.

Cllr Eckersley-Fallon said: "There are plenty of brownfield sites in Bolton, I do not know why they pick green field. It is getting ridiculous."

"It just flabbergasts me. Enough is enough, we cannot take any more."

Bellway Homes has been approached for comment.