PLANS to build a new block of flats on a “green corridor” alongside the River Tonge have been pulled by the developer.

The proposed development of a five-storey building on land next to the Matalan store in Tonge Moor Road would have affected the Tonge Trail, if it went ahead.

But the planning application to build 30 one-bedroom flats at the former industrial site has been withdrawn by Nottingham-based applicant Russell Foster.

Cllr Nick Peel, who sits on the planning committee, revealed that council officers told the developer that the application would be recommended for refusal.

He said: “The planning officers had some issues with it in. There were a number of issues. The scale and design of the building, lack of information on flood risk, drainage scheme, tree surveys and badger surveys.

“They said to them that they would recommend this for refusal because there’s a lot of missing information, so the applicant made the decision to withdraw.

“What that possibly means is that they may try to rectify these concerns and bring it back.”

If the development went ahead, a stretch of the footpath would be realigned in front of the new building.

But Tonge with the Haulgh councillors have said that this land should not be built on at all.

Cllr Martin Donaghy said he would raise concerns about any future proposals to build on the land.

He said: “We are very much opposed to this because it is a proposal to build on part of the Tonge Trail.”

The land in question is a “gateway” to the Tonge Trail, an eight-mile pedestrian route, which separates the built up parts of the area with a “green corridor”.

Planning agents MHA Architects refused to comment on why the application had been withdrawn.

Previously, the company has pointed out that the land is not classed as protected open space but it is part of the Lower Tonge Valley designation, which is considered to be a recreation site by Bolton Council.

Policy on this type of land states that some development on “informal” green spaces in the urban area should be permitted as long as it allows for the remaining green spaces to be improved.

The site, which “slopes steeply” towards the River Tonge, is approximately one mile east of Bolton town centre.

There are no buildings nor any other additional structures on the site which is south of the Matalan car park.

There is also a recently built residential development north and east of the site.

A total of 20 parking spaces were proposed for the 30 apartments.