A RESIDENTS’ association has pledged to “continue the fight” against a major housing development on a golf course which has been turned down by planners three times.

A planning inspectorate inquiry is set to start on Tuesday (May 18) into plans for between 150 and 276 homes at land off Victoria Road, including Horwich Golf Club.

Homebuilder Northstone, a subsidiary of Peel Holdings, proposed the development for 150 homes, which was refused by Bolton Council’s planning committee in December.

Previous plans for 300 and then 276 homes at the site were also thrown out by the council, concerned at the impact on green space in Horwich.

Now the Stocks Residents’ Association (SRA) say they are “steeling themselves for the next stage in defending local green space against a development of luxury houses”.

In 2019, Peel submitted a revised planning application for 276 homes at the Horwich site following a public inquiry into earlier proposals for 300 homes in 2019.

These were refused by Bolton Council in January 2020 and the decision was appealed by Peel, leading to next week’s inquiry.

Malcolm Harrison, SRA chairman, said that his group would be providing evidence at the inquiry and said that he was disappointed with some of the council’s actions since the most recent refusal.

He said: “The plans for 276 and 150 dwellings were turned down almost unanimously by councillors, a reflection of the huge public opposition by their constituents.

“Council officers had a duty to notify residents of the details of the inquiry.

“We have received a significant number of reports of incorrect dates being sent to people and wrong addresses used.

“Their actions are making it difficult for people to be involved in the process.

“This is against the backdrop of increased traffic, congestion, air and noise pollution and lack of infrastructure to accommodate the numerous developments already approved in Horwich.

“The SRA is a voluntary organisation and has successfully fundraised against the odds to fund legal costs associated with the case.

“I would like to thank each and every person who has contributed to the cause.”

He added that if the development was allowed to proceed it would ‘fly in the face of protecting green spaces’.

Speaking after the 150 home plan was rejected, Jonathan England, development director at Northstone, said: “We’re incredibly disappointed with this decision as our plans for Horwich would help Bolton to meet its housing demand.

“We listened to the community and the planning committee’s feedback on previous planning applications and our plans significantly reduced the number of homes proposed, reduced the number of access points into the site to just one from Victoria Road and offered 60 per cent of the site as green spaces.”