COUNCILLORS have proposed that Horwich’s ‘Llama Field’ should become part of the green belt.

The “much-loved” land in Horwich, located between Lever Park Avenue and Green Lane, has been put forward by Cllrs Kevin McKeon and Cllr Richard Silvester as a candidate for green belt status.

The two Horwich North East councillors made their submissions to the Places for Everyone consultation, a joint development plan drawn up by nine of Greater Manchester’s authorities, excluding Stockport.

Affectionately known locally as ‘Llama Field’, the plot of land has been subject to planning applications in the past, most recently a controversial attempt to build 75 homes on the site, which was rejected by Bolton Council last year – a decision which is currently being appealed by the developers, Eccleston Homes Limited.

Currently labelled as 'other protected land', one category below green belt, the field is afforded some protection from development, although that protection is not guaranteed.

Cllr McKeon said: “I objected to the recent planning application, along with Cllr. Silvester, to the development of this field for housing. Thankfully Bolton Council refused the application, and it would be absolutely excellent if we can get it to become Green Belt land.

"It is a much-loved field with fantastic open views up to Rivington.”

The reason for the recent development’s rejection was that it was not considered to comply with the development plan nor comprise sustainable development. It was found to not maintain or respect the character and appearance of the area or its landscape setting or enhance biodiversity.

Cllr Silvester added: “If you don’t try then you don’t get and myself and Cllr. McKeon are therefore trying.

"We hope we will be successful and the powers that be will consider our submissions. We will find out in due course, so fingers crossed.”

Bolton Council has never supported development of the field through any of its development plans and the land is not designated for housing in the council’s allocations plan.

If the councillors are successful in getting the land into the final plan to become green belt, then later this month it will be sent to the government and there will then be a public examination.