Highly controversial plans to build more than 180 new houses on historic greenbelt land could still go ahead despite being rejected just months ago.

Developers behind the proposals are to appeal Bolton Council's decision to throw out the plans and the decision will now lie with the Planning Inspectorate.

Bellway Homes want to build 183 houses on land at Bowlands Hey, off The Fairways going towards the Bolton/Wigan railway line in Westhoughton.

Phases three, four and five of the proposal were refused at a Bolton Council meeting in March after more than 1,000 residents objected.

Phases one and two were approved for Dobb Brown, with the other phases going beyond to Bowlands Hey.

Plans to build homes on Bowlands Hey, Westhoughton, rejected

Cllr Christopher Hill, who represents the are on Bolton Council, said: “Residents have been in touch, they were happy it was turned away and they’re hoping it will be again.

“We don’t have the infrastructure for any more housing.”

He added: “We’ve got areas that are struggling with flooding, schools that are overcrowded and that’s not going to be solved by throwing money at it.”

Bolton West MP Chris Green MP argued this show the need to reform planning police on a city region level.

He said: “I share the frustration and anger that so many of my constituents feel on this and on uncontrolled planning.

“This is why the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework should have been delivered years ago.

“This is the third version we’re on now, the borough’s have to agree on what they want to do.”

He added: “One of the most important duties of the mayor is to ensure that we have the right building plans and that our greenspaces are protected and its about time the mayor delivered on that.”

The Bolton News:

The plans will see more than 180 new homes built

During the meeting that rejected the plans in March, Cllr David Wilkinson, who also represents Westhoughton South, said at the time he was worried about “sacrificing” greenbelt land.

He was also concerned about pressure on community facilities such as GPs and dentists.

Bolton Council rejected the plans on the grounds of drainage, character, landscape impact, and the existing congestion problems in the area.

Bellway homes has argued that the positives would outweigh any potential harm cause to the environment and bring “considerable economic benefits” to the area.