Plans to build 94 rental homes on a football ground have been the subject of a wave of objections. Later this week Bolton Council’s planning committee will consider an application from Westchurch Homes to build 94 homes at the current home of Wyresdale AFC off Inverbeg Drive in Breightmet.

The site consists of a disused building and hardstanding used for parking to the north of the site, while the remaining area is playing fields associated

with Wyresdale AFC. The proposed homes are all two-storey and would be a mix of semi-detached and terraced, all with gardens.

Housing association Bolton At Home would be the landlord if the development went ahead. Wyresdale AFC are looking to relocate to another site approximately 450 metres away in Bury borough.

That plan is subject to a separate application before Bury Council which remains undecided. The plans have received 142 objections and ward councillors Adele Warren and Stuart Hartigan have also put forward detailed opposition to the proposals.





Among the objections are ‘Inverbeg Drive is too narrow for the proposed access’, ‘the road network is not suitable for another 94 houses’ and ‘getting onto Bury Road will get more difficult’. Other objections include loss of green space, the site should remain as a recreational site and that the pitches proposed in Bury have not been granted permission yet so they are an uncertainty.

The Football Foundation has also objected to the plans.

They said: “This suggestion is contrary to Sport England playing fields policy and not only does it not meet policy, but we have real practical

concerns for the delivery of replacement facilities if permitted to be undertaken in this manner. While it is encouraging that the council is engaging with the club, we cannot support what is being proposed here and have significant concerns over the deliverability of new sporting provision unless prepared and operational in advance of existing playing field loss.”

A planning officer’s report put before councillors recommends approval of the scheme saying ‘the benefits of the proposal outweigh any harmed caused’.