Controversial plans to extend a Bolton quarry have been thrown out and branded a “step too far” after attracting complaints from residents.

The plans would have seen Montcliffe Quarry in Horwich extended in order to extract 2m tonnes of stone, which would have required an average of 25 HGV movements in and out per day.

But this was rejected at a meeting of Bolton Council’s planning committee yesterday, Thursday, after objections from Cllr Richard Silvester, who represents Horwich North East, and letters of complaint from 26 residents.

He said: "I am delighted yet again that the planning committee have agreed that the extension proposed by Armstrong’s to the quarry is a step too far.

“After last year's refusal decision and now this one, I hope that this will be the last and if this should be appealed, that the government inspector will listen to the people of Horwich that they have had enough.”

The bid marked the second time a bid had been made to expand Montcliffe Quarry, off Georges Lane in Horwich, close to Rivington Pike and the West Pennine moors in as many years.

The plans submitted by quarrying firm Armstrong’s proposed a shallower quarry depth meaning that 820,000 fewer tonnes of mineral would be extracted and the anticipated time-scales for completion of extraction works would be 14 years rather than the originally anticipated 20 years.

A report put together by Bolton Council offices recommended the proposal for approval, but Cllr Silvester argued that the new scheme was no different to that which had been proposed the year before.

He claimed that the same issues that were raised then continued to be valid and that the extensions would “not preserve the openness of the green belt because the openness would be completely eradicated as the land would literally be taken away altogether".

Councillors were also concerned that the development would harm biodiversity in the area and would prove damaging to the landscape in Horwich, while Horwich Town Councillors had also raised concerns.

Ultimately, planning committee members voted unanimously to refuse the plan.