A pair of cottages along with their outbuildings are set to be demolished to make way for possible new developments.

Bolton councillors have given the green light to a proposal to redevelop land on Green Common Lane, Westhoughton, near a cluster of already occupied homes, mainly converted barns, to the south.

But the plans do not include what will eventually be built on the site in place of the cottages and previous bids to build there had already been refused due to lack of information.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Nick Peel said: “This is an outline application and none of us know what the details are going to be.

“Some of us may have a guess, they may try for four houses again, presumably the committee will make the same decision it did last time to refuse it.

“But as its an outline application, they’re basically asking us to agree with the principal that this site could be developed in a manner.”

The Bolton News:

The plan will see cottages demolished on the site

Cllr Peel said there could not be any grounds for refusal where the outline application was concerned but said the committee would have to consider things further if more detailed plans for building were brought before them.

Despite the concerns about what may be built on the site, planning rules appear to state that this alone would not have been enough to reject the plans.

Cllr Debbie Newell said: “In theory they’re aren’t grounds to refuse this, but it’s a massive leap of faith to say that a developer some time in the future is just going to come a long and put maybe two, maybe three, houses on here.

“That’s the problem with outline permission isn’t it?”

She said she was not happy with the proposal but did not see how it could be refused under the current rules.

But Bolton Council officers had recommended the scheme for approval after concluding that it would not ‘compromise’ the appearance of the area and would be an ‘appropriate’ use of the site.

The committee voted by 13 to two to approve the plan.