Opponents of a controversial plan to build up to 100 homes on an abandoned railway cutting will now have longer to make their feelings know.

The proposal to build homes on land fronting Leverhulme Park in Darcy Lever, was unveiled earlier this year but has since proved contentious due to fears that if realised it could derail plans to extend Metrolink lines across the area.

This week Cllr Sean Hornby, who represents the area on Bolton Council, has announced that he has persuaded town hall to extend the deadline for people wishing to object to the scheme.

He said: “They’ve agreed now to an extension of the period for people to object to the plan because a lot of people have been in touch saying that the process is quite complicated.

The Bolton News: Residents turned out in Darcy Lever in FebruaryResidents turned out in Darcy Lever in February (Image: Newsquest)

“We’ve had a lot of people wanting to do this because even when it was proposed years ago to build on this site it already had a lot of objections.”

Cllr Hornby, of Little Lever and Darcy Lever First, has also said that he’s worried about the impact plans to expand the Metrolink, which Bolton North MP Mark Logan has supported in the past.

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He said: “The thing is if this gets built then it makes it even less likely that we can get the tramlines put in.”

The Bolton News: The proposed site for the new homes in Darcy LeverThe proposed site for the new homes in Darcy Lever (Image: Muller Property Group)

The plans to extend the tram service to Bolton could involve reviving a disused Bolton to Bury track bed, which advocates hope will better connect Bolton to the rest of Greater Manchester, it was said in 2021.

Around 100 residents gathered at the site last month to make their feelings known and they will now have until March 23 this year to register formal objections.

Cllr Hornby has also asked that the project be debated at a full meeting of the council’s planning committee.

But the developers behind the scheme, the Muller Property Group, have said that new housing is vital for Bolton’s future.

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Chief executive Colin Muller said: “Much of this railway cutting site has already been redeveloped and this final piece of redundant brownfield land is ripe for transformation.

“Our vision for this site is to reinforce the traditional local character of Darcy Lever while supporting the demand for much needed new housing here. 

“Our proposal would deliver an attractive and sustainable scheme where residents can reap the benefits of living adjacent to Leverhulme Park and all the wonderful leisure and sporting opportunities that it provides.”