Developers say it is ‘impossible’ that a tram extension could ever run through an abandoned railway cutting where they plan to build houses.

The proposal to build more than 100 homes on the site in Darcy Lever has proven controversial since it was announced earlier this year.

Much of the opposition has centred on fears plans to extend the Metrolink tramline on this site could be derailed, but Enzygo Planning, which has worked with developers the Muller Property Group says extending the line on this site would not be possible in any event.

Enzygo associate director of planning Murray Graham said: “The disused railway cutting is redundant and the tracks have long been dismantled from the site. 

The Bolton News: The proposal will see more than 100 homes builtThe proposal will see more than 100 homes built (Image: Muller Property Group)

“Existing commercial and residential properties to the east and west of Muller’s site, plus active highways, render it logistically impossible that a Metrolink Tram could ever run through the site.”

“More importantly, the future plans for all forms of transport in Greater Manchester are set out in the Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 (2021). 

He added: “The strategy clearly shows that there is no intention to expand the Metrolink Tram network to Bolton utilising former rail infrastructure.”

As it stands, the plan will see the new homes built on land fronting Leverhulme Park in Darcy Lever, while the former railway cutting will be raised to a level platform.

The Bolton News: Some of the residents have previously turned out to oppose the planSome of the residents have previously turned out to oppose the plan (Image: Newsquest)

The deadline for people to object to the scheme was recently extended to after Cllr Sean Hornby asked for the plan to be debated before Bolton Council’s planning committee.

Muller Property Group chief executive Colin Muller said: “We would be incredibly disappointed to see our planning application rejected on the basis of misguided information.”

He added: “Our message to any concerned parties is to please read our planning application and understand what we are trying to deliver to your community. 

“Equally, any concerned councillors are welcome to contact our planning team who will be more than happy to talk through the proposals in full.

“This site will be developed in the future as it has been allocated in the local plan. 

“The only question mark remaining, is when that will happen. 

“At Muller we have the experience and expertise to successfully transform this land and believe it would be a great disservice to the community to further delay the delivery of this much needed new housing.”

The company also says that their plan could be vital to helping Bolton meet its house building commitments.

But Cllr Hornby says he still believes that extending the tramline is possible, which could be lost if the houses are built.

He said: “In 2007 and 2008 I was the chair of planning and there was a company at the time and they submitted a massive application just like this.

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“They took it to planning and they lost, then they took it to appeal and they lost again.”

He added: “If you build on there then it destroys forever the possibility of extending the tramline from Bury to Bolton."

The proposal will be debated at Bolton Council's planning committee later this year.

Cllr Hornby says the deadline for consultations stands at March 23 but people can continue to opject right up to the day of the meeting.