A plan for more than 100 new houses has been thrown out after a vote at town hall.

The project would have seen a total of 112 houses built on land off Radcliffe Road in Darcy Lever on the site of a former railway cutting.

This had proven controversial given the chance it could impact on plans to extent the Metrolink from Bury to Bolton and the plan was brought for debate at Bolton Council’s planning committee this week.

John Coxon, agent for developers Morris Homes North, said: “From our perspective the position is clear that there is no policy protection for the railway line and there is no funding in place to extent the line.”

Mr Coxon argued that there was “no realistic prospect” of the Metrolink being extended and that the project would help Bolton Council meet its housing commitments.

The Bolton News: The plans were debated at Bolton town hall this weekThe plans were debated at Bolton town hall this week (Image: Morris Homes)

He accepted that a “small part” of the project would fall within green belt land but argued that the harm would be outweighed by the benefits.

The proposal was first unveiled back in October 2021, with objections from 16 households nearby having been received since then citing concerns ranging from the loss of green space land and the lack of space on the road to the lack of school places.

The Bolton News: The land is currently used for grazing horsesThe land is currently used for grazing horses (Image: Newsquest)

Debating the proposals, committee member Cllr Debbie Newall argued in favour of rejecting the proposal, saying that simply “mitigating” the project was not good enough and that this mount amount to “chipping away at the green belt.”

Cllr David Grant raised similar concerns about the loss of green spaces and how even the loss of even a small space could lead to further building.

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He said: “I think it is profit driver, and this is not going to convince me otherwise.”

But the committee also heard about the borough’s need for new housing.

Cllr Andy Morgan said: “The major contention I see is about the green belt.”

He added: “But we do need these houses in Little Lever and Darcy Lever, we need these to meet our housing commitment.”

But ultimately a majority of the committee voted to refuse the plan.