A proposal to build houses on land where trees had been cut down which caused “outrage” has been thrown out.

The plan, which would have seen eight homes built off Manchester Road in the Kearsley Mount area, was first put before Bolton Council in November 2021.

But this provoked a largely hostile reaction, having come just under a year after trees were cut down in the area.

Cllr Paul Heslop said: “Just before Christmas 2020, there was initial outrage and disgust by residents at the perceived underhand way that mature trees were being felled.

“Just as council services were winding down on December 21 that year, local residents were remonstrating with contractors employed to cut down the trees.

The Bolton News: Up to eight homes had been proposedUp to eight homes had been proposed (Image: SJ Architecture Ltd)

“Unfortunately, the trees did not have tree protection orders and this was in large part due to under-resourced council departments being able to secure TPOs for many locations within the borough of Bolton.”

He added: “Less than a year after the trees were felled, a planning application for eight homes was submitted and this prompted One Kearsley to encourage local residents to become involved in the planning process.

“I received many representations from residents who were, put simply, horrified by the application.”

Cllr Heslop explained that that application was withdrawn only for another plan to be lodged in September 2022, which again attracted widespread objections.

He said: “Many residents came forward and said that they did not understand why they needed to object again when they had in fact made representations just months previously.”

The Bolton News: Manchester Road, KearsleyManchester Road, Kearsley (Image: Google Maps)

As many as 16 people had written to the authority objecting to the plans.

Cllr Heslop said: “In years past there have been many developments that Kearsley residents were unaware of until building started.

“It has always been the aim of One Kearsley to engage with residents when significant planning applications may impact on our surroundings, neighbourhoods, infrastructure, amenities, or the quality of life of our residents, and we thank these residents for engaging in matters affecting their area.

“Ultimately, for changes that potentially may negatively impact our residents, we may not win all our arguments but at least we put one forward.”

This week Bolton Council announced that the decision had been refused, citing concerns about the appearance of the street scene along with loss of privacy for residents on Severn Way.

A report judged that "the harm identified, and adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits."

Cllr Heslop's colleague Cllr Debbie Newall says that she too was aware of the issues people in the area had raised about the plan.

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She said: “As a member of the planning committee, I am bound by the rule of predetermined action and can't give an opinion on the merits or otherwise on a planning application but I was very much aware of the level of concern amongst residents about this application.  

“Cllr Heslop dealt with our objectors and I was aware that he was advising them on a regular basis.

“The application has been refused by planning officers for what seem to me to be very solid reasons for refusal.

“I suppose we will have to wait and see if the applicant appeals this decision.”