Residents are gearing up to once again oppose plans to develop new homes on the site of a bungalow.

A consultation is underway into draft proposals to build 20 new homes on the Somerville Bungalow site off Grizedale Close in Smithills.

This comes just over a year after the planning inspectorate ruled out a plan for a four-storey block of 35 flats with eight houses on the same site, that had twice been refused by Bolton Council. 

The previous plan, lodged by Watson Homes, was rejected by the UK Planning Inspectorate in January 2023.

But now, developers Wiggett Homes Ltd have come up with fresh proposals.

After receiving letters from Wiggett Homes regarding the draft proposals, 24 residents came together this week to share their concerns about the potential development with The Bolton News.

The Bolton News: The area where the road and houses will goThe area where the road and houses will go (Image: NQ)Bridget Martin, an Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Law in the School of Law and Policing at the University of Central Lancashire, specialising in Environmental Law, has been campaigning with other residents since the first proposals were submitted in 2021.

She said: “Having so many of us turning out just shows the strength of support against the potential application.

“There are 24 people here but there are many more people who are also set to object the new scheme.

“When I first heard about the new scheme my heart sank. I just thought not again, because it is exhausting fighting off a planning application.

“There is no dispute that this is part of a rich ecosystem, it is a greenfield site, containing a tiny patch of brownfield land and it is home to many species.

“The site forms part of a wildlife corridor linking Doffcocker Lodge, an important Nature Reserve, to Moss Bank Park and the moors.

“In fact, even people can walk straight through from the Lodge to Moss Bank Park and up onto the moors, it’s about half a mile.

“We will be opposing the plans if they are put in.”

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Bridget said there are hundreds of birds, amphibians, pollinators, butterflies, plants and flowers that have made a home in the area where the homes will be.

Mary Holt a resident on Moss Bank Way, said: “As a group we are putting an objection in against the second proposal for the 20 homes, the first proposal included a four storey block of flats and eight houses which was unanimously refused, twice in the chambers and once by the inspectorate.

“And the new draft proposals that are coming is for 20 properties which is overdevelopment and poses the same issues that we had before such as pollution, noise, security, the road with around 40 cars set to drive on here if the plans are passed and the biodiversity.

The Bolton News: The Somerville Bungalow site off Grizedale Close in Smithills.The Somerville Bungalow site off Grizedale Close in Smithills. (Image: NQ)“Everything is the same, the only thing that has changed is 20 houses which includes three storey properties which in effect will look like four storeys because they have to elevate the land at the site – and these will be at the back of my bungalow.

"We still have the issues with biodiversity, this will affect the wildlife in the area and nothing has changed, it is just a new plan.

“There is so much wildlife in the area they want to bring these new houses, there are so many birds, owls, foxes, deer’s and more.

“It feels disappointing that there is a fresh scheme because what does it stand for, we went to (council) chambers twice and won it unanimously and then the inspectorate said no and then for somebody else to come along and dismiss that and all the hard work we have put in, it’s very disappointing, there are lots of other brownfield sites to build on.”

The Bolton News: How some of the homes could lookHow some of the homes could look (Image: NQ)Tina Wu and Marco Li, have three children and are worried about privacy if the plans go ahead as the three storey properties will overlook their bungalow and back garden.

Tina said: “We live in a bungalow on Moss Bank Way and our garden is quite low and if these plans do happen with the three storeys we will have no privacy.

“It will be like our property is a stage and the houses built will be like the audience and it will be like they are watching us.

“The properties will be high up and there will be a lack of privacy.”

The draft proposal will see 20 new homes built on the site, including a range of three and four-bedroom houses, with access off Grizedale Close, Bolton. 

The developer says the build is “ideal for growing families.”

A spokesperson for Wiggett Homes said: "Wiggett Homes hope that the development of the site if approved will provide much needed family homes.

"We have sent out information to nearby home owners and a local press release to obtain the views of local people before we finalise our planning application and our consultants have undertaken surveys at the site.

"We will respond to the points raised in the public consultation exercise as part of our planning application."

Wiggett Homes says that the consultation period is open until May 24 this year and that they hope to submit full plans to Bolton Council after considering feedback.

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