One of the “small area of wildlife” in a town that has seen huge developments in recent years could be protected by a legal order.

Westhoughton has seen house building projects and schemes like the Wingates Industrial Estate expansion in recent years, sparking widespread concerns about the environment.

At a town hall meeting just last week Cllr Deirdre McGeown, of Westhoughton North and Hunger Hill, asked what could be done to protect a particular “beauty spot” just off Wingates Lane.

Cllr McGeown said: “The council owns an area of wooded land that runs along with side of Wingates Lane and Church Lane in Westhoughton.

“This is one of the few remaining areas of woodland in Westhoughton.

The issue was debated at Bolton Town Hall (Image: Newsquest)

“Residents in the area have asked Bolton Council numerous times for the woodland to have a Woodland Protection Order on it to protect this beauty spot, Bolton Council have refused on the grounds they own it.

“However, residents have learned to have no faith in the promises of Bolton Council regarding development issues in Westhoughton.”

She asked a full meeting of the council what could be done for the “small area for wildlife to be protected from developers for future generations".

In response council cabinet member for the environment Cllr Richard Silvester said he would be open to measures put forward to protect the land in Westhoughton.

Cllr Silvester said: “I actually have no problem in the slightest if a Woodland Protection Order were to be made.

“I am certainly not against it that is what Cllr McGeown believes to be a priority issue in her ward and the residents of her ward also believe it to be a priority issue.

“And if Cllr McGeown and her ward colleagues wish to use their working ward budget to fund such an order then this will have my support.”

He added: “If the area working officer covering Westhoughton North ward approaches my officers with the offer to fund such a Woodland Protection Order then please let me know as executive cabinet member if there is any kind of problem encountered which I can assist with.”

Cllr Silvester said he was also open to other areas and their representatives putting forward similar ideas.

He also said that the council was working with the Fields in Trust charity to help identify parcels of land around Bolton that are “community assets” and to protect them from development.