ANGRY residents fear losing a battle over a controversial bus depot, after a noise reduction order on the site was lifted.

Neighbours of the Tyrers Coaches depot in Farnworth have complained that noise from the facility has ruined their quality of life since the firm moved onto the land without council permission in 2015.

Last year, Bolton Council rejected the company’s bid to continue operating at the Bloomfield Road site and also issued a noise abatement order.

A planning inquiry now scheduled for June will decide the depot’s future, but residents’ hopes have been dealt a blow after the noise order was lifted following a new court-ordered survey.

A council spokesman said: “The court recommended that a joint survey was undertaken. As a result of the joint monitoring the council had no option other than to agree that there was no statutory nuisance.”

Resident John Anderton has called for an independent and unannounced noise survey to be carried out, after complaining that the latest one was ‘stage-managed’ and did not reflect the everyday activity at the depot.

A spokesman for Tyrers said the new survey was carried out independently and that there is ‘no evidence’ of excessive noise nuisance.

Mr Anderton added: “Why has there been a complete U-turn on this? Nothing has changed since the noise abatement notice was first issued, and yet the council’s view has now changed.

“I have been submitting nuisance diaries to the council and what they show is that Tyrers are not meeting the terms of the noise management plan.

“When the buses leave the site in the morning there are horns blazing and terrible vibrations.

“The council did their previous studies over a 22-month period, at different times and from different locations. Now they have been forgotten.”

Kearsley ward councillor Derek Burrows was left shocked by the news that the noise order was being withdrawn and now fears that the council will not be able to defeat Tyrers’ appeal at the planning inquiry in June.

Cllr Burrows said: “I have been informed that the noise abatement notice is being withdrawn because the council would not be able to defend it in court.

“I am not happy about that. The previous report that the council did said it was quite clear that there was too much noise and Tyrers aren’t sticking to what they should be.

“We must have had sufficient evidence to produce to the court in the first place to get the notice imposed.

“But I am now assuming that if we cannot uphold this notice then we will not be able to win the planning appeal either.”

A Tyrers spokesman said: “The noise survey was carried out independently by a noise test specialist.

“It was done in conjunction with Bolton Council, which has received the findings.

“Our company employs 50 people and has brought an empty site back into use.

“We have a noise management plan in place and there is no evidence that it is not being kept to.

“We understand the residents and we have worked with them for two years.

“All of our drivers have been brilliant and adhere to the noise management plan.”

Last April, the council served an enforcement notice calling on Tyrers to vacate the site within six months.

However, the company’s planning appeal against means that order cannot be enforced.

At the planning committee meeting where the firm’s application was rejected last March, former council leader Cliff Morris said that ‘a little imagination’ could have resolved the dispute.

Tyrers company director Matt Buckle previously said that the family-run firm had a ‘well-founded’ case for appeal, adding that the site is in a ‘sustainable location’ and supports local jobs.

The planning inquiry is scheduled for June 5.