A MULTI-BILLION pound developer is pressing to stop residents affected by major building plans from setting up a neighbourhood forum.

Peel Holdings has repeatedly lodged objections to Over Hulton residents’ efforts to create the forum and design a neighbourhood plan for the area.

The developer has accused the group, led by Cllr Diane Parkinson, of wanting to use the plan and forum principally to oppose Peel’s plans to build a championship golf course and more than 1,000 homes on the Hulton Park Estate.

Bolton Council had been expected to approve the creation of the forum last week, but has now delayed its decision after Peel lodged a new objection — which came in addition to previous complaints raised in June and October.

Maxine Peake speaks out against Ryder Cup development at Hulton Park

Cllr Parkinson, whose group came back with improved plans to set up the forum in response to council recommendations in July, said: “We feel that we have covered the comments raised by Peel in our application.

“We are disappointed now because we were very pleased when we realised that the council were going to recommend accepting the forum. Then when it came to the meeting last week this new letter from Peel had appeared and, as a result, the decision has been deferred until the council’s legal department has looked into it further.

“As a group, we feel optimistic and confident that the council will make the right decision for the residents of Over Hulton.”

Peel complained that the boundaries of the proposed Over Hulton neighbourhood area are ‘artificial and contrived’.

The developer added: “The proposed neighbourhood forum membership appears to be concentrated in residential areas surrounding Hulton Park, and there is a concern that the promoters of the neighbourhood plan are seeking principally to oppose Peel’s proposals for Hulton Park

“The membership of the proposed neighbourhood forum appears to be overwhelmingly comprised of residents and there is little to suggest that it has an interest in progressing a neighbourhood plan that represents other stakeholders.”

In initially recommending the approval of the forum plan, the council dismissed Peel’s concerns, stating that ‘forums must be open to those who live and work in the area along with elected members of the local authority’.

The council added that the group’s application ‘specifically states’ it is not being formed to oppose the Hulton Park plans.