PLANS to build 58 homes next to the motorway in Westhoughton have been thrown out and described as 'overdevelopment'.

Bolton Council rejected the proposal for Hartley's Farm in Wingates Lane, Westhoughton, which was submitted by Hollins Wingates earlier this year.

During the debate at the town hall yesterday, speakers and planning committee members criticised the application, referencing potential traffic issues and noise coming from the nearby M61.

Cllr Zoe Kirk-Robinson, ward councillor for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, spoke against the plans and said it was a 'high traffic area'.

She said: "This is an extreme overdevelopment that takes no account of the damage it will cause to the roads and the local neighbourhood.

"I believe this is only suggested for approval because we lost Bowlands Hey and Blackrod (appeals).

"This is a development leading out on to a road where we had to construct bollards on the kerb in order to stop gridlocked traffic mounting the pavement in order to get by.

"To suggest this development is acceptable at this location and with this connection to the local highways is ludicrous.

"I implore you to reject this application."

Hollins Wingates claims the development would be ideally located because of the nearby road links, bus stops and Westhoughton Railway Station.

The design and access statement said: "The proposals comply with the policies of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework as a whole and it is evident that they represent sustainable development.

"They will result in numerous benefits, including sustainable housing development and the easing of pressure for release of Green Belt land to development, which are not significantly and demonstrably outweighed by any adverse impacts.

"The presumption in favour of sustainable development should therefore be applied and planning permission should be forthcoming."

But councillors argued that despite recent rejections being overturned by planning inspectors, including Bowlands Hey in Westhoughton, it did not mean they had to approve every application.

Cllr Bob Allen said the development did not meet the criteria set by Bolton Council for development in protected open land.

He said: "The justification the applicant has given is that a planning inspector has overturned our decisions on two previous occasions.

"I do not think that can be given as a reason to approve this application.

"This council has a duty to prioritise building houses on brownfield sites as per our allocation plan.

"I do not think there is any planning justification to approve this application. It does not meet the criteria of our allocation plan."

Some councillors raised concerns that the refusal would be overturned at a later date and was not worth the cost of an appeal.

But members voted to rejected the plans.