A CONTROVERSIAL housing development would boost the borough’s economy by £7 million a year, a developer claims.

Bellway Homes last week unveiled its proposals for a £21m development of 174 houses in Westhoughton, the second phase of its Bowlands Hey estate.

Consultants Lichfields, which has submitted the plans on behalf of the housebuilder, says the scheme would sustain 45 on-site construction jobs and support almost 70 off-site jobs in construction related industries over the four-year build period.

Senior director Simon Pemberton added: “The development boasts a significant amount of open space, some of which ties in to the existing Pennington Brook which runs along one side of the development and helps to establish the development appropriately in its position on the edge of the urban area.”

Both residents and councillors have raised concerns over the plans, amid fears that Westhoughton’s infrastructure cannot cope with more new homes.