Shock Decision by Government Planning Inspector Approves Development of Horwich Golf Course.
A Government Planning Inspector has made the bombshell decision to allow Horwich Golf Course and the field to the north of it, to be built on by Peel Holdings.
Bolton Council had originally refused permission for any development to take place over two planning applications which were for 276 houses and 150 houses respectively however Peel Holdings through their sub company Northstone Developments decided to appeal both of the refusal decisions to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.
A planning inquiry took place for both appeals at the same time in which both of your Horwich North East Labour Ward Councillors, Kevin McKeon and Richard Silvester spoke against the plans and in defence of Bolton Council’s refusal decisions. The Stocks Residents Association also defended the refusal decision and other local residents spoke against the plans as well at the inquiry.
The Planning Inspector however decided to overturn both of Bolton Council’s refusal decisions and allow development to take place.
Your Labour Ward Councillors are absolutely disappointed at this news and want to thank the Stocks Residents Association who fought valiantly and all local residents in the area for the hard work which has been undertaken to try and stop development taking place. Your Labour Ward Councillors have assisted and supported the Stocks Residents Association throughout the campaign and will continue to do so.
All Labour Councillors on Bolton Council’s Planning Committee had voted for refusal of both planning applications. It was Labour who had moved refusal and your Labour Ward Councillors had spoken against the applications at the Planning Committee meetings. Labour also put forward that Horwich Golf Course should become Green Belt land so everything possible was done locally to try and stop development. It has all come down to one individual from the Government who has turned the table around on us and reversed everything.
Cllr. Kevin McKeon said, “The Horwich community has received the devastating news that Peel Holdings have won their appeals against the decision of the Council and can now build on Horwich Golf Course. Along with Cllr. Silvester, I have worked with local residents in the five-year fight against development; both of us spoke at the public enquiry. I share the disappointment of local residents who have fought so hard to protect this vital green space. I want to pay tribute to the Stocks Residents Association who mounted an outstanding campaign. They have given us an example of citizen engagement; they couldn’t have done more. Peel have won two appeals; one to build 276 houses and the other to build 150 houses. They have to choose which option to take. The 150 would be the lesser of two evils but still indeed an evil”.
Cllr. Richard Silvester said, “I have fought against all three of the planning applications which Peel put forward, spoke against them at both Horwich and Bolton Council’s and they were all refused and spoke against development at the recent public inquiry alongside Cllr. McKeon. To say that I am shell shocked at the approval decision made by the Government Planning Inspector is an understatement. My heart goes out to all my residents and the Stocks Residents Association who I have stood with steadfastly in the campaign against building on Horwich Golf Course because the consequences for them and the future disruption to the area is not good. We will lose yet another important area of green open space in Horwich now purely down to Government housing targets and numbers. It is certainly a sad day for Horwich”.