Horwich North East Labour Councillors Kevin McKeon and Richard Silvester have proposed that the locally known ‘Llama field’ which is located between Lever Park Avenue and Green Lane in Horwich, to become Green Belt land.
The two Councillors made submissions to the recent Places for Everyone consultation which is a joint development plan of nine of the Greater Manchester authorities excluding Stockport.
The plan will define new Green Belt boundaries for Greater Manchester.
The field currently has the status of Other Protected Open Land which is one category below Green Belt and although it is afforded some protection from development, that is not guaranteed.
The field was the subject of a planning application for the erection of 75 dwellings however this was refused by Bolton Council. The refusal decision is presently being appealed by the developer and the outcome of the appeal has not yet been decided by the Planning Inspectorate.
Bolton Council has never supported the development of the field through any of its development plans and the land is not designated for housing in the Council’s allocations plan.
The field is adjacent to Green Belt land in the Chorley Council area as the land is adjacent to the boundary of both local authority areas.
The planning application was refused by Bolton Council because it would represent inappropriate development of Other Protected Open Land therefore being contrary to Bolton’s Allocations Plan and Bolton’s Core Strategy. It was not considered to comply with the development plan nor comprise sustainable development. It was found not to maintain or respect the character and appearance of the area or its landscape setting, or enhance biodiversity. The adverse impacts would also significantly and demonstrably outweigh any benefits and the proposals would not improve the environmental conditions of the area.
Cllr. McKeon said, ‘I objected to the recent planning application along with Cllr. Silvester to the development of this field for housing. Thankfully Bolton Council refused the application and it would be absolutely excellent if we can get it to become Green Belt land. It is a much loved field with fantastic open views up to Rivington’. Cllr. Silvester said, ‘If you don’t try then you don’t get and myself and Cllr. McKeon are therefore trying. We hope we will be successful and the powers that be will consider our submissions. We will find out in due course so fingers crossed’.
If the two Councillors are successful in getting the land into the final plan to become Green Belt, then later this month it will be sent to the Government and there will then be a public examination.