Despite Bolton Council unanimously rejecting the application to build 300 houses on Horwich Golf Club and an adjacent field, the developer Peel Investments (North) Limited has now lodged an appeal.
This means that a public enquiry will be held locally by the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
So, what can Horwich do to fight back?
Malcolm Harrison, chair of Stock Residents Association explained: “If we lose this fight, then no part of Horwich will be safe from developers.
"As well as losing valued green space, we expect at least an additional 600 cars on our roads during rush hour – it’s hard to imagine how Horwich will function with that many cars on Chorley Old Road, Stocks Park Drive, Victoria Road and Chorley New Road, not to mention the knock-on effect on the rest of Horwich.”
“Appeals, once made can move very quickly, with rumours afoot that this could be over by Christmas. So it’s important that Horwich gets ready to move quickly.”
Stocks Residents Association has made public its intention to commission a specialist planning barrister who can help make the legal challenge against Peel, providing the best chance of the original decision being upheld.
Maria Hilton of Stocks Residents Association said: “We have a massive fight on our hands. We may not have a fat cheque book like Peel, but we do have a big community spirit and a huge passion to keep Horwich green and moving.
“We need as many people as possible to join the Stocks Residents Association mailing list, so they are informed of developments and when to send in their objection. There will be a very short window of time to do this, so it’s important we’re all prepared to act fast.
“Nearly 20,000 people live in Horwich. If everyone encouraged a few friends and family to sign up and send in an objection, the opinion of Horwich could not be ignored. If we sit back now, this green land will be gone forever.”
You can join the Stocks Residents Association mailing list via firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information is also available at www.stocksRA.com
You will receive updates on the appeal and be alerted when to send in your objection, as well as advice on valid items to mention in your objection.
Stocks RA is holding a fundraising car wash, with coffee and cake while you wait, on Saturday October 13th (10am to 4pm) on Mayfair, Horwich and everyone is welcome.