Leaf nature alone! Bolton protestor fronts petition to battle against new homes built on woodland

By Ben Butler

A Bolton woman is fronting a petition demanding that the council scrap their plans to build houses on the site of a ‘beautiful’ woodland area.

Protestor Elaine Williams vowed to save Burnthwaite Old Hall and the area around it and said council-owned land should be protected for the benefit of future generations, not ‘destroyed’ by housing development.

According to Elaine, it is one of the few remaining areas of natural woodland in the town’s suburbs and a haven for wildlife including deer, owls, bats and hedgehogs.

She said: “It hosts many protected and endangered plant species, including a swathe of bluebell woodlands in the spring.

“It is a beautiful and much loved amenity, used by walkers, by families and children, by horse riders and cyclists.

“As council owned land it should be protected for the benefit of future generations not destroyed by housing development.”

Bolton Council submitted a planning application in August for the building of five large houses on the Hall Lane site, near Horwich town centre.

The proposals include two storey five bedroom properties with double garages and a provision for several car parking spaces.

A Design and Access Statement said the buildings would be limited to two levels rather than three to limit the impact of the development on the surroundings.

“The site is currently occupied by rough grass and dense mature woodland,” the statement read.

“TPO trees will be carefully preserved along with the vast majority of shrubs and mature trees within the site.”

However, the plans have been met with a barrage of hostility from residents in Bolton.

Resident Jayne Hill said: “We wish to object very strongly to this application.

“We regularly use this area to walk our dogs and feel there is no justification in destroying such a beautiful and peaceful area of green belt, which can never be replaced.”

Teacher Tim Brown, of Holly Dene Drive, said: “It is evident that many children are missing out on the same experiences I had when growing up.

“Building independence and keeping fit and healthy were integral to this and the woods’ offer this in abundance.

“Surely families should be being encouraged to explore the area rather than destroying such a beautiful natural playground.”

Plans aim to provide a small, secure community revitalising the site which has been disused since the demolition of the former Burnthwaite Children’s Home.

Image courtesy of Mark A Coleman via Flickr, with thanks.

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