A PLANNING committee has suspended making a decision about an application to build up to 100 houses in Atherton.

Councillors decided that they needed to visit the proposed site to the south of Bee Fold Lane after hearing arguments from both sides of the debate.

The application received 119 letters of objection from residents – including from several councillors and Leigh MP Andy Burnham – and two petitions with a combined total of 640 signatures.

Barbara Constantine spoke on behalf of Aspect, a campaign group that opposes the planning application.

She told the committee that the group thinks the application should be rejected as it is not included in the core strategy that was agreed by Wigan Council and they would therefore ‘be going against the recommendation of the inspector.’ “The only access to the site is from Hamilton Street. This is a 20 mile an hour road with speed humps - not 30 mile an hour as stated in the the application.

“There is also signage at either end that says the road is unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles that would be needed for construction.”

Other Concerns raised in the objections included a lack of infrastructure to deal with the increase of people, loss of open space and the stability of the land.

Sarah Jones spoke in support of the application saying that the development was in a sustainable area, it would not burden nearby services and 25 per cent of the houses would be affordable and .

“No technical issues with the application have been found by the council officers,” she said.

“The land was not included in the core strategy because it was thought that two other sites would come forward.

“They have not come forward as expected and there is a need for deliverable housing sites in the area.”

Council officers have recommended that the application be approved but the planning committee unanimously voted in favour of a site visit and it will taking place before their next meeting.