THE future of a popular car boot sale could be rubber stamped by the town hall next week, meaning it may feature on more weekends over the summer.

The operators of the regular event off Morleys Lane in Astley, have returned to Wigan Council with scaled back plans following a previous rejection.

They are asking for permission to hold the East Lancs car boot sale for 24 days per calendar year and officers have recommended the bid for approval.

An application for 52 days submitted in 2017 was rejected by the town hall for being inappropriate use of green belt land.

But the fresh proposal is said to have a "minor impact" on the green belt, according to applicant Jonathan Tonge.

A report tabled for next week’s meeting of the planning committee says car boot sales and markets are permitted for 14 days in any calendar year under  development legislation.

However, any use above this 14 day threshold requires planning permission.

The council says granting approval would therefore allow officers to set conditions relating to hours of operation and traffic management that it would otherwise have no control over.

“In the planning balance these are considered to clearly outweigh the harm to the green belt by reason of inappropriateness,” an officer’s report states.

 A traffic management plan would be put in place to allay fears over the impact on nearby Astley Village.

Concerns had been voiced by ward councillors, the report says, as more vehicles at weekends could be "detrimental" to residents in the village.

The planning report reads: “There is plainly a demand for such events and it is therefore necessary to accommodate them somewhere, and this is considered a suitable site in many respects.

“There is limited harm to the openness of the green belt with no permanent structures and vehicles only being present on the site for a limited time.”

The sales would take place between April and September on Sundays and bank holidays with hours of operation limited to between 6.30am and 2pm.

Wigan’s planning committee will meet on Tuesday, February 12.