PLANS to build 99 homes in Leigh have been approved by councillors.

Locals said the development would cause "real distress and hardship" to the elderly residents who would have to put up with "months or years" of disruption as the construction work was ongoing.

But councillors backed the plans, with one saying that building on a brownfield site – on land east of Sovereign Fold Road in Westleigh – protected the borough’s green belt from development.

A speaker for the company behind the plans, Seddon Homes, said that the development was "entirely appropriate’ for the site, and pointed to the fact they had introduced some bungalows into the site to blend it in more with surrounding homes.

Officers who recommended that the plans be approved said that the plot is "sustainably located on the periphery of an existing residential community".

There was "no evidence that there is insufficient capacity within the local infrastructure", he added.

The plans are mainly a mix of three and bed homes, along with 11 two bedroom homes and eight flats.

Leigh Journal:

A CGI image of a house at the proposed site. Picture: Seddon Homes

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Some concerns had been raised about the impact of the construction period on local residents.

A statement read out on their behalf said the building period would cause "real distress and hardship for the elderly", adding that they feared engines would leave "waves of dirt behind them".

And others raised fears about congestion and traffic.

But councillor Jeanette Prescott said: “We do need houses, I know it’s greenfield but it’s land that we want to be looking at building on – not looking at building on the green belt.”

She added: “I understand that residents don’t like it and don’t want change and they are concerned about noise but everywhere you build, you, you’re going to get a bit of dirt, and a bit of noise. If we went on that category, nothing would be built.”

And a council officer said that vehicle modelling showed that the development would likely result in one additional vehicle per minute entering or leaving the site during peak hour traffic periods.

A section 106 agreement included within the proposal also means the developer will stump up £100,026 for off-site outdoor gym and toddler play equipment at Westleigh Park, £57,134 towards upgrade of Pickley Green railway path, £198,628 on secondary school placements and £5,953 ecological off-setting mitigation at Pickley Green.

They have also been asked to provide £17,500 in off-site highway improvements, £4,000 on an on-site traffic regulation order to introduce a 20mph speed limit within the development, £4,000 on off-site traffic regulation order to introduce/extend parking and loading restrictions at the junction of Sovereign Fold Road with Westleigh Lane and £2,500.00 towards monitoring of the Travel Plan.