Westhoughton Community Network

group for and run by community groups in Westhoughton

S.W.A.N. (Save Westhoughton Act Now)

S.W.A.N.'s mission to defend areas of protected open land and to keep a watching brief over planning issues that affect Westhoughton.

About Us

Formed in 1998 by local residents as a campaign group to stop the building of 1100 homes and industrial estate on green land at Lee Hall, still meeting regularly, S.W.A.N. has developed expertise in planning law and has sought to represent residents, influence debate and policy, and where necessary oppose inappropriate development.

It is a group concerned about planning developments in the Westhoughton area, and keep a watching brief over planning issues that affect the area; and thus their impact upon 'Green Spaces', 'Environment', 'Traffic & Infrastructure' and 'Amenities'.

It has a popular website giving information about planning and related issues affecting Westhoughton

S.W.A.N.'s expertise and input has fed into local planning policy. Three key areas had been given 'Protected Open Land' status in statutory planning documents (UDP and LDF), and in the recent Local Plan consultation, over-development and pressure on infrastructure and services has been acknowledged by Bolton Council Planners and Planning Inspector.

Protected Open Land around WesthoughtonProtected Open Land

Three key areas of green space are were designated 'Protected Open Land' (POL) meaning development is 'less likely' and the town's independent character is maintained.

  • Lee Hall
  • Bowlands Hey
  • Ditchers Farm

Following a Planning Appeal decision on a Blackrod site citing a shortfall of building completions in Bolton as per the '5-year Supply Requirement' there is now some doubt the status of POL sites.

The emergence of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) in recent years has, despite its adoption in 2011, superseded the Local Plan; newer planning policy and development target shortfalls have led to successfully appealed planning applications on both Bowlands Hey and Lee Hall.

Current Issues

  • The demise of the Bolton Local Plan (formerly Local Development Framework [LDF]).
  • New National Planning Policy Framework to presume in favour of 'sustainable development' to increase house-building.
  • Population growth – recent report suggests Bolton's population will grow by 20% by 2035.
  • Possible Lee Hall development. Not part of 2011-2026 'Local Plan', there have been submissions by developers as part of a review consultation for development of this significant area of land buffering Westhoughton and Atherton. (Similar proposals submitted for Ditcher's Farm and Bowlands Hey*.) Although a review by the Planning Inspector declared the Local Plan 'sound', with no major revision to allocated sites and key areas of 'protected open land' keeping that status, in late July Persimmon have put forward plans for a 300-dwelling development (94696/15) on land north of Platt Lane up to Chequerbent. There is strong opposition locally voiced during the consultation period. The application was unanimously rejected at the Bolton Council Planning Committee meeting 22/10/15. Persimmon and Peel Holdings initiated an Appeal against this refusal, the application reviewed by the Planning Inspector and approved (19 Dec 2017). Further development of Lee Hall is likely since its inclusion in GMSF.
    Protected Open Land at Bowlands Hey saw planning application for 129-dwellings. Initially refused in late 2016, it has since been approved by a Planning Inspector and will go ahead.
  • Greater Manchester Spatial Strategy (to 2035) - Devolution will mean planning comes under the control of the new 10-Council Greater Manchester Authority - a key priority is to increase house-building to boost the economy ('Northern Powerhouse'). What will this mean for Bolton and Westhoughton?
    Proposed sites have been submitted - submitted sites for consideration [use zoom, and layers]. Note, incursions into Protected Open Land and Green Belt.
    20/10/16 saw the release of the consultation with GM-wide plans for 277,200 dwellings, including large Bolton sites at Lee Hall/Hulton Park, Bowlands Hey and near Gibfield (4,500 dwellings in total).
    GMSF Consultation First Draft - closed 16/1/17. Feedback and concern mainly over loss of green belt land will see a revised draft produced in 2018.

Exhibition on Planning & Development at Westhoughton Library

Westhoughton Under Siege - Planning Exhibition by Westhoughton Local History Group (Library late 2015)Entitled 'Westhoughton and the Threat of Siege', this late 2015 exhibition at Westhoughton Library, and put on by Westhoughton Local History Group, told the story of the growth and development of Westhoughton from the days of the 'Manchester and Salford Overspill' to now.

A comprehensive collection of information, maps and photos covering the last half-century as Westhoughton has grown, doubling in size. The plan, the battles, the campaigns and the emergence of S.W.A.N. (Save Westhoughton Act Now) as a pressure group focusing on the planning issues affecting the town.

S.W.A.N. (Save Westhoughton Act Now) website link Contact Information

For further details visit the S.W.A.N. website

Social Media: S.W.A.N. Facebook groupS.W.A.N. Facebook Group | S.W.A.N. on Twitter@SWAN_online.

 

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Participating Groups

Local Amenities

Photos & Videos

Music

Useful Links

Community Events

  • Fantastic Fridays
    27 July - 24 Aug (2-3pm)
    Westhoughton Library
    School holiday fun and learning at local library. Series of fun, child-friendly sessions on a Friday afternoon. More info.
  • St. James DH 'Open Doors'
    Sat, 25 Aug (10am-12pm)
    Chance to visit church last Saturday of month for coffee, chat, contemplation. Learn about community facility plans and concert series. Book stall. Local History Group to exhibit looking for contributions to their Westhoughton After WWI project info.
  • HACFRA Funday
    Sat, 25 Aug (11am-4pm)
    John Holt Centre (BL5 2NR)
    Join Hindleys and Clough Farm Residents Association for a day of family fun as HACFRA invite you to their Summer Funday! Giant slide sporting activities; stalls… name the teddy raffles, tombolas, hot food.
  • Howfenbury
    Sat 25 Aug (12-8)
    White Lion Car Park, Bolton Road (BL5 3AN)
    Free music event from Howfen Radio/Holt Breweries! Day of live performances: local talent, singers, dancers, bands… Kids attractions/activities.
  • George Formby Society
    Wed 29 Aug (from 7:30pm)
    Mercury Bolton, Manchester Road (BL5 3JP)
    Back from appearance at Royal Albert Hall before Queen. Fans of George Formby and the ukulele gather to talk, play and be entertained. Last Wed every month.
  • Westhoughton Poetry Group
    Thurs 30 Aug (from 2pm)
    Get poetic - budding Wordsworth or Pam Ayres? - monthly mtg of creative writing group. Newcomers welcome. Contribute or just listen. Free.
  • Flower, Fruit & Veg Show
    Sun 2 Sept (2-4pm)
    Daisy Hill Cricket Club (BL5 2EB)
    Organised by Daisy Hill in Bloom, local residents show off their horticultural expertise and exploits. Various classes. Entries welcome on the day.
  • Eatock Lodge Family Funday
    Sun 2 Sept (12-4)
    Popular event at Eatock Lodge (Local Nature Reserve) with Lancashire Wildlife Trust providing educational activities, nature themes and attractions. Family fun in a beautiful setting.
  • Community Police
    Informal, confidential drop-ins held by Pcsos, chance to discuss local issues, seek advice on security & crime prevention.
    John Holt: Tues 28 Aug (9:30-11:00am)
    WH Market: Thurs 6 Sept (12-1pm)
    Information about
  • Barking Berry's Fun Dog Show
    6th Fund Dog Show took place on Central Park (16/6) with its mix of competition, stalls, attractions. Very good turn out… £2,030 raised, with £550 each going to chosen animal charities - Care For The Paw, Dogs Trust Merseyside, Harley's Heroes and Rochdale Dog Rescue.
    info
  • Friends of Westhoughton Station
    Meeting Sundays from 10am, volunteer group undertake clean-up and ambient improvement work at Westhoughton Station benefiting local commuters. Excellent progress. All welcome.
    More...
    . Finalists 'Community Rail Awards' 2015. Town Council 'Certificate of Achievement'. Recent clean-up
  • Hope Community Centre
    Central Drive
    Updated programme. Group activities and events; available for hire for community groups - also parties. 'Grub tub' available for Foodbank donations - 9:30am to 3pm on Mondays.
  • WOW! Women of Westhoughton
    Thursdays from 7:30pm
    Hope Centre (Central Drive) BL5 3DS
    Est. 2013, women's group for shared interests, talks, outings & social networking. Updated programme.
    More...
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