FEARS have been raised over the future of a popular green space home to wildlife and “rare trees” after developers drew up plans to create a roadway through a wooded area.

Avantguard Building Contracts Ltd want to build two apartment blocks housing 18 flats on land at the back of Roka Restaurant in Bradshaw Brow ­— with new plans to access the site through Longsight Park Arboretum, with works including“road widening, kerbs, footpath and lighting”. They say the "unadopted public highway" will provide "a safe and less complicated access."

Friends of Longsight Park have been volunteering to improve the park including making the arboretum an attraction with information notices.

Jane Wilcock, chairwoman of Friends of Longsight Park, described the area as a “hidden gem” and speaking to The Bolton News in a personal capacity, urged locals to object to plans to site the access route there.

She has been backed by Bolton Council’s Greenspace Neighbourhood Service which has objected to the “new access” saying it will be detrimental to the entrance which is presently a pedestrian access.

It adds that “contrary to the application form” the proposed development site lies directly adjacent to Upper Bradshaw Valley Local Nature Reserve, and that access across the reserve or to store materials “will not be consented and must not occur.” And she said the developer’s proposal to refurbish the steps off Bradshaw Brow is “not adequate compensation”.

Dr Wilcock said: “For me, the arboretum is a small plot of land a few 100m across, with numerous rare trees. It leads, by a bridge, over Bradshaw brook to the rest of Longsight Park. The roadway will cut into the arboretum which is home to rabbits, roe deer, kingfisher, fox, badger, bats and hedgehogs

“People regularly use the arboretum to enjoy the trees, the whole of Longsight park, play football to travel into Harwood and Bradshaw including as an off-road route to Morrisons supermarket, children going to and from school. There is no traffic.

“We are just about to install a new bench on this path and have repaired the far end of this path from the substation to the bridge this year and planted new trees.”

She concluded: “Please write and object to this roadway creation and keep our green spaces green.”