CAMPAIGNERS are “absolutely delighted” after a controversial housing plan was rejected by authorities.

Bolton Council turned down proposals from Avantguard Building Contracts Ltd to build two apartment blocks housing 18 flats on land at the back of Roka Restaurant in Bradshaw Brow.

It included plans for an “unadopted public highway” to access the site through Longsight Park Arboretum, with works including “road widening, kerbs, footpath and lighting”.

The Friends of Longsight Park have been speaking out against project since it was announced and had urged locals to oppose it.

Jane Wilcock, chairwoman of the group, told The Bolton News she was “delighted” with the decision.

She said: “I want to say a big thank you to everybody who has objected to it. It means we have retained the arboretum.

“It’s lovely place to walk particularly for local people and the Canon Slade pupils.

“It’s really an idyllic walk.”

Dr Wilcock had been concerned about the pollution and traffic problems that the development would cause as well as the danger to wildlife.

She added: “We have foxes, rabbits and deer in the there and they are protected now not just for us but for future generations.”

The proposal was first put to the council in June but officers returned a verdict last week.

It received a number of objections including opposition from Labour's David Crausby.

Bolton Council’s Greenspace Neighbourhood Service has also objected to the “new access” saying it will be detrimental to the entrance area of Longsight Park

Explaining the decision, council officer Helen Williams said the development would have caused harm to the wildlife found within Longsight Park and that it would mean cutting down too many trees in the area.

She said: “For the reasons discussed above it is considered that the proposed access to the development would be substandard and would harmfully encroach into the neighbouring Local Nature Reserve, the proposed development would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area, there would be an unacceptable loss of trees from the site and neighbouring the site, and that insufficient information has been provided by the applicant with regards to flood risk and bats.”