A NEW development of up to 250 luxury homes earmarked for a former industrial site in Hapton has moved a step closer.
Work is set to begin treating contaminated land at the former William Blythe chemical works before it can be sold off to property developers – Monday’s meeting of Hapton Parish Council was told.
But before the 30 acre plot can be developed, six months of land capping work must be carried out which means up to 250 more wagons a week will drive through the village.
Fears were expressed by residents and councillors about the safety of schoolchildren at Hapton Primary School with the additional 6,000 lorries expected through the village during the project.
But Yule Catto, the company which owns the land, gave a presentation on the plans at the meeting to allay fears about the work which will begin in the next month.
Hapton Parish Council chairman Christine Pucket-Goulden said: “Our biggest fear was for the school with the big lorries coming down Manchester Road and people living in the houses along there.
“But Yule Catto has listened to us with the concerns about the regrading work. The fact that the work will now be done during the summer holidays takes away some of out concerns.
“The work has to be done. It is a necessity.
“We will have to cope with it over the next six months but once it is finished it will be better. We will be monitoring the situation.”
Mr Richard Atkinson, of Yule Catto, said: “We expect to enter into a contract with a chosen contractor fairly imminently and we hope to start work on the site this month so we can start importing the clay material needed to cap the land.”
He said that a traffic management plan would be put in place to limit the impact on the road through Hapton.
Mr Atkinson said that the firm is already marketing the “attractive” site to potential developers and hopes to sell it by next year.
Mrs Pucket-Goulden welcomed the news about the proposed housing development.
She said: “The plans are quite exciting. I am all for it. If it is a nice mix of housing it can only be a good thing for Hapton. It may just help the local shops, the chippy and the pub and it will definitely boost the village.
“I think a development like this would be very attractive. We are only 20 minutes away from Manchester and high-end houses would bring in commuter wealth from Manchester.”