A plan which will shape Bolton for years to come has been sent to the government for examination.
Bolton Council is the first Greater Manchester authority, and one of the first in the north west, to submit its core strategy document.
The document sets out the future for planning in the borough up to 2026, with a series of policies on key issues such as housing, employment, retail and transport development.
The government will now arrange for an independent examination of the plan by an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate, which will include a public hearing.
Councillor John Byrne, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, said: “We’re the first in Greater Manchester and one of the first in the north west to have got to this stage, which is excellent news.
"We’ve carried out extensive consultation over the last four years and we have written to everyone who has formally commented on the core strategy to let them know it has been submitted.
"The public can now inspect the document, which has been revised following their feedback. Once the inspector has examined the plan, they will make recommendations that the council must follow before it finally approves it.”
The council has made a number of changes to the core strategy following public consultation. The document now allocates 145ha to 165ha of land for employment use whereas previously it was 175ha to 195ha. This change has arisen as the council resolved to reduce the amount of green belt required for industrial development on the Cutacre site by almost two thirds.
The plan also recognises the importance of the Horwich Loco Works site and the need for a supplementary planning document to guide the development of the site.
The core strategy is available to view at local libraries, the One Stop Shop in Bolton Town Hall and online by following the link on the right.