PLANS to build thousands of homes in the green belt could be stopped if Bolton’s new council leader heeds to the requests of Conservatives in Bury.

Tory leader David Greenhalgh will be the only Conservative member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority when he takes over in Bolton next week.

Each of the 10 council leaders in the city-region, together with mayor Andy Burnham, have the power to veto certain decisions such as the 20-year masterplan for homes, jobs and the environment.

Bury’s Tory leader James Daly hopes to meet Cllr Greenhalgh at the "earliest opportunity" to discuss scrapping the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF).

Cllr Daly said: “All I can say is that I will continue to stand up for what I think is right for Bury. I will be trying to persuade all those at GM that the present draft is unacceptable.”

The latest draft includes plans to release 12 per cent of Bury’s green belt land for housing and industrial development.

However, no houses would be built on Bolton's green belt land under the current proposals – although two spots have been earmarked for industrial sites.

Cllr Greenhalgh supported the latest plans when they were released earlier this year.

He will listen to other leaders in the city-region before casting his vote although he has ruled out “meddling” in other boroughs’ affairs for now.

He said: “I will go in there primarily fighting Bolton’s corner and making sure Bolton gets its fair share of the available grants coming from devolution. I won’t be going in there straight away meddling in other boroughs' affairs and would not want anyone to do that with Bolton’s. Clearly, there are some big decisions in the next few months and I’ll be scrutinising them with a fresh eye.”

He added: “I want some assurances that all boroughs looked into and exhausted all options for development. We’re a very pro-conservation and protection of green belt party and we stand by that. In other boroughs, sadly, there’s a lot of green belt lost and we have to ensure that all options have been exhausted. But I will be seeking those assurances first before I go there heavy-handed and start meddling in other borough’s affairs.”

Bury council leader Rishi Shori said that Bolton has a significantly higher level of brownfield land allowing for no green belt to be released for housing.

He said: “A new Conservative leader in Bolton, I’m sure, will fully adopt the principles that we are all working together to improve the outcomes for Greater Manchester residents. And in that regard, I don’t see much change happening in the way we do business in terms of meeting our shared goals.”