THE Tory leader of Bolton Council will not block the region’s masterplan for homes, jobs and the environment which would see see vast swathes of the countryside developed for housing and industrial sites.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, who has the power to veto the latest draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF), has said that the new Conservative administration will support it.

Tories in Bury had urged Bolton’s new chief, the only Conservative leader in Greater Manchester, to vote against the plans. Bury’s Conservative leader James Daly said his party would still veto the proposal if it was in power.

He said: “David will obviously do what he believes is in the best interests of Bolton residents, however if there is a Conservative administration in Bury after next May’s elections we would veto the current draft of the GMSF.

“The loss of such a large area of the borough’s green belt is not acceptable or necessary and we believe the proposed developments will negatively impact on the lives of all Bury residents through the loss of precious open spaces and countryside, increased congestion on our roads and a polluted atmosphere.

“Wildlife and habitat will be decimated. There is no credible plan for the infrastructure to support such development and how it will be paid for, no plan to redevelop our urban centres and no plan to provide the truly affordable housing our residents need on brownfield sites within the borough.”

Cllr Greenhalgh said he would not oppose the proposal because no beauty spots have been earmarked for housing in Bolton.

He said: “We will support the GMSF because Bolton gets a good deal. There is no proposed housebuilding within Bolton’s green belt. It’s for other Conservative groups to fight their own battles. They need to fight their own Labour councils.”

A public consultation on the latest version of the GMSF ran from January 14 to March 18 earlier this year. Results are currently being analysed.