Plans to build over 170 homes in Adlington have been put on hold after the Government took heed of a demand to ‘call in’ the application.

Chorley Council heard within 24 hours of making a stand at last Tuesday’s development control meeting the Department for Communities and Local Government had issued a ‘holding direction’ on the application.

That means the council has been told it cannot grant planning permission for the controversial development, off Bolton Road, until the Secretary of State has had chance to consider whether he should determine the application and call it in.

Councillor Dennis Edgerley, who oversees the planning function at Chorley Council, welcomed the Government’s move.

He said: “We hope that he (the minister) takes plenty of time to carefully consider all the issues related to the application because it could have far reaching consequences for the whole of the Chorley borough in the coming years.

“I’d urge all the residents and people interested involved to lobby the minister, Eric Pickles MP, because the more he can get a sense of the strength of feeling on the topic of new housing developments, the more chance we have of getting what we think is the right outcome.”

The council’s development control committee reluctantly granted planning permission for the development on Tuesday night claiming that the previous decisions of planning inspectors meant its hands were tied.

They then made the unprecedented step of asking the Government to ‘call in’ the application for further consideration because it was the only way to stop developers bringing forward greenfield sites in the borough for development now.

The holding direction means planning permission cannot be given until the Secretary of State either calls in the application or gives authorisation for the approval.

There is no timescale on the direction but it gives local people the chance to make their voice heard at a higher level.