A CONTROVERSIAL planning application in an over-crowded village could impact on the foundations of properties already built.

Residents of Heald Close in Weir have been told that a plan to build 42 homes on the former Irwell Springs Mill Site off Heald Lane will potentially impact on the structural integrity of their boundary wall -- and possible their homes.

The houses will only be metres away from the old three metre concrete wall which has unknown foundations.

The applicant's consultant's report, which forms part of the environmental review programme for the site, says of the wall "it is considered that excavations on the target site may impact upon its integrity".

John Glendinning, chairman of Weir Lodges and Woodland Trust, who are campaigning against the application on access and environmental grounds, said: "It came to people's attention when they viewed the plans and reports for submission at the planning office, I have suggested that it may be prudent to seek legal advice on this matter.

"I think this is one housing development too many for this isolated rural community which has trebled in size in the last 25 years from 150 to 450 homes.

"There have been five new development sites opened or which work is in progress on in the village since my family moved here 12 years ago -- not one has ben satisfactorily completed.

"The road network is unchanged and, correct me if I am wrong, but not a single broad leaf tree has ben planted.

"The old rural identity has gone. The sign at the entrance to Weir reads 'Welcome to Weir Village' -- perhaps it should read welcome to a building site!"

The planning committee meeting on July 16 will consider the outline application from the Wordsworth Corporation in Cheshire to build the homes. To combat residents' objections about the access on Heald Lane the company is proposing to install traffic calming.