THE boss of a Bury bakery has warned that 30 jobs will be lost by Christmas if his firm is not allowed to expand.

Miller's Bakery is hoping to buy a small area of Hoyle Park from Bury Council to extend its factory premises.

But the plan has met with fierce opposition from Chesham Fold residents, who voiced their objections to losing part of the park at a meeting of the Bury East Area Board held at St Paul's Primary School.

Mr Brent Miller, who runs the firm, said that the expansion was vital to its future after securing three new contracts, for which extra workers have been taken on.

"If we don't get the go-ahead, there will be 30 people made redundant by Christmas. We need to expand," he said. "People have to have their dinners in their cars, and we need extra facilities." He added: "I am not threatening to take my business out of Bury. We have been here 35 years. I am a local lad and I am trying to build the business up.

"I am not out to make a quick killing. What a shame if we have to downsize and go back to the way we were."

But Harry Read, vice-chairman of Pimhole Residents' Association, said: "To say there will be redundancies if the plan is refused amounts to emotional blackmail." The meeting had earlier heard from several residents who objected to the bakery extension.

Mr Keith Rothwell said: "I am totally opposed to any loss of open air recreation in this part of the borough." Two councillors on the board forwarded a recommendation to Bury Council's executive committee, which will decide whether the land can be released.

They have asked that, if they agree to release the land, the money from its sale should be ploughed back into the park.