COUNCIL chiefs are re-examining controversial plans for a large housing development on green belt land in Flixton - and the number of homes earmarked for it could be halved.

Their latest proposal is to build 375 homes on half of the former William Wroe golf course, whereas previously 750 houses were planned for the site.

A move to take Flixton Field, Flixton Park and the grounds of historic Flixton House out of the green belt would be scrapped.

Some of the funds raised by the housing development on William Wroe would go towards enhancing the other half of the William Wroe site, in line with residents' wishes, and also to providing infrastructure improvements in the area.

They stress, though, that this is its 'latest thinking' on the situation, that this is an on-going process and that no decisions have been taken.

Consultations will be held with residents over the coming months before final decisions are taken.

Some of the campaigners who have been fighting plans to build on the green belt land met council leader Sean Anstee, two of the ward councillors and town hall officers at a meeting where they heard the revised views for developing the site.

The meeting came almost three months after planning experts employed by the campaigners - the Flixton, Urmston and Davyhulme Future Planning on-line group - gave a damning assessment of the development earmarked for the William Wroe site.

That proposal for 750 homes on the site is part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) - a massive housebuilding scheme for the region over the next two decades.

Members of the Flixton, Urmston and Davyhulme Future Planning on-line group and a representative from their planning consultants attended the meeting at Trafford Town Hall.

A council spokesman said after the meeting: "As a direct result the work undertaken by residents, the council has shared its latest thinking as promised with local residents in what is an ongoing, iterative process.

"From the consultation responses received, a large number of residents in particular wanted to retain Flixton House, the park, gardens and playing fields in the green belt and we have responded directly to this by saying we think this should happen too. 

"This shows we are and will continue to listen.

"We are also seeking to significantly reduce the number of new homes that are built from the original proposal of 750 units to under 400, though this figure is subject to change. The council still has a housing requirement that it needs to meet and it considers that this site offers the potential to deliver new homes in sustainable manner.

"These are just considerations at this stage and have not yet been formally approved for inclusion within the GMSF, which is currently being revised and is due to be published in June 2018."

But the spokesman insisted that more homes were needed in the borough and "to do nothing is not an option."

He continued: "Doing nothing and not planning for population growth, which will happen regardless, will have profoundly negative consequences for Flixton and the wider community across Trafford, including worsening congestion and a higher cost of living.

"We can and must deal with the housing crisis and during our recent meeting with representatives of the Flixton community the offer was made to continue to work together to find the best possible solution, that meets as many needs as possible, for everybody. “

After the meeting, the Flixton, Urmston and Davyhulme Future Planning on-line group's Michelle McGrath said: "While we do not endorse this current thinking, it is incumbent on us to share the current approach that the council is taking.

"This does not change our stance, that is we are fundamentally opposed to any housing on the site.

"Having discussed further with our planning consultants, we remain concerned about evidence and justification of why this site has been put forward.

"We intend to maintain an open and frank dialogue with the council.

"We feel strongly that this is the only way forward as it is preferable to have a seat at the table.

"We're not there yet but we're heading in the right direction.

"The council's view is that they might not be able to go any further but should any other parcel of land be brought forward in the coming months then the number of homes on William Wroe could well reduce further."

Flixton councillor Paul Lally, who attended the meeting, said: "This remains a compromise with the hope further can be achieved but this plan still ensures investment to improve facilities like our local train service."