The Oak Bluffs planning board has approved an amended special permit that will allow development of the Southern Woodlands subdivision to move forward.

At its meeting on Thursday, the Oak Bluffs planning board unanimously approved amendments to the 2004 special permit for the Southern Woodlands subdivision, 4-0. The special permit from the planning board clears the way for the buyers to complete the real estate deal.

The area includes 26 building lots. — Mark Lovewell

Paul Adamson, a Boston real estate developer and Edgartown seasonal resident, purchased the property along with partners Chris Sage and Malcolm Barber at a foreclosure auction last June for $5.15 million.

The area has often been the subject of heated debate over the years, and was the focus of a protracted legal and regulatory battle known as the “golf course wars” more than a decade ago. Developer Corey Kupersmith proposed several golf course developments for the property, which the Martha’s Vineyard Commission rejected three separate times. Mr. Kupersmith later ran into financial difficulties and the property went into foreclosure.

In January, the commission voted vote that the 51-acre residential subdivision would not require a formal review by the regional body.

As part of negotiations with the Oak Bluffs planning board, the developers agreed to donate $700,000 to the Oak Bluffs Affordable Housing Trust. They also agreed to limit the number of bedrooms in the subdivision to 156. The area includes 26 building lots, and each home will be required to install an enhanced septic system which limits nitrogen released to 19 milligrams per liter, per year. The property, between Barnes Road and County Road, straddles both the Lagoon Pond watershed and the Sengekontacket Pond watershed.

“The purchasers are excited to have the permitting approved and are looking forward to closing on the transaction in April,” said Geoghan Coogan, a Vineyard Haven attorney who represents the development group. He said he expects development work to begin shortly after the closing, so the group can begin selling lots when real estate activity picks up in the spring.

Other conditions in the planning board decision include setback requirements to protect well-used trails near the proposed home sites. The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank maintains nearby trails, and has informed the planning board that it is willing to maintain trails through the development property if it can secure the necessary easements.

Once the planning board decision is officially recorded, anyone objecting to the ruling has 20 days to appeal.