SITE: Horwich Loco Works will be home to the ongoing 1,700-home development at Rivington Chase. Picture by Andrew Coward.
A NEW link road to serve a 1,700-home development will go ahead despite concerns about its impact on a historic train yard.
The £12m road will connect Horwich Town centre and Chorley New Road to Middlebrook retail park, Horwich railway station, and the M61 via the new Rivington Chase development.
But the Horwich Loco Works erecting shop will be demolished to make way for the spine road at the regeneration site.
This comes after town hall planners were asked to consider an alternative route – dismissed by the developer as “not viable” – which were put forward by a local heritage group in a bid to save the historic building.
Horwich Heritage chairman Stuart Whittle told The Bolton News that he is very disappointed that the planning committee approved the plans.
He said: “I’m obviously very disappointed. There is absolutely no point expressing such support for local heritage, as members did, if at the end of the day you do not go along with genuine workable proposals that would save it.
“When it comes to the crunch, I think the people of Horwich now know what Bolton’s planning committee think of their heritage.”
The development, funded by Homes England, is being undertaken by Bluemantle, a North West-based property development group.
Chief executive Mark Caldwell described the news as a “huge leap forward” for the Rivington Chase site.
He said: “This regeneration project is turning dilapidated brownfield land into much needed homes, alongside retail, business, leisure and green space for the whole community to enjoy. Sites like this as key in helping to protect Horwich and Bolton’s greenbelt from overdevelopment.”
Deputy council leader Cllr Martyn Cox added: “This link road stands to benefit the whole community, and will make Horwich a fantastic place to live and work. We have listened to resident concerns about access to the site and this link road not only improves traffic flow and infrastructure across the area, it also provides cycle lanes, dedicated footpaths and open spaces for the community.”