Bolton Council has given the go-ahead to housebuilder Bellway Homes to build 205 family homes at the former Horwich Loco Works during a planning committee meeting on Wednesday 27th October. The development forms the next phase of the £262m Rivington Chase regeneration scheme.

Alongside the new homes, the planning approval means that the construction of the new link road will be accelerated with Bellway expected to begin construction of the northern section in early 2022.

The link road will connect the site to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway Railway Station and Junction 6 of the M61. It is considered critical to the overarching Rivington Chase project, promising to improve access to the site and provide vital infrastructure that takes pressure off congested roads.

The newly granted 205 homes will be a mix of detached, semi-detached and mews housing, of which 50 will be 4-bed, 144 3-bed, nine 2-bed and four 1-bed. The family properties will complement and enhance the existing key landscape features and celebrate the site’s heritage by mirroring the distinctive red brick appearance of the former Loco Works buildings.

These new dwellings will sit next to the proposed Community Core and heritage parks to be provided at the heart of Rivington Chase, set to be developed by Bluemantle. Local residents will also be able to enjoy extensive open spaces that surround the properties, including cycle paths, footpaths and green spaces.

Heritage proposals for the landscaping of the Community and Heritage Core were submitted to Bolton Council earlier this month. The designs outline how key heritage artefacts from the former Loco Works can be incorporated into the series of pocket and memorial parks.

The Rivington Chase regeneration masterplan was granted outline permission in 2015 for 1,700 homes and associated educational, retail, leisure, health and wellbeing and open space on the former industrial site. It is being undertaken by landowners Bluemantle alongside Bolton Council, Homes England, HKR, and Network Rail.

Apd is the architect behind the Bellway scheme, with Cass Associates as masterplan architect and Avison Young acting as planning advisor.

Work is expected to start in early 2022, with phase one construction of the northern section of the link road, followed by the housebuilding. The complete construction of the link road is due to be completed by March 2023 and all 205 homes by the spring of 2028.

George Stevenson, land director at Bellway, said: “We are extremely pleased that Bellway has been granted permission to execute this important next phase of the Rivington Chase development. We’ve worked hard to ensure the properties on site reflect its heritage, and with the link road providing key infrastructure to the neighbourhood, it truly makes Horwich an exciting and attractive place to live. The work on the link road is set to not only improve traffic flow across Horwich, but also provide spaces for the community to walk and cycle safely.”

Mark Caldwell, chief executive of Bluemantle, added: “Today marks another milestone towards the realisation of the Rivington Chase development, which will provide the community with enormous benefits. The project is turning brownfield that would otherwise remain unused and dilapidated into much needed family homes, all while preserving the industrial past of Horwich. We are looking forward to beginning construction at the start of 2022 and to seeing this exciting project take its next steps.”

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Adele Warren, said: “This decision marks a significant step in the regeneration of the former Horwich Loco Works, which is key part of our plans to meet the demand for housing in Bolton. Not only does it allow for 205 new homes to be built on brownfield land, but it will see work start on the link road that will connect the new housing to vital transport infrastructure.”

Planning permission was granted subject to agreed conditions at Bolton Council’s planning committee which took place on Wednesday 27th October 2021.

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