Rivington Lane End
Cast-iron pillars will remain in place as features within park space at the Lane End scheme

Affordable scheme primed at £260m Rivington Chase

Neil Tague

Reserved matters approval is expected next week for 116 affordable homes, the next phase of the 1,700-unit masterplan at the former Horwich Loco Works site to come forward.

According to the plans, the scheme is to include 38 affordable houses in eight rows of townhouses, and 78 affordable apartments in two four-storey buildings.

There will be 40 one-bedroom apartments and 38 two-bedroom apartments. The housing mix for the 4.2-acre site is proposed as nine two-bedroom homes, 19 three-bedroom homes and 10 four-bedroom homes.

Lane End is the scheme’s developer, with the housing being brought forward for Bolton at Home and Irwell Valley Homes. Paddock Johnson is the project’s architect

Bolton’s planning officers recommend approval, stating that the proposal fully accords with the outline consent, and does not jeopardise the bringing forward of other development plots, and would cause “less than substantial harm” to the Horwich Loco Works Conservation Area.

Officers believe the proposal fits the design guide for development close to the herirage assets, which calls for a certain level of scale and density.

Asset manager Bluemantle, alongside Bolton Council and preservation group Horwich Heritage, is overseeing the delivery of up to 1,700 homes, as well as community facilities, green spaces and commercial uses, under a masterplan designed by architecture studio Cass Associates and approved by the council in 2015.

The first phase of 112 homes built by Bellway is now complete, and the second phase, comprising 393 units by housebuilder Morris Homes, was approved in November 2020.

In March, plans were unveiled for two heritage assets, the Millwrights Shop and Pattern Makers building, to be repurposed as a venue and car park respectively.

This site sits to the east of Bellway’s Barton Quarter, immediately to the west of thse heritage assets. The site previously housed the erecting and repair shop, most of which has now been demolished to accommodate the development’s spine road, which will ink the site to Middlebrook.

Cast-iron pillars have been retained, and will form the focal points of heritage parks at each end of the site.

Richard Harrison, Lane End Group’s managing director, said: “This is our first scheme in Bolton and we are delighted to be bringing much needed affordable homes to this area.

“We know the local community holds this area close to their hearts and that’s why it’s a great fit for our business as we continue to develop our expanding portfolio and for our social enterprise, Lane End New Beginnings, who will be very active once the site commences.”

The application will be heard by Bolton Council at its planning committee on the 22 April. Subject to planning, it is expected to be complete by February 2024.

Bluemantle chief executive Mark Caldwell said: “I’m really pleased that we have managed to accelerate a development that will not only provide vital affordable housing for the community, but which also pays homage to history of the Loco Works.”

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