Bolton Loco Works

Bolton signs off Rivington Chase link road

The £12m link road, designed to unlock the 1,700-home Rivington Chase housing development, has been granted planning consent by Bolton Council.

The road is due to link the 187-acre site, formerly the Horwich Loco Works, to the Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway railway station, and Junction 6 of the M61.

This will help to unlock development at Rivington Chase, which has outline consent for 1,700 houses along with retail and leisure development, granted in September 2015.

Housebuilder Bellway has already started work on the first 112 homes at the entrance to the site. The wider Loco Works is being developed by Bluemantle alongside Bolton Council, Homes England, HKR, and Network Rail.

The plans were approved on 29 August, after a decision was initially deferred on 22 August; approval was granted after the committee was satisfied no other routes for the road would be viable.

Bluemantle chief executive Mark Caldwell said: “This is a huge leap forward for the Rivington Chase site and the link road will help realise the ambition to deliver the rest of the masterplan.

“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. “

The planning application for the link road was supported by Avison Young, Cass Associates, and RPS Group. The professional team on the project also includes RoC.

Some of the heritage elements of the Loco Works site, including the Erecting and Repair Shop where steam trains were once built, will be lost as part of the redevelopment.

A planning condition has been agreed to preserve the historically valuable items in the Erecting Shed’s interior; this will either be done on site or off-site at an appropriate location, such as a local heritage railway organisation.

The Erecting and Repair shop was found to be no longer viable following an independent review, with a deficit of £12m and no grant funding available to bring it up to modern standards. As a result, it is set to be demolished.

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