A £12m link road, one of the key components in the wider £262m Rivington Chase development site, is set to be approved by Bolton Council next week.
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.
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.
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.
Elements of the building are due to be retained and reused either on site or off as part of the planning conditions for the road’s approval.
Instead, the developers are putting forward a consultation on how to retain the heritage elements of the site, including heritage trails, road names, and public art displays.
Mark Caldwell, chief executive of Bluemantle, said: “Rivington Chase has already started to deliver much needed housing on a brownfield site. This site is critical in helping protect greenfield and greenbelt land from overdevelopment in Horwich and across the wider Bolton area.
Alongside this it will create job opportunities, community spaces, and increased investment in local education, healthcare, and amenities. Providing access to this will be the proposed new link road, and at the heart will be the Heritage Core.”
“All of the partners have been working incredibly hard on Rivington Chase behind the scenes for years, and the historical element of the site has been key to those plans. We’re excited to now open up these widespread consultations to the people of Horwich, as we know that many local people still have a close connection with the history of the site, and will be just as keen as us to honour that heritage. We welcome all suggestions and ideas that are put forward.”
Bolton Council has been recommended to support the proposal at a meeting on 22 August.