Horwich Loco Works site could become massive housing estate
The new community, within Horwich, would be called Rivington Chase, and would also feature 20 acres of employment land and 50 acres of open space — including ped-estrian and cycle routes.
Plans will be submitted to Bolton Council later this year by developers Horwich Vision that could see regeneration of the 189-acre brownfield site.
It has been predicted that the development could create 1,350 full time jobs as well as providing 400 jobs during the construction process — which is expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete.
The developers believe that Rivington Chase could bring in an extra £19 million to the local economy each year.
There are also provisional discussions in place that could see the building of education and healthcare facilities on the site.
Horwich Vision is a partnership company made up of Bluemantle, which owns the land at the site and Orbit, the developers behind the Middlebrook complex.
They have been working with consultants from How Planning and Cass Associates on the plans as well as CBO transport.
Speaking as the plans were outlined at a meeting of Horwich Town Council, Conor Vallelly, from How Planning said: “We hope that this development will majorly benefit the local economy and change Horwich for the better.”
The developers have made assurances that several of the loco works buildings will be preserved, to create a “heritage core” which could be used by the community or to form a civic space.
Stuart Whittle, chairman of the Horwich Heritage society, who has been consulting with the developers, said he was pleased that the developers had agreed to this measure.
He said: “As it stands, the site is the most complete set of railway locomotive workshops remaining in the country — the town of Horwich came to be because of the arrival of the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, so it is important some of the buildings remain.
“But they will need restoring and it may be difficult to find someone to use them.”
There would be five access points leading to the new development at Rivington House, Crown Lane, Aspinall Way, Mansell Way and an improved access at Armstrongs Environmental Services.
Speaking at the meeting, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Horwich, Cllr Steve Rock, expressed concern that the plans could create traffic chaos.
He said: “There could be 6,000 to 7,000 more vehicles on Chorley New Road — which is already like a car park at rush hour.”
Horwich Mayor Cllr Christine Root said: “I sincerely hope there are long-term plans for dealing with the concerns of local residents throughout this process.
“I think that there is a huge responsibility on the developers to link this project into the rest of Horwich because otherwise it is just going to stand alone.”
A public exhibition was held at Rivington House today and Horwich Vision said it would be taking on board comments from the public before submitting a planning application before the end of the year.
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