CLLR Richard Silvester writes that at January's Horwich Town Council Planning Committee meeting, I voted against an application to build 158 homes on Horwich Loco Works.

I am more than happy to confirm that I did indeed vote against plans, but what he does not mention is why.

I welcome the retention of an existing building and some of the history of the site being incorporated, as I said at the meeting.

However, the proposed plans did not conform with the masterplan.

Many Horwich residents, including myself, have demanded a masterplan and now one has finally been produced, it must be implemented.

As an example, a proposed cycle way "greenway" appears to now be a road for vehicles and the proposed application is piecemeal, it does not link with the rest of the site, through to Middlebrook.

Traffic would come out of the development in front of Rivington House near the fire station and war memorial, on to Chorley New Road.

At that stage, there was also no guarantee of funding for a link road from Horwich Loco Works/Rivington Chase to Middlebrook, from either Bolton Council, or the developers.

The council would only "endeavour" to find funding, which was simply not good enough.

There is no guarantee of funding from the political parties in Bolton, including Richard's own party, nor from the developers.

This would have meant all traffic from 1,700 new homes eventually feeding on to Chorley New Road, with no new infrastructure once the entire site is developed.

I have been quite clear there should be no building on Horwich Loco Works until funding for a link road is in place.

I therefore welcome news the UK Government has now committed £12 million to funding one.

This funding should have come from the developers, not the tax payer, but confirmation there will now be a link road from the site takes away one of the main concerns about the viability of the whole site and the ability of our town's roads to cope.

But there are also other concerns which also need to be addressed.

Cllr Steven Chadwick


Lever Park Ward