Horwich set to debate massive Loco Works development application

The Bolton News: An artist’s impression of the Horwich Loco Works application An artist’s impression of the Horwich Loco Works application

RESIDENTS and councillors in Horwich are preparing to debate the town’s “most significant planning application in decades”.

The long awaited plans for the redevelopment of the Horwich Loco Works site, involving the creation of a new 1,700-house community called Rivington Chase, will be top of the agenda at the next meeting of Horwich Town Council’s planning committee.

The council is expecting such a large number of residents to attend the meeting on Thursday, February 20, that they have moved it from the usual location of the council chamber to the larger St John’s Church Hall in Victoria Road.

The council will decide whether to recommend approval or refusal on the plans which will go before Bolton Council’s planning committee in March.

Leader of the council Cllr Kevan Helsby said: “This is the most significant application in decades for the people of Horwich — so it is important for a good number of them to be able to have a say and the council chamber is not big enough.”

Plans have been formally submitted to Bolton Council by developers Horwich Vision to carry out the £260 million development on the 189-acre brownfield site.

If approved, it is expected to take up to 15 years to complete.

Developers believe the Rivington Chase project could bring an extra £19 million to the local economy as well as creating 1,350 full-time jobs. The new community would also feature 20 acres of employment land and 50 acres of open space, including pedestrian and cycle routes.

There have also been discussions about the potential building of education and healthcare facilities on the site.

The Loco Works site houses the most complete remaining set of railway locomotive workshops in the country and the developers have made assurances that several of those buildings will be preserved, to create a “heritage core” which could be used by the community or as part of a civic space.

Stuart Whittle, chairman of the Horwich Heritage Society, said that while he is pleased with the assurances made by Horwich Vision, he believes there are a lot of issues to be resolved.

He said: “It is great in principle but there are issues as to what can be developed meaningfully, because these buildings will take a lot of money to restore and it is not clear what uses they could have.”

The meeting will begin at 7.15pm and members of the public are welcome to attend. Representatives from Horwich Vision and Bolton Council’s planning department will be present.

Comments (10)

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10:08am Wed 12 Feb 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

Disgusting! There's going to be houses everywhere at this rate!
Disgusting! There's going to be houses everywhere at this rate! FreedomOfSpeech1945

10:31am Wed 12 Feb 14

filthy6 says...

1'700 probably houses means an extra 3'400 cars on Chorley New Rd. Luckily is really quiet at rush hour so it won't be a problem
1'700 probably houses means an extra 3'400 cars on Chorley New Rd. Luckily is really quiet at rush hour so it won't be a problem filthy6

10:40am Wed 12 Feb 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

They should just put the buildings back to their former glory. There is still so many interesting features in the massive loco erecting sheds including the over-head cranes. I was in there not so long ago. Such a shame, yet more of our heritage is going down the pan and Bolton Council couldn't care less.
They should just put the buildings back to their former glory. There is still so many interesting features in the massive loco erecting sheds including the over-head cranes. I was in there not so long ago. Such a shame, yet more of our heritage is going down the pan and Bolton Council couldn't care less. FreedomOfSpeech1945

11:10am Wed 12 Feb 14

Yordock says...

I've worked on the former Loco Works site many times over the last few years. Sadly, it is a dilapidated eyesore. Many of the buildings have been altered to serve their past and present uses and, as such, are beyond any heritage use. Those that are worth preserving will hopefully, under these proposals, be saved but they must have a valid use. Restoration and preservation for its own sake isn't a viable solution as the chairman of Horwich Heritage Society implies.
I've worked on the former Loco Works site many times over the last few years. Sadly, it is a dilapidated eyesore. Many of the buildings have been altered to serve their past and present uses and, as such, are beyond any heritage use. Those that are worth preserving will hopefully, under these proposals, be saved but they must have a valid use. Restoration and preservation for its own sake isn't a viable solution as the chairman of Horwich Heritage Society implies. Yordock

1:26pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Lee3695 says...

My main concern regarding these proposals is how the developer and BMC propose to address the traffic volumes this development will generate at peak times. No doubt reference will be made to Blackrod and Horwich stations and 'High Quality', 'Frequent' bus services. However Middlebrook was proposed and built with similar claims of such bus services, that never materialised. Station Road in Blackrod and the Dual carriageway linking the Beehive and A6 in Horwich are stuffed at peak times with traffic queues extending back from the Beehive as far as Victoria Road in Horwich, to name one example. There needs to be some radical improvement in infrastructure to make this development viable in transportation terms, unfortunately I suspect reference will be made to Travel Planning, which in my experience has achieved very little at best.
My main concern regarding these proposals is how the developer and BMC propose to address the traffic volumes this development will generate at peak times. No doubt reference will be made to Blackrod and Horwich stations and 'High Quality', 'Frequent' bus services. However Middlebrook was proposed and built with similar claims of such bus services, that never materialised. Station Road in Blackrod and the Dual carriageway linking the Beehive and A6 in Horwich are stuffed at peak times with traffic queues extending back from the Beehive as far as Victoria Road in Horwich, to name one example. There needs to be some radical improvement in infrastructure to make this development viable in transportation terms, unfortunately I suspect reference will be made to Travel Planning, which in my experience has achieved very little at best. Lee3695

2:09pm Wed 12 Feb 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

Lee3695 wrote:
My main concern regarding these proposals is how the developer and BMC propose to address the traffic volumes this development will generate at peak times. No doubt reference will be made to Blackrod and Horwich stations and 'High Quality', 'Frequent' bus services. However Middlebrook was proposed and built with similar claims of such bus services, that never materialised. Station Road in Blackrod and the Dual carriageway linking the Beehive and A6 in Horwich are stuffed at peak times with traffic queues extending back from the Beehive as far as Victoria Road in Horwich, to name one example. There needs to be some radical improvement in infrastructure to make this development viable in transportation terms, unfortunately I suspect reference will be made to Travel Planning, which in my experience has achieved very little at best.
I would quite happily see the railway line back from Blackrod Junction to Station Park. After all, once the houses are built, the demand will be there.
[quote][p][bold]Lee3695[/bold] wrote: My main concern regarding these proposals is how the developer and BMC propose to address the traffic volumes this development will generate at peak times. No doubt reference will be made to Blackrod and Horwich stations and 'High Quality', 'Frequent' bus services. However Middlebrook was proposed and built with similar claims of such bus services, that never materialised. Station Road in Blackrod and the Dual carriageway linking the Beehive and A6 in Horwich are stuffed at peak times with traffic queues extending back from the Beehive as far as Victoria Road in Horwich, to name one example. There needs to be some radical improvement in infrastructure to make this development viable in transportation terms, unfortunately I suspect reference will be made to Travel Planning, which in my experience has achieved very little at best.[/p][/quote]I would quite happily see the railway line back from Blackrod Junction to Station Park. After all, once the houses are built, the demand will be there. FreedomOfSpeech1945

2:22pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Tommy60 says...

Tommy 60













Tommy 60
Trafffic as stated above has to be the major concern as CNR and Station Road cannot take more vehicles at peak times.Take it away from the site via a new road out towards the A6 at Blackrod which would serve the area for decades.
Tommy 60 Tommy 60 Trafffic as stated above has to be the major concern as CNR and Station Road cannot take more vehicles at peak times.Take it away from the site via a new road out towards the A6 at Blackrod which would serve the area for decades. Tommy60

5:44pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Brumas says...

There is no doubt we are going to have this development. No matter what anyone says, but we have to make the developers and the Highways Planning people realise that a relief road is required from around where Gordons Garage on CNR that links to the Middlebrook peripheral roads. Regards the planning meeting, if you care be there. While we are at it how about suggesting Junction 7 for the M61 be built, utilising the slip roads at Anderton services.
There is no doubt we are going to have this development. No matter what anyone says, but we have to make the developers and the Highways Planning people realise that a relief road is required from around where Gordons Garage on CNR that links to the Middlebrook peripheral roads. Regards the planning meeting, if you care be there. While we are at it how about suggesting Junction 7 for the M61 be built, utilising the slip roads at Anderton services. Brumas

10:00pm Wed 12 Feb 14

bwfc0210 says...

What about the businesses already down there, what's happening with them?
What about the businesses already down there, what's happening with them? bwfc0210

7:36am Thu 13 Feb 14

Lee3695 says...

FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Lee3695 wrote: My main concern regarding these proposals is how the developer and BMC propose to address the traffic volumes this development will generate at peak times. No doubt reference will be made to Blackrod and Horwich stations and 'High Quality', 'Frequent' bus services. However Middlebrook was proposed and built with similar claims of such bus services, that never materialised. Station Road in Blackrod and the Dual carriageway linking the Beehive and A6 in Horwich are stuffed at peak times with traffic queues extending back from the Beehive as far as Victoria Road in Horwich, to name one example. There needs to be some radical improvement in infrastructure to make this development viable in transportation terms, unfortunately I suspect reference will be made to Travel Planning, which in my experience has achieved very little at best.
I would quite happily see the railway line back from Blackrod Junction to Station Park. After all, once the houses are built, the demand will be there.
I seriously doubt this would happen, but it is technically feasible as the trackbed is still there between Blackrod Junction and Horwich however a new bridge under the M61 would be required to reinstate the branch between the Old Horwich Fork junction and Horwich.

Seriously though, as pointed out elsewhere, the transport issues surrounding the developent proposals need to be thoroughtlu investigated and the mitigation measures need to be robust. Whatever happens, they seriously need to consider the impact upon Station Road in Blackrod, The station Road/A6 junction and Beehive Roundabout in Horwich.

Based upon my experience of working for a Local Authority dealing with planning applications, I strongly suspect the development has already been 'approved' by the senior politicians. The consultation process is merely a necessity required by law. That is why developers seek senior political support first before submitting planning applications, in order to 'smooth the way' for whatever they are proposing. See this done very frequently.
[quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lee3695[/bold] wrote: My main concern regarding these proposals is how the developer and BMC propose to address the traffic volumes this development will generate at peak times. No doubt reference will be made to Blackrod and Horwich stations and 'High Quality', 'Frequent' bus services. However Middlebrook was proposed and built with similar claims of such bus services, that never materialised. Station Road in Blackrod and the Dual carriageway linking the Beehive and A6 in Horwich are stuffed at peak times with traffic queues extending back from the Beehive as far as Victoria Road in Horwich, to name one example. There needs to be some radical improvement in infrastructure to make this development viable in transportation terms, unfortunately I suspect reference will be made to Travel Planning, which in my experience has achieved very little at best.[/p][/quote]I would quite happily see the railway line back from Blackrod Junction to Station Park. After all, once the houses are built, the demand will be there.[/p][/quote]I seriously doubt this would happen, but it is technically feasible as the trackbed is still there between Blackrod Junction and Horwich however a new bridge under the M61 would be required to reinstate the branch between the Old Horwich Fork junction and Horwich. Seriously though, as pointed out elsewhere, the transport issues surrounding the developent proposals need to be thoroughtlu investigated and the mitigation measures need to be robust. Whatever happens, they seriously need to consider the impact upon Station Road in Blackrod, The station Road/A6 junction and Beehive Roundabout in Horwich. Based upon my experience of working for a Local Authority dealing with planning applications, I strongly suspect the development has already been 'approved' by the senior politicians. The consultation process is merely a necessity required by law. That is why developers seek senior political support first before submitting planning applications, in order to 'smooth the way' for whatever they are proposing. See this done very frequently. Lee3695

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