£30,000 is not enough, council tells Horwich developers

The mothballed site of the former Swallowfield Hotel

The mothballed site of the former Swallowfield Hotel

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

COUNCILLORS have turned down an offer of £30,000 from a developer of a mothballed site to go towards affordable housing, saying it is not enough.

Redrow Homes was given the go-ahead to build 42 apartments on the site of the former Swallowfield Hotel in Chorley New Road, Horwich, in 2007, on the proviso it would give four of the flats to a housing association.

At January’s meeting of the planning committee, Redrow’s attempts to get rid of the Section 106 agreement failed, so the firm offered to give £30,000 towards affordable housing in Bolton, instead of the units.

But councillors voted to defer making a decision, arguing the sum was not an equal swap.

Cllr Norman Critchley said: “I think we should leave it open for a better deal. It is not like for like.”

Redrow has argued because of the housing market crash in 2008, unless it was able to get rid of this condition it would not be worth its while to complete the development.

But Cllr Bob Allen questioned whether this decision should be taken by the planning committee.

He said: “I know ward councillors wanted to get in and stake their claim but I don’t think planning committee is the place to do it.”

Councillors instructed the officers to go back to the developers and either for an equivalent sum, or for four affordable houses on site.

Comments (13)

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9:31am Wed 19 Mar 14

atlas123 says...

The council just being greedy. This eyesore needs sorting out, £30k would be better than the 0 they have now.

Interestingly Critchley lives nowhere near Horwich.
The council just being greedy. This eyesore needs sorting out, £30k would be better than the 0 they have now. Interestingly Critchley lives nowhere near Horwich. atlas123
  • Score: -8

9:42am Wed 19 Mar 14

filthy6 says...

It's not enough - they should build what was agreed not try to wriggle out of it. Yes it's an eyesore but that is purely down to Redrow.
All they had to do was provide 4 flats to the housing association but now believe it's cheaper to try & buy off this requirement
It's not enough - they should build what was agreed not try to wriggle out of it. Yes it's an eyesore but that is purely down to Redrow. All they had to do was provide 4 flats to the housing association but now believe it's cheaper to try & buy off this requirement filthy6
  • Score: 12

9:52am Wed 19 Mar 14

Brumas says...

Here we go again, same old, same old, how to confuse a Councillor. Put them in a room full of spades and ask them to take their Pick.
The Swallowfield is an on going problem, with the Planning Committee Prevaricating almost endlessly, when with a little joined up thinking the situation could be resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned. For those who don’t know the area immediately adjacent to the site is earmarked for development. By whom it is not yet known, why does not the council offer first refusal to Redrow for this land, which in return Redrow could build Three blocks of apartments which would be more profitable for them, allowing Redrow to meet their commitment to social housing. Similarly it would allow access to the site via Cedar Ave thus alleviating the problems of the vehicles entering and leaving the proposed site via Chorley New Road. Best solution all round, solved without hurting my brain.
Here we go again, same old, same old, how to confuse a Councillor. Put them in a room full of spades and ask them to take their Pick. The Swallowfield is an on going problem, with the Planning Committee Prevaricating almost endlessly, when with a little joined up thinking the situation could be resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned. For those who don’t know the area immediately adjacent to the site is earmarked for development. By whom it is not yet known, why does not the council offer first refusal to Redrow for this land, which in return Redrow could build Three blocks of apartments which would be more profitable for them, allowing Redrow to meet their commitment to social housing. Similarly it would allow access to the site via Cedar Ave thus alleviating the problems of the vehicles entering and leaving the proposed site via Chorley New Road. Best solution all round, solved without hurting my brain. Brumas
  • Score: 5

11:14am Wed 19 Mar 14

hal pel says...

"Redrow's profits in the six months to December(2013) more than doubled to £47.5m. . . " (The Guardian, Thursday 27 February 2014). Why should concessions be made for a company making so much money? Their greed obviously knows no bounds.
"Redrow's profits in the six months to December(2013) more than doubled to £47.5m. . . " (The Guardian, Thursday 27 February 2014). Why should concessions be made for a company making so much money? Their greed obviously knows no bounds. hal pel
  • Score: 17

12:54pm Wed 19 Mar 14

atlas123 says...

Brumas wrote:
Here we go again, same old, same old, how to confuse a Councillor. Put them in a room full of spades and ask them to take their Pick.
The Swallowfield is an on going problem, with the Planning Committee Prevaricating almost endlessly, when with a little joined up thinking the situation could be resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned. For those who don’t know the area immediately adjacent to the site is earmarked for development. By whom it is not yet known, why does not the council offer first refusal to Redrow for this land, which in return Redrow could build Three blocks of apartments which would be more profitable for them, allowing Redrow to meet their commitment to social housing. Similarly it would allow access to the site via Cedar Ave thus alleviating the problems of the vehicles entering and leaving the proposed site via Chorley New Road. Best solution all round, solved without hurting my brain.
Are you saying the Greenspace at the Bolton side of the Swallowfield plot is up for being built on? Does that include the Community Centre as well?
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: Here we go again, same old, same old, how to confuse a Councillor. Put them in a room full of spades and ask them to take their Pick. The Swallowfield is an on going problem, with the Planning Committee Prevaricating almost endlessly, when with a little joined up thinking the situation could be resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned. For those who don’t know the area immediately adjacent to the site is earmarked for development. By whom it is not yet known, why does not the council offer first refusal to Redrow for this land, which in return Redrow could build Three blocks of apartments which would be more profitable for them, allowing Redrow to meet their commitment to social housing. Similarly it would allow access to the site via Cedar Ave thus alleviating the problems of the vehicles entering and leaving the proposed site via Chorley New Road. Best solution all round, solved without hurting my brain.[/p][/quote]Are you saying the Greenspace at the Bolton side of the Swallowfield plot is up for being built on? Does that include the Community Centre as well? atlas123
  • Score: 1

1:24pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Brumas says...

Yes Atlas123 I am did you not know, knocking down the Adults centre and moving them into Brazley Community Centre first though. This is what I mean Councillors are not up to speed and do not know what their left hand is doing. But do you see the Logic?
Yes Atlas123 I am did you not know, knocking down the Adults centre and moving them into Brazley Community Centre first though. This is what I mean Councillors are not up to speed and do not know what their left hand is doing. But do you see the Logic? Brumas
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Wed 19 Mar 14

bigbob123 says...

Did you know Dave Whelan once broke his leg in a cup final?
Did you know Dave Whelan once broke his leg in a cup final? bigbob123
  • Score: -2

1:34pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Brumas says...

bigbob123 wrote:
Did you know Dave Whelan once broke his leg in a cup final?
What a Plonk.
[quote][p][bold]bigbob123[/bold] wrote: Did you know Dave Whelan once broke his leg in a cup final?[/p][/quote]What a Plonk. Brumas
  • Score: 2

2:24pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

So compulsory purchase it and build affordable homes yourself. Surely there is logic in building 1-bed homes for those who need them in the area.

The whole housing situation is a farce. On one hand the council scream blue murder about their own housing shortages, they remove people from homes due to them being too large and then this.

The council should also be investing in the future of the town. A great many working families are in need of proper viable living space, a lot of people are in need of 1-bed homes.

The logic here seems to be profit rather than fixing housing issues. And don;t tell me the council is broke. Are the heck broke. Take some of that money out of Manchester Airport and build your own affordable homes on your land.
So compulsory purchase it and build affordable homes yourself. Surely there is logic in building 1-bed homes for those who need them in the area. The whole housing situation is a farce. On one hand the council scream blue murder about their own housing shortages, they remove people from homes due to them being too large and then this. The council should also be investing in the future of the town. A great many working families are in need of proper viable living space, a lot of people are in need of 1-bed homes. The logic here seems to be profit rather than fixing housing issues. And don;t tell me the council is broke. Are the heck broke. Take some of that money out of Manchester Airport and build your own affordable homes on your land. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 0

2:26pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

I shall grammatically correct to be more politically correct "they remove people from homes due to them being too large". I do not want to sound like I am bashing the larger folk in society.

The council remove people from council property due the property having outgrown need - hence bedroom tax.
I shall grammatically correct to be more politically correct "they remove people from homes due to them being too large". I do not want to sound like I am bashing the larger folk in society. The council remove people from council property due the property having outgrown need - hence bedroom tax. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Wed 19 Mar 14

filthy6 says...

Beyond News Forum wrote:
So compulsory purchase it and build affordable homes yourself. Surely there is logic in building 1-bed homes for those who need them in the area. The whole housing situation is a farce. On one hand the council scream blue murder about their own housing shortages, they remove people from homes due to them being too large and then this. The council should also be investing in the future of the town. A great many working families are in need of proper viable living space, a lot of people are in need of 1-bed homes. The logic here seems to be profit rather than fixing housing issues. And don;t tell me the council is broke. Are the heck broke. Take some of that money out of Manchester Airport and build your own affordable homes on your land.
"A great many working families are in need of proper viable living space" - this would be the reason that the council got Redrow to provide four housing association flats then.
Its Redrow trying to back out of the deal not the council
[quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: So compulsory purchase it and build affordable homes yourself. Surely there is logic in building 1-bed homes for those who need them in the area. The whole housing situation is a farce. On one hand the council scream blue murder about their own housing shortages, they remove people from homes due to them being too large and then this. The council should also be investing in the future of the town. A great many working families are in need of proper viable living space, a lot of people are in need of 1-bed homes. The logic here seems to be profit rather than fixing housing issues. And don;t tell me the council is broke. Are the heck broke. Take some of that money out of Manchester Airport and build your own affordable homes on your land.[/p][/quote]"A great many working families are in need of proper viable living space" - this would be the reason that the council got Redrow to provide four housing association flats then. Its Redrow trying to back out of the deal not the council filthy6
  • Score: 1

10:00pm Wed 19 Mar 14

steverock6@sky.com says...

The two ward councillors should not have tried to negotiate behind the planning authorities backs what right did they have to do this when a planning decision is made it should stand or what is the point of having one or can these councillors now just do what they want!
The land at the side and the adult drop in centre has been considered for housing for many years as is the community centre the adults are not being moved in there and plans to build on the site are currently on hold they did want to build on the field also but residents have got village green status for it to prevent it being built on but can you trust Bolton!
The two ward councillors should not have tried to negotiate behind the planning authorities backs what right did they have to do this when a planning decision is made it should stand or what is the point of having one or can these councillors now just do what they want! The land at the side and the adult drop in centre has been considered for housing for many years as is the community centre the adults are not being moved in there and plans to build on the site are currently on hold they did want to build on the field also but residents have got village green status for it to prevent it being built on but can you trust Bolton! steverock6@sky.com
  • Score: 0

10:44am Thu 20 Mar 14

bigbob123 says...

Brumas wrote:
bigbob123 wrote:
Did you know Dave Whelan once broke his leg in a cup final?
What a Plonk.
did you not know he broke his leg in a cup final?
1960 F.A Cup, Blackburn versus Wolves,
I am surprised you never knew
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigbob123[/bold] wrote: Did you know Dave Whelan once broke his leg in a cup final?[/p][/quote]What a Plonk.[/p][/quote]did you not know he broke his leg in a cup final? 1960 F.A Cup, Blackburn versus Wolves, I am surprised you never knew bigbob123
  • Score: -1

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