Homes plan sparks primary places fear
PLANS to build a 140-home estate on the site of a college campus could have serious consequences for primary schools in the area, a meeting of Horwich town council was told.
The town’s planning committee has decided to defer making a recommendation on the proposals until more information is provided by developers Bowsall Ltd and will now make their submission at next month’s meeting.
John Shannon, chairman of the governing body of St Mary’s RC Primary School, which is near to the college site, raised concerns about the potential development.
He said: “The first issue is the developer’s agent met with the governors and the headteacher of the school for what was a constructive meeting, we thought there would be follow up meetings in the months after but there has been no contact whatsoever.
“For many years, an agreement on car parking for parents has been agreed with the college and that will be lost — we estimate there are 50 cars using those spaces that will have to park elsewhere.”
Mr Shannon said a major concern was about the number of children needing school places in Horwich and the need for future expansion.
He added: “There are currently applications for three times the number of places that we provide and with the increasing population in Horwich the primary schools will need to expand.
“If this application is passed then the opportunity for future expansion is lost.”
He added that a playing field that currently forms part of the college site, which is also earmarked for housing, could have provided a recreation area for St Mary’s and the nearby Chorley New Road Primary School.
An application has been submitted to Bolton Council from Bowsall Ltd to develop the site — which will be vacated in the summer, with the college relocating to new town centre facilities.
The developers want to build a range of homes including apartments, as well as two, three and four-bedroom houses on the brownfield site.
Bolton Council’s planning committee will decide whether the plans will go ahead at a meeting on May 1.
Horwich Councillor Kevan Helsby said: “The application is going in the wrong direction — we are moving from education and sporting facilities to more housing — at this rate Horwich is going to get city status before Bolton does.”
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