YOUNGSTERS climbing into parts of the Horwich Loco Works could be at risk, according to business owners.

Julie Aldcroft, owner of Aldcroft Adhesives, raised concerns about people gaining access to the site, which is due to be developed into the 1,700-home Rivington Chase estate.

As part of the project, which received outline planning permission in 2015, demolition work has been carried out on some of the units.

But Ms Aldcroft said there have been occasions recently of children climbing over the fences and onto the site.

She said: "They have been demolishing units on the site and as part of that they were supposed to put in place a perimeter fence so the children could not get on to the site.

"We also have had a lot of deer and other animals that come on the site so it was needed to prevent that.

"But they have started doing the demolition and the children have been getting onto a storage yard.

"It is a danger to the children and there are no warning signs or anything.

"Because of the work that has been going on as part of the proposals to build the houses, there is a lot of machinery operating in there and the kids are running riot. It is not safe.

"The children should not be on there."

Aldcroft Adhesives, based at Unit 13A on the Loco Works, currently leases the property from landowners Blue Mantle.

Ms Aldcroft said Bluemantle was responsible for security on the site but she said the guards had tried their best to help with the situation.

The issues were also raised in the 1970s when a delegation of parents from the Hilton Estate had a meeting with senior management at the Loco Works.

The group, made up of people related to Loco Works employees, pressed management to ensure they would fence off sections of the site so children could not gain access.

The contamination at the Chorley New Road site caused recent concerns after it was revealed Rivington Chase would be built in phases by separate developers after Horwich Vision, the group responsible for acquiring planning permission, disbanded.

Site inspections carried out before outline planning permission was given in 2015 confirmed the presence of heavy metals, poly aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

Mark Caldwell, chief executive at Bluemantle, said: "Over the last few weeks our site security have had ongoing problems with a group of youngsters breaking into the site through the security fencing.

"We have been dealing with this by removing the youngsters from site and repairing fencing where it has been broken and have reported this to the police on a number of occasions but they have been unable to solve the problem so far.

"It would be very helpful if anyone in the local community could assist the police with their enquiries as trespassing and vandalism are crimes which cause problems for everybody."