GROUNDWORK has started for further redevelopment of the historic Loco Works site in Horwich, with bricks being laid.

The £262 million Rivington Chase scheme is underway after years of planning for developers Blue Mantle, and concerns among local residents and historical preservation groups.

The area adjacent to St Catherine's Primary School is now a site of preparations ahead of construction, with foundations being laid for homes and the first bricks appearing.

The first of 104 dwellings being constructed by Bellway Homes in the Barton Quarter, the initial phase of the Rivington Chase development, are currently being built and are expected to be up for sale soon.

The northern section of the Rivington Chase site and the Heritage Core phase, featuring retail and employment space, are also being brought forward for development this year.

There are plans for the 150-acre site to be supported by a £12m access road. The road would be funded from a national government grant, which the council bid for and funding was approved last year.

The road, submitted to Bolton Council for approval in January, will link the new developments with the Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway railway station and junction six of the M61.

However Horwich Heritage Society has objected to the road plans, as they will result in the demolition of the erection and repair workshop for a roundabout, part of the "historic core" of the site. The group has called for the roundabout's position to be adjusted.