AN HISTORIC building on the site of a former train yard looks set to be demolished as heritage experts have withdrawn their objections to the plans.

Historic England, which had previously opposed the new £12m access road at Horwich Loco Works, no longer opposes the plans.

The public body cite “very specific constraints” on the routing of the new spine road which would link up to 1,700 homes at Rivington Chase to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway railway station and junction six of the M61.

The plans would mean knocking down what remains of the erecting and repair shop, part of the “historic core” at the 133-year-old Loco Works site.

In a letter to Bolton Council, inspector of ancient monuments Andrew Davison said the work would cause “substantial harm” and raised concerns on heritage grounds.

However, he acknowledges the “severe” constraints on the routing of the road due to topographical issues, contamination and nature conservation.

He said: “Historic England would not object to its demolition if the council’s weighing exercise leads to the conclusion that its loss is necessary to deliver the public benefits which regeneration of the area would provide.”

Stuart Whittle, chairman of Horwich Heritage, described the arguments in favour of demolition as “contrived”. He thinks the building should be restored and converted for community use.

He said: “This is a convenient way of getting rid of a potentially costly problem at an early stage before anyone is able to clearly define what the future of the erecting shop might be.”