TOWN hall planners have been asked to look at alternative routes for a £12m link road which would result in the demolition of an historic building.

A decision on the proposed Horwich Loco Works link road was due to be made yesterday but councillors have deferred the vote until next week.

This comes after the chairman of Horwich Heritage raised concerns about knocking down the erecting shop at the planning committee meeting. Stuart Whittle also provided an alternative route which he asked planning officers to consider.

He said: "Without being melodramatic, I would like to say that if this application is approved in its present form, then today will go down in history as the day an uncaring Bolton planning system put the final nail in the coffin of the heritage of the Horwich Loco Works.

"To demolish the site’s most important building, the erecting shop, to make way for a road is the Horwich equivalent of driving a road through Hall i’th Wood or Smithills Hall. That’s how important it is to the town."

Mr Whittle said the demolition is unnecessary, claiming that the developers had managed to "con" town planners and Heritage England experts who withdrew their objections.

He submitted an alternative route which would save the historic building from demolition but developer Bluemantle said it would not be viable.

Planning committee chairman John Walsh proposed deferring the decision to give officers a chance to look at the alternative route.