TOWN councillors have hit out at plans to build new sports facilities at Old Station Park in Horwich.

Horwich Town Council has voted for the refusal of plans submitted by Bolton Council’s Neighbourhood Services to build a new ‘Multi-Use Games Area’ (MUGA) at Old Station Park.

The proposed MUGA would be built next to the existing facility, with the existing facility taken up and returned to grassland.

But concerns have been raised by the town council that this will lead to a loss of sporting facilities for Horwich, with this application a ‘downgrade’ compared to previously-proposed facilities.

Horwich Town Councillor Steven Chadwick has written to Bolton Councillors, saying: “Previously there were two tennis courts, then one tennis court and a street football/basketball court, then a large multi-use games area.

“This new area is half the size of the old one, this represents another loss of facility. The town council has rejected this for that very reason. I now implore Bolton Council to come back with proper plans for our park before proceeding with any schemes. Plans which have the support of our town’s residents.”

Frustrations with these plans and its perceived loss of leisure facilities dig up frustrations around the leisure centre built in 2017 which were lacklustre, according to the town council.

Cllr Chadwick added: “It is another loss of facility. Half the size of the previous multi-use games area coming on the back of a smaller leisure centre, with squash excluded and other sports.

“Further erosion of Horwich’s facilities by Bolton Council is unacceptable.”

Horwich and Blackrod First Independents deputy leader David Grant added: “Cllr Brady has raised this at full council for the re-instatement of the old multi-use games area and whilst this new one was in the draft proposals for the park, councillors felt it was again a loss of facilities Horwich previously enjoyed.

“This new facility is half the size of the original and councillors felt it was inadequate for the current number of residents, let alone the increase we are expecting over the next decade.”

A planning committee date to make a decision on the plans has been given as April 1.