PLANS for 116 housing association homes at the heart of the redevelopment of Horwich Loco works are set to be decided next week.

Bolton Council is set to decide on the affordable housing development at Rivington Chase, the 187-acre brownfield site of Horwich Loco.

The developers say the homes will provide affordable housing for up to 385 people with a combination of family houses and apartments in two four-storey blocks that total 116 residential units.

The site is being developed by Lane End Group for two social housing providers, Bolton at Home and Irwell Valley Homes.

Of the 116 homes, there are 40 one-bedroom apartments, 38 two-bedroom apartments, nine two-bedroom houses, 19 three-bedroom houses and 10 four-bedroom houses.

The four-storey apartments are split into two blocks either side of a central corridor, while the houses are arranged in terraced blocks of four to five to recreate the appearance of the former Loco Works, first opened in 1886.

To further mirror the character of the original site, the homes will be next to the heritage and community core of the Rivington Chase redevelopment.

Key artefacts relating to the site’s history and heritage will be displayed within the development as an additional tribute.

Horwich Town Council objected claiming ‘poor design quality of the development, which does not reflect the industrial heritage of the site’ and that it is the ‘’right type of housing in the wrong location, which is another example of the continuing piecemeal development of the site’.

Nine other objections have been received, which raise largely raise concerns about the effect on the heritage heritage core of the area and that the originally envisaged large central square is not now proposed.

Mark Caldwell, chief executive of Bluemantle, said: “We have managed to accelerate a development that will not only provide vital affordable housing for the community, but which also pays homage to history of the Loco Works.

“We understand the special place that the Loco Works holds in the hearts of Horwich people, and I’m delighted that we will be able to give Bolton’s next generation a place that they will be proud to call home.”

The development forms a part of the £262m Rivington Chase regeneration scheme that was granted outline permission in 2015 for 1,700 homes and associated retail and leisure space on the former industrial site.

The wider Loco Works development is being developed by Bluemantle alongside Bolton Council, Homes England and Network Rail.

In 2019, planning permission was granted for a £12m link road which will connect the site up to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway Railway Station and Junction 6 of the M61.

It is understood that this affordable housing scheme will help accelerate the first phase of the construction on the link road joining the Lane End development to Chorley New Road.

The apartments will have 85 car park spaces to allow for both resident and visitor parking.

Each two- and three-bedroom homes will have one space, while two spaces will be provided for the four-bedroom homes.

Covered cycle enclosures are provided for each of the apartment blocks.

The development will be heard by Bolton Council at its planning committee on April 22.

Bolton’s planning officers have recommended it for approval.

Subject to planning, it is expected to be completed by February 2024.

It will be built on a phased basis alongside the construction of a new link road and roundabout.