THE leader of a heritage group says residents are "desperately disappointed" with plans to build houses as at the former site of the Horwich Loco Works.

Housebuilder Bellway has lodged plans with Bolton Council to build 207 family homes as part of the next phase of the £262m Rivington Chase redevelopment.

Alongside the new homes, a large proportion of the northern section of the main link road across the site will be built as part of this next phase.

Horwich Heritage chairman Stuart Whittle said: "Once again we are desperately disappointed by the latest housing scheme for the former Loco Works site.

"As with previously submitted schemes, there is a total disregard for the development principles laid down on the original Master Plan and a complete lack of imagination when it comes to designing.

"The developers say that the new plans will transform the site into a neighbourhood that celebrates the history and heritage of the Loco Works, but there's no evidence of this. Most of the Loco Works buildings have been demolished, including the Erecting Shop which was meant to be retained.

"There are no historical or heritage elements in any of the schemes approved so far, no confirmed plans to provide any retail, leisure or health facilities and no plans at all to provide any community or educational facilities."

"The developers and Bolton Council have much to do to convince the people of Horwich that the Rivington Chase development will have anything at all to do with the heritage of the site or the building of a self-contained community."

The proposed 207 homes will be a mix of detached, semi-detached and mews housing.

Fifty will be 4-bed, 144 3-bed, nine 2-bed and four 1-bed family homes which will complement and enhance the existing key landscape features

George Stevenson, land director at Bellway said: “Careful planning has gone into these proposals to create a high-quality sustainable neighbourhood with designs that reflect the history and heritage of the site."