RESIDENTS in Westhoughton are to be included in plans for a piece of ‘public art’ at a controversial new housing estate.

In December 2020, Seddon Homes had plans approved for 40 homes in Westhoughton on land off Collingwood Way.

At the time, Bolton Council’s planning committee heard concerns from local councillors about ‘never-ending development’ in the town.

Officials from Seddon said that 35 per cent of the homes on the estate are to be affordable, roughly around 14 of the 40 houses.

Nine of the homes are proposed to be for rent with the remaining five for intermediate housing.

One of the conditions of planning approval was ‘prior to first occupation of any dwelling, a scheme for the provision of public art, shall be approved in writing by the local planning authority’.

Earlier this month Seddon published a plan for the pubic art.

It stated: “To assist with the art design and installation, Seddon Homes has approached Bolton at Home.

“They are to be the registered social landlord for the affordable plots on the site so seemed the obvious choice to assist with the public art on what will also be their development.

“There are a limited number of locations on the development site where public art could be positioned.

“The most obvious location is within the public open space to the rear of Plots 4 and 5, particularly as the public right of way runs alongside this area giving the art the most opportunity to be observed by the most people.

“There are also some smaller areas that could be used, situated alongside the new adopted highway within the development.”

Bosses at Seddon Home say they have designed a questionnaire to gauge the opinions of local residents and neighbouring properties on their preferred public art concept and location.

The questionnaire will asks local residents for their preferred subject matter of the public art and shows examples of the types of structures that could be installed.

An official added: “It is very important that local people have a connection to the artwork and feel a sense of ownership towards it – this in turn will generate goodwill towards the development and help the artwork to be appreciated and maintained.”

A cast bronze or aluminium plaque will accompany the public art concept, providing the date of installation and describing the artwork and how it was inspired by community consultation.

The consultation and development of the art will progress throughout 2022 with final design expected by the summer and for it to be finished by early 2023.