TWO major housing developments could be approved next week.

Bolton Council’s planning committee is expected to make decisions on both a plan for 112 homes at the Horwich Loco Works site and another application to build 58 homes in Westhoughton.

Both of the applications — which have provoked significant opposition from neighbouring communities — will be heard at what is expected to be a heated meeting at Bolton Town Hall next Thursday.

Bellway Homes’ Loco Works proposal is the first application to come forward for the Rivington Chase development since the council gave outline permission for 1,700 homes to be built across the site in 2016.

The town hall planning office has recommended the proposal for approval, in the hope that it will ‘kickstart’ further building work on the controversial site.

Officers have also concluded that the plans ‘would not have an adverse impact on the local highway network’.

They added: “It is anticipated that the proposed residential development of the application site would ‘kick-start’ the rest of the Rivington Chase development and help facilitate the delivery of the adjacent parcels of land.”

The planning office also dismissed fears over contamination of land at the former railway works.

They said: “The applicant has demonstrated within their submission that the application site can be sufficiently remediated for its end use for housing, without any harm or risk to neighbouring residents, future residents or workers on the site, and that the proposed development (both during and after construction) would not unduly harm the amenity of neighbouring residents or future residents of the development.”

A total of 23 objections to the application have been received, including from Horwich Heritage and Horwich First.

The second major housing plan due to be heard next week us for Hartley’s Farm, in Wingates.

Developer Hollins Wingates is seeking outline permission to build up to 58 homes on the site.

The farm is classed as ‘Other Protected Open Land’, meaning it is countryside that is not within the Green Belt but is protected from inappropriate development. The planning office has also recommended this application for approval.

Officers said: “Having assessed the application proposal, it is not considered that there are any adverse impacts of granting planning permission for the residential development of the site which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of granting permission for the 58 residential dwellings as proposed.”

Fears over further increases to the number of cars on the already-congested Church Lane and Wingates Lane were also dismissed.

The planners added: “In coming to this conclusion, issues of impact on the highway and the introduction of further traffic onto the already congested Church Lane/Wingates Lane has been considered.

“Highway Engineers are however in agreement with the conclusions of the submitted Transport Statement in that the increase in traffic from the proposed development could be accommodated within the highway network without impacting detrimentally on the highway or safety.”

Follow the planning committee meeting live from 2pm next Thursday at