THERE are claims of ‘real concerns’ about the infrastructure and contamination at the Horwich Loco Works regeneration despite the recent creation of a masterplan.

The Horwich First Community Group made a statement in relation to the updated phasing strategy for the 1,700-home Rivington Chase scheme published by developer Bluemantle.

The group was pleased about the publication of a masterplan but said there were still issues with the ‘safe decontamination’ of the site and the link roads to Middlebrook.

The statement said: “We need guarantees. The people of Horwich deserve nothing less, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is simply not good enough for the largest development in the history of Horwich and indeed the borough.”

A spokesman from Bolton Council confirmed a bid had been submitted to the Government for the link road funding, which has been supported by the landowners.

And Mark Caldwell, CEO of Bluemantle, said: “Further site investigations are proposed for each phase of development to be completed in advance of any clean up works in order that the risks posed from contamination across all areas of the development are fully assessed and mitigated.

“In simple terms, the remediation strategy demonstrates that the majority of the Loco Works is contaminated to no greater extent than other similar old industrial sites across Greater Manchester.”

He said all works would be supervised by the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive.