THERE are worries that there would not be enough school places in the Horwich area to cater for the children moving into new developments.

The town mayor Cllr Stephen Rock made the comment in the wake of larger estates being proposed or granted approval in the town, including the 1,700-home regeneration of the Loco Works.

Cllr Rock, who used to be an employee at the railway construction site off Chorley New Road, said the infrastructure was needed for the families moving into the new homes in the area.

He said: “We have the Loco Works and other houses that are going to be built. I think it is going to be around 3,000 houses.

“So there will be quite a few more children so I don’t know where they are going to go to school.

“We need to have the infrastructure in place first before we get the houses.”

The comments from the Lib Dem mayor came after a report was recently published by Bolton Council proposing how to expand places in secondary schools across the borough.

In the document, which was put before deputy leader Cllr Linda Thomas on December 4, it proposed an increase for St Joseph’s Roman Catholic High School.

If approved, the school capacity could increase from 171 places to 210.

But it also revealed that Rivington and Blackrod High School is proposing to decrease its capacity from 318 to 300 from September 2019.

A spokesman from Bolton Council said it could take up to 15 years for all the homes at the Horwich Loco Works to be built.

They added: "We anticipate that the Loco Works development will require 420 primary places. That equates to four forms of entry."

The capacity of the new Chorley New Road Primary School would effectively be doubled and Blackrod Primary School will grow from 210 to 315 pupils over the next four years. This would equate to half of the 420 and the council spokesman said further increases would be made in the future.