DEVELOPERS are pushing forward plans for the next 158 homes at the Horwich Loco Works.

Hong Kong Racing, which owns the land off Chorley New Road opposite Horwich RMI, originally applied for planning permission for a housing scheme back in 2014.

But it was deferred by members of Bolton Council’s planning committee in 2015 to allow the authority and applicant to work out legal agreements on how improved infrastructure would be delivered.

Planning officers had recommended the plans for refusal, claiming they would ‘prejudice and constrain the comprehensive and viable regeneration of the wider Horwich Loco Works site’.

But now that other landowners have begun to develop the site, Hong Kong Racing is pushing for a decision to be made on its 158-home proposal.

An updated planning statement by Quod, on behalf of the applicant, said: “The Hong Kong Racing application falls within the site benefiting from the wider Horwich Loco Works planning permission, and its development is entirely consistent with the outline planning permission prevailing over the entire Horwich Loco Works site.

“Planning consent is sought by Hong Kong Racing for the development of up to 130 new build homes, with associated open space, along with the retention and conversion of the stores building for a flexible range of commercial and community uses, as well as 28 apartments (at the upper floors of the building).

“The purpose of the separate planning application submitted by Hong Kong Racing is to allow this part of the Horwich Loco Works site to be developed in a timely manner.

“This would allow for the Hong Kong Racing site to potentially be developed in advance of the rest of the Horwich Loco Works scheme, although it has been designed to fully integrate into the wider proposals and through appropriate planning controls, via a Section 106 agreement, it will not undermine the overall regeneration of the Horwich Loco Works site.”

The application is in two sections — part one details plans for the site access, demolition of some buildings and the change of use of one building to 28 apartments, car parking and a ‘mix of commercial and community uses’.

Part two proposes 130 homes, recreational open space, landscaping and new pedestrian and cycle routes.

When the plans were deferred in 2015, a group called Horwich Vision, consisting of major landowners Bluemantle and Orbit Developments, was meant to be responsible for the delivery of the entire Rivington Chase scheme.

This was why officers initially recommended Hong Kong Racing’s plans for refusal, as the developer was not part of Horwich Vision and therefore not involved with the delivery of the overall site.

But it was revealed last year that Horwich Vision had collapsed, forcing lead developers Bluemantle to adopt a more ‘piecemeal’ approach, meaning sections of the site would be developed separately by the landowners.

This led to Bellway Homes receiving planning permission from Bolton Council last year for the first 112 homes.

The planning statement from Quod continued: “It was demonstrated at the time of making the planning application that the Hong Kong Racing application was consistent with national policy and the development plan.

“While the officers recommended the application was refused, following its submission, this was not on matters of principal land use but on the timely provision of infrastructure and appropriate mitigation.

“The planning committee encouraged the officers and applicants to engage on the ability to ensure that the development could sufficiently contribute to the delivery of on and off-site infrastructure works, as well as remediation measures and co-ordinated management of the overall development."

“It has been agreed between the applicants and the officers that subject to satisfactory conclusion on the terms of a Section 106 agreement, linking the Hong Kong Racing development to the wider Horwich Loco Works development, then the scheme is appropriate.”