COUNCIL bosses have given the green light to plans to build a new nursing home and an apartment block on the site of a derelict hotel.

Bolton Council’s planning committee approved Cuerden Developments’ proposals for the old Swallowfield Hotel in Horwich.

The site has been derelict since 2007, after the hotel was demolished and previous plans to build flats were abandoned in the wake of the financial crash.

Cllr Norman Critchley was among those who welcomed the plans.

He said: “I am delighted that some development is going on.

“However, I would not accept just anything on that site, but I think this is a good scheme. I’m happy with it.”

Councillors had been recommended to approve the plans by the town hall’s planning office.

However, the Council’s Department of People Services objected to the proposed nursing home part of the development due the applicant’s ‘lack of engagement’ over the plans.

Cllr Ann Cunliffe said: “This lack of engagement does concern me and I am really disappointed with that.

“Can we urge, through planning, that we encourage the applicant to work with our Department of People?”

Cuerden would normally be required to make four of its 28 apartments affordable housing, as well as paying £15,000 towards local education and £33,000 to children’s play and open space facilities.

But the developer has said the project would not be financially viable if it were to meet those obligations, which the council has accepted.

The land in Chorley New Road had once been earmarked for 42 new apartments, but building work stalled when the global economic crash hit in 2008.

Previous developers Redrow then became locked in a long-running planning battle with Bolton Council over its contribution towards social housing in the borough and the scheme collapsed.

The developer has said that the development would be a ‘healthy community with a high-quality design’.