THE next stage of development at the Horwich Loco Works is expected to take a major step forward this week.

Hong Kong Racing, which owns a section of the massive development site, has rekindled its plans to build 130 houses and 28 apartments opposite Horwich RMI, which were originally revealed in 2014.

The proposals were put on hold by Bolton Council to allow for negotiations with the now-defunct Horwich Vision organisation over how infrastructure for the area would be delivered.

But, now that landowners are developing their own sections of the Loco Works alone rather than through Horwich Vision, the housing plans will come back before the town hall’s planning committee on Thursday afternoon.

If approved, the proposals would follow Bellway Homes’ plans to build 112 homes at the Rivington Chase development.

The Hong Kong Racing plans involve converting the Stores building into a mixture of flats and other uses and the building of up to 130 houses.

A council report into the planning application states: “It is considered that the proposed development is in accordance with the outline permission for Rivington Chase and the relevant policies regarding the comprehensive redevelopment of Rivington Chase.

“The proposed retention and conversion of the Stores building is considered to be a benefit of the scheme, and should be given sufficient planning weight. It is not considered that the proposed development would have an adverse impact on the local highway network or highway safety, or on the amenity of neighbouring and future residents.”

The Horwich Heritage group said that is supports the housing application in principle, ‘as they would very much like to see the Stores building restored and put to the uses proposed and wish to see the development of the Heritage Core area get underway’.

Should the development go ahead, the landowner would be required to make a contribution to off-site road improvements in Horwich due to the increase in traffic on Chorley New Road.

Last week, the Government granted Bolton Council £12million to create a new road across the site, which is earmarked for a total of 1,700 homes, amid major concerns over traffic in Horwich. The road will link the estate with the Middlebrook retail park, Horwich Parkway station, and junction six of the M61. The cash will also be used to remediate the land on which the road will be built.