There are five key landowners: Bluemantle, Network Rail, Homes England, Bolton Council and HKR Ltd. Bolton Council is overseeing the whole development and ensuring that each development adheres to the masterplan and is delivered.
A site-wide masterplan was agreed by the Planning Committee of Bolton Council in November 2017 and can be viewed here. This follows extensive work being undertaken including a supplementary planning document in 2012 and the outline planning application, which was consented in 2015.
Extensive site investigations have enabled the landowners to understand where the previous industrial uses contaminated the land. Before each phase of construction, the land will be remediated to ensure it poses no risks and the methods of how this should done has been set out in the remediation strategy which has been agreed by Bolton Council.
The bulk of the Horwich Loco Works site itself has been assessed as possessing no greater contamination than the average brownfield site. The Ashworths asbestos tip is located to the south east of the Loco Works, and consequently the link road route was specifically altered to avoid it and ensure it is not disturbed.
An independent contamination expert has been appointed to assist on the development, and will be involved throughout the construction of the road and future housing developments to ensure that all necessary standards are met and that safety of road users, residents, and future housing developments is guaranteed.
A number of visits have already been carried out to test the land for contamination, and it will continue to be monitored throughout the development of Rivington Chase by the independent consultant, Bolton Council, and the Environment Agency. If any contaminated land is encountered during development, then the relevant authorities will deal it with in the safest and most effective ways possible. All site visits so far have concluded that the construction methodology to be used poses no specific risks.
It is common for schemes as large as Rivington Chase to be constructed on a phased basis and the outline planning approval from Bolton Council in 2015 envisaged this. A Phasing Strategy has been agreed with Bolton Council and further details of the phases of development can be found here.
Phase One, consisting of 112 homes built by Bellway is currently underway. Phase Two will be started alongside the construction of the Rivington Chase link road.
With each new home that is built, the landowner will make a financial contribution to local services and infrastructure, including healthcare, education and transport improvements. This is known as a Section 106 payment and Bolton Council is the recipient of this money. For Rivington Chase, this was agreed with the outline planning consent and is a contribution which all landowners will be required to make.
Bolton Council will be making off-site highways improvements with the Section 106 money from the Rivington Chase development. Road improvements will include works to the Beehive Roundabout, the A6 and De Havilland Way Junction, the Spirit of Sport roundabout and widening of the northbound slip road at Junction 6 of the M61.
The link road through Rivington Chase was given planning approval in August 2019, and will provide much-needed relief by moving traffic off Chorley New Road and provide links to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich railway station, and the M61.
Extensive strategic open space including new footpaths and cycleways will be provided for residents of Rivington Chase and Horwich. This open space is to be brought forward in conjunction with the delivery of the main link road and remediation of adjacent land. When delivered, a management company will be employed to maintain the open spaces across Rivington Chase. The link road will have footpaths and cycle paths along its length.
The link road is critical to the completion of the Rivington Chase development, and the housing, retail, business, and leisure facilities it offers. The road will unlock the development, and integrate it into the surrounding infrastructure, providing links to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich railway station, and the M61. The road will significantly reduce traffic and congestion in and around Horwich – particularly on Chorley New Road. The road will provide better access for prospective developers, encouraging them to build on the Rivington Chase site.
A planning condition has been agreed to preserve the historically valuable items from the Erecting Shed, either onsite, or offsite at a suitable location, such as a railway heritage museum. The design of the Heritage Core itself will also reflect the history of the local area.
We have worked closely with Horwich Heritage, Historic England, and the community during the planning process to ensure the area’s history is preserved. The local community has been invited to suggest ways in which the history of the Loco Works can be honoured in the development. Any ideas can be submitted here.
Overall, the construction of Rivington Chase and associated supply chain could directly create 320 new jobs. Further employment opportunities will be created through the significant financial investment into the area, which could generate as many as 1,500 jobs on site. It is estimated that the new residents of Rivington Chase would spend more than £80m a year on local goods and services, leading to a further 200 jobs.