THE latest housing development approved for the Horwich Loco Works could be a ‘catalyst’ for the site’s regeneration, councillors hope.
On Thursday, Bolton Council’s planning committee approved Hong Kong Racing’s plans to build 130 houses and 28 apartments at the Rivington Chase site.
This is the second housing plan given approval at the Loco Works, following Bellway Homes’ 112-home scheme, and around 1,700 houses are expected to be built across the entire development.
Former council leader, Cllr Cliff Morris, said that the latest plans are ‘a bit of the jigsaw we are looking for and a catalyst’.
He added that he was more than pleased to approve the building of houses on brownfield land and ‘move the Loco Works closer to where we want it to be in five years’ time’.
The Hong Kong Racing plans involve converting the Stores building at the Loco Works into a mixture of flats and an outline proposal for 130 houses opposite Horwich RMI.
A spokesman for the developer says that they recognise the need for ‘sustainable and holistic’ regeneration of the Loco Works.
However, in response to a question from Cllr Joyce Kellett, the applicant said that they do not have a timescale on when the development would take place as they hope to sell the land to a house-builder.
Cllr Ann Cunliffe says that the application, which was approved unanimously, could be ‘quite an exciting development’.
Cllr Bob Allen said: “We have to maximise the use of sites like this and minimise the loss of green belt.”
However, his Conservative colleague John Walsh expressed concerns over the war memorial at the Loco Works.
He urged that any application relating to the Loco Works must include a condition that the site’s war memorial is accessible at all times during construction.