Plans have been submitted for a £12m link road for the Rivington Chase development, and are pending council planning approval.

The road would provide Rivington Chase with vital transport links, unlocking the £262m site and integrating it firmly with surrounding infrastructure. It would connect the development with Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Railway Station, and the M61. It is expected that the road will significantly improve traffic flow in and around Horwich, reducing congestion – particularly on Chorley New Road, a known problem area.

It will sit alongside cycle paths and footpaths. The road is a crucial part of the scheme, necessary for the development of homes for local people, as well as for providing the community with access to retail, leisure and green space. Without the road and houses on the brownfield site, Horwich greenbelt land will be in danger of over development.

The link road has been carefully designed to follow the best route on the site, avoiding the nearby asbestos tip and ensuring there is no impact on the nearby Red Moss site of scientific and biological importance.

Some of the heritage elements of the Loco Works site, including the Erecting and Repair Shop where steam trains were once built, will unfortunately be lost as part of the redevelopment.

The Erecting and Repair shop was found to be no longer viable following an independent review, with a deficit of £12m and no grant funding available to bring it up to modern standards. As a result, it is set to be demolished. The remaining Loco Works buildings will be preserved, and form the Heritage Core at the heart of the development.

Mark Caldwell, Chief Executive of Bluemantle, commented: ‘The link road is the key to ensuring the Rivington Chase development is completed and integrated with all the areas and amenities around it.  With the crucial connections that the road will provide, Rivington Chase can truly become the vibrant, thriving community we want it to be.’

The planning application for the link road is to be heard at Bolton Council’s planning committee on 22nd August. A planning condition has been agreed to recommend the reuse or recycling of elements of the Erecting and Repair Shop that possess historical interest, either on site or off site at an appropriate location such as a local heritage railway organisation.

Suggestions are being taken from the Horwich community to ascertain the best way to honour the area’s locomotive heritage, and can be submitted on the ‘Enquiries’ page of our website.