An affordable housing development proposal put forward by Lane End Group has been given the green light by Bolton Council.
Unanimous approval was granted by councillors for the 116-home development at Rivington Chase, which will provide local people with access to apartments and family homes on the former Horwich Loco Works.
Once complete, the development will offer 40 one-bedroom apartments, 38 two-bedroom apartments, 9 two-bedroom houses, 19 three-bedroom houses and 10 four-bedroom houses. The four-storey buildings will be split into two blocks either side of a central corridor, while the houses are arranged in terraced blocks of four to five to recreate the appearance of the former Loco Works, which first opened in 1886.
The plans to develop the 187-acre brownfield site form part of a wider regeneration project set to cost £262m, providing 1,700 homes as well as heritage, educational, retail, leisure, health and well-being facilities. The wider Loco Works development is being developed by Bluemantle alongside Bolton Council, Homes England, HKR, and Network Rail.
Richard Harrison, managing director at Lane End Group, said: “This decision means it is full steam ahead for our social enterprise Lane End New Beginnings, which works with not-for-profit organisations and those in need of support. We know how important the former Loco Works are to the local community, so I’m pleased that we are able to provide the area with much needed affordable homes that also commemorate the site’s iconic heritage”.
Plans to redevelop two original Loco Works buildings were revealed in March by Cass Associates which, if approved, would see the former Millwrights shop transformed into a complex comprising a heritage venue, community health and well-being centre, and a retail food and drink hall.
In addition, the firm hopes to convert the former Pattern Makers building into a 166-space multi-storey car park within the existing building structure and open at roof level.
The proposals also include a heritage trail, cycle tracks, natural amphitheatre, forest school and a series of heritage pocket packs incorporating the giant cast-iron pillars which were once used in the building of the region’s locomotive engines, all designed to maintain and make use of the site’s existing open and green spaces.
The planning application was put forward by Lane End Group and was supported by planning advisor Avison Young, and architects Cass Associates and Paddock Johnson.
The application was approved by councilors on the condition that adequate electric vehicle charging points, landscaping to include mature trees and ecological conditions to consider provision for bat and bird boxes are all provided.
The affordable housing development will be built in a series of phases in coordination with the construction of a new link road and roundabout which will connect the site to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway railway station, and Junction 6 of the M61. The project is expected to be completed by February 2024.