Major mixed-use redevelopment approved by Bolton Council

Plans for the mixed-use redevelopment of a 76 hectare former railway manufacturing site to the west of Bolton, including proposals for up to 1,700 homes, have been given the green light by Bolton Council.

Horwich redevelopment: approved by Bolton Council

The council’s planning committee last week approved joint venture Horwich Vision’s hybrid application for the mixed-use redevelopment of the former Horwich Loco Works Site, submitted by Manchester-based planning consultancy HOW Planning.

The hybrid application sought full planning permission for access to the site, the demolition of some buildings on the site and for the change of use of buildings to be retained on the site to provide a mix of uses comprising more than 17,500 square metres of floorspace.

Outline planning permission was sought for the residential development of up to 1,700 homes, as well as 2,500 square metres of retail floorspace, 17,520 square metres of employment space comprising B1 and B2 uses and up to 2,700 square metres of D1 leisure uses.

An officer's report to the planning committee recommended that the application be approved.

The report noted that "considerable weight" needed to be given to the impact on the proposals on the character or appearance of the Former Horwich Locomotive Works Conservative Area that would be caused by the removal of the buildings not included in the "heritage core".

But the report concluded that the proposals "represent not only a major financial investment but also a major contribution towards the provision of housing and employment, leisure, commercial spaces and open spaces which would offer very substantial benefits to the local communities of Horwich and Bolton".

The report added: "It is considered that the substantial economic, environmental and social benefits derived from the proposals represent significant public benefits to the local community and wider borough of Bolton as a whole, and that cumulatively these would be sufficient and exceptional to outweigh the considerable weight given against granting permission where it would fail to preserve or enhance the conservation area."

Bolton Council’s cabinet member for development and regeneration, Akhtar Zaman, said: "This is a major regeneration scheme which will mean substantial financial investment of £262 million directly into Horwich and the local area.

"The Loco Works site is a crucial part of the council’s economic strategy and vision, along with the town centre and the Logistics North."