Councillors voted unanimously to grant approval for 116 residential units at the 187-acre brownfield site.
The wider Loco Works development is being developed by Bluemantle alongside Bolton Council, Homes England, HKR, and Network Rail. According to plans, the £262m regeneration project will eventually have 1,700 homes alongside heritage, educational, retail and leisure facilities.
Reserved matters approval was granted for Lane End Group’s 116 units comprising of 78 apartments and 38 houses. The four-storey apartments 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, first opened in 1886.
Lane End Group is developing the property for two social housing providers. Managing director Richard Harrison 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.”
Bluemantle chief executive Mark Caldwell added: “We have worked hard to put forward a development that reflects the special heritage of the former Loco Works. I’m really excited to see the affordable housing shaping up alongside the heritage and community core plans that will provide a range of amenities and open spaces to be enjoyed by the whole community and for generations to come.”
Plans were revealed last month to restore two original Loco Works buildings to their former glory. Indicative plans were put forward by Cass Associates to transform the former Millwrights shop into a mix of a heritage venue, community health and well-being centre, and a retail food and drink hall. The plans would see the former Pattern Makers building renovated into a 166-space multi-storey car park within the existing building structure and open at roof level.
The affordable housing development is expected to be completed by February 2024. It will be built on a phased basis and 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.