The road is seen as a critical part of the former Horwich Loco Works regeneration scheme. It will unlock the site, enable better access, and relieve pressure on other roads. A £12m grant for the road’s construction was secured earlier this year from Homes England.
The link road will connect Horwich town centre and Chorley New Road to Middlebrook retail park, Horwich railway station, and the M61 via the new Rivington Chase development.
The 150-acre Rivington Chase housing development, led by property developer Bluemantle, was approved for planning in 2015. It comprises 1,700 houses, as well as employment, leisure and retail space.
Given the heritage of the site on the former Horwich Loco Works, a planning condition has been agreed that seeks to re-use or recycle elements of historical value from the Erecting Shed’s interior; this will either be done on site or off-site at an appropriate location, such as a local heritage railway organisation.
Bluemantle chief executive Mark Caldwell said: “This is a huge leap forward for the Rivington Chase site and the link road will help realise the ambition to deliver the rest of the masterplan. This regeneration project is turning dilapidated brownfield land into much needed homes, alongside retail, business, leisure and green space for the whole community to enjoy. Sites like this are key in helping to protect Horwich and Bolton’s greenbelt from overdevelopment.”
The planning application was a joint application made by Alpha Investments NW and Bolton Council with planning support from Avison Young, Cass Associates and RPS Group. The development is led by Bluemantle and the other key landowners are Network Rail, Homes England, Bolton Council and HKR Ltd. Bolton Council is overseeing the whole Rivington Chase scheme.