Bolton Council has given the go-ahead to a £12m link road in Horwich as part of a £262m regeneration project.
The 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.
It was backed by the council’s planning committee at a meeting last week following a joint application by the council and Bluemantle, the developer for the £262m Rivington Chase regeneration scheme, which will see 1,700 homes developed on the former Horwich Loco Works site (picutured).
Bluemantle said the road is a critical part of the scheme and will enable better access and relieve pressure on other routes.
A £12m grant was secured earlier this year from Homes England, and the project will now proceed to its next stages.
Alongside the link road there will be open spaces for Rivington Chase and Horwich residents, including cycle paths, footpaths and green spaces.
The 150-acre Rivington Chase development also includes employment, leisure, retail, and green space.
Bolton Council deputy leader Martyn Cox said: ‘This link road stands to benefit the whole community, and will make Horwich a fantastic place to live and work.
'We have listened to resident concerns about access to the site and this link road not only improves traffic flow and infrastructure across the area, it also provides cycle lanes, dedicated footpaths and open spaces for the community.’
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 as key in helping to protect Horwich and Bolton’s greenbelt from overdevelopment.'
The granting of planning permission last week followed a deferral a week earlier after a request to Bolton Highways and Engineering department for more information.
After confirmation that no alternative routes were viable, permission was granted subject to several conditions, including ‘the remediation, environmental and heritage aspects of the site’.
A planning condition has been agreed to preserve the historically valuable items in the interior of the loco works’ Erecting Shed. This will either be done on site or at ‘an appropriate location’ elsewhere, such as a local heritage railway organisation.
The road is expected to be fully operational by 2021.