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Plans for new community green space and new homes in Horwich backed for approval

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December 04, 2020

Plans for a new 15-acre ecological and recreational green space together with 150 energy efficient family and affordable homes in Horwich have been recommended for approval to Bolton Council’s Planning Committee on 10th December.

The planning application submitted for land off Victoria Road has been informed by feedback from the community in response to previous applications at this site. The development would feature much-needed new homes to meet local housing demand with a third of the properties available for people with affordable housing needs. 

The proposed scheme can provide a wide range of environmental, health and social benefits for the community. The plans will also secure the future of 15 acres of green space that currently forms part of a private Golf Club, which has required financial support from Peel L&P since 2012 to continue operating. The funding for the Golf Club will end in January 2023. Repurposing the site will help to ensure it does not become an unused derelict area that attracts anti-social behaviour.

Northstone’s ambition stretches much further than building beautiful homes; it’s about creating thriving communities and a more neighbourly world. That is why 60% of the site is proposed for areas of greenspaces including linear greenspaces within the residential neighbourhood and the new community  green space on the northern part of the site which will provide an ecological and recreational community asset that can be enjoyed by generations to come.

To protect this community green space against any future development, Northstone have committed to a restrictive covenant which would prohibit further residential development. Northstone is now looking to partner with local stakeholders and charitable organisations to deliver a long-term commitment for this new community asset and provide a space which can be used and loved by all in the community.

Current ideas for the new community green space include areas for social initiatives such as community orchards; space for activity, wellbeing and play through the creation of new recreational routes; seating areas, spaces for community events, and a children’s woodland play area. This green space will deliver a significant improvement on the existing ecological value of the site, achieving Biodiversity Net Gain by enhancing existing natural environments and delivering greater diversity of habitats so that nature can flourish. New tree planting, areas of meadow grassland and improvements along the watercourse, Nellie’s Clough, are all elements included in the plan.

During the pre-application public consultation undertaken in August, 48% of respondents either registered their interested in a new home or provided supportive feedback, while 24 residents have written to the Council in support of the application since it was submitted.

Jonathan England, Development Director at Northstone, part of Peel L&P, said: 

“Northstone has listened to the feedback of the local community and developed a scheme which can deliver real benefits for Horwich in the long term. The level of support for Northstone’s proposals is encouraging and reflects our bespoke approach to this site, which includes a new community green space at a time when access to green spaces has become a greater priority for many for health and wellbeing.”

“We hope Bolton Council recognise the efforts made by Northstone to deliver a scheme which gives back to the community and addresses local housing needs.”

The development will unlock £274,000 in developer contributions toward highway improvements at the beehive roundabout, alongside a policy compliant contribution to secondary school provision.

Northstone is also supporting charities, local groups, volunteers and councils to run vital services in its communities. This includes a sponsorship with Bolton Lads’ & Girls’ Club to support young people’s mental health during the coronavirus crisis and help the club to run sports activities, counselling, family support and mentoring programmes across its four centres. Northstone is also pleased to have donated to Bolton Council’s festive programme this year and the annual Bolton Lions Toy Appeal to support local businesses, the community and families in need to enjoy as much of a traditional Christmas as they can following the pandemic.

Northstone’s homes are led by thoughtful and modern design both inside and outside the home with smart energy-saving technology to help residents save money on their energy bills and industry-leading home broadband connectivity. Pedestrian-led streets help to reduce traffic speeds and help create a sense of community.

Northstone is on site at its maiden scheme of 150 homes in Westhoughton, called Silkash. The development continues to unlock opportunities for local contractors and trades people and is proving a hit with homebuyers. Work has also commenced on Northstone’s second site in Barrowford, Pendle, just five months after planning permission was approved. Should planning approval be secured for this Horwich site, Northstone is committed to delivering the entire scheme and would hope to commence work on-site in 2021, planning permission permitting.

Northstone’s planning application is due to be considered by Bolton Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday 10th December.