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29 Sep 2020

Northstone submits plans for new community green space and much-needed family homes in Horwich

Following a public consultation on its proposals for new family and affordable homes and an area of community green space at Horwich Golf Club off Victoria Road, Northstone has submitted an outline planning application to Bolton Council.

Northstone, part of Peel L&P, is seeking the council’s approval to build up to 150 energy efficient family homes and create a new 15-acre area of ecological and recreational green space, which will be accessible to the community.  

A third of homes will be earmarked for affordable housing needs and Northstone will help to fund improvements of the Beehive roundabout and contribute financially to local schools.  The creation of the community green space, which is currently private and accessible only to golf club members, would be located towards the urban edge of Horwich, linking the site to the open countryside beyond.

Peel L&P acquired Horwich Golf Club in 2012 and has since helped to keep the struggling business running for the past eight years. An alternative for the site is now required and the location means it could deliver a sustainable housing offer.

Northstone is bringing forward this outline planning application to bring a fresh approach to developing the site following Bolton Council’s decision to refuse an application brought forward by Northstone’s parent company, Peel L&P, for 276 homes at the site in early 2020.

The application for 276 homes addressed the issues that were identified by the planning inspector with the previous proposals for 300 homes, which went to a planning inquiry in summer 2019. Given the significant changes made to address the planning inspector’s findings, Peel L&P submitted an appeal for the 276 homes in order for the scheme to be considered at a public inquiry. This outline planning application runs parallel to this appeal.

Northstone’s plans for new community green space in Horwich coincides with increased public awareness of the importance of public parks and green spaces following lockdown. A recent Public Health England report highlights significant evidence that improving community access to greenspaces provides a wide range of health benefits both physical and mental and social benefits, for all social groups within a community.  

The new public open space will open up land, which is privately owned for the use of the entire community. As Horwich continues to grow, this green space can offer a haven for wildlife and a space for residents to relax within the town itself.

As part of the consultation process the community were asked what types of facilities they would like in the green space. Much of the feedback has been incorporated into the Northstone design ideas which includes enhancing existing natural environments and delivering greater diversity of habitats so that nature can flourish. New tree planting, creating areas of meadow grassland and improvements along the watercourse, Nellie’s Clough are all elements included in the plan. Overall, the proposals would provide a significant improvement on the existing ecological value of the site. 

The site could also include an orchard or food growing area for the community. Other design ideas include space for activity, wellbeing and play through the creation of new recreational routes, seating areas and a children’s woodland play area.

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

“We would like to thank all those who engaged with the pre-application consultation to provide their views. The feedback received will help us with the development of detailed plans for this site, including a new community green space that can be used and enjoyed by all.”

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.

Jonathan adds: “Given the apparent increase in people visiting local parks around the country following lockdown, I believe our plans to create a new community green space for Horwich can positively impact on residents’ health and wellbeing, while also delivering benefits for ecology and the environment. We look forward to working with the local community as the plans progress.”

A planning application has now been submitted to Bolton Council and a decision is expected in the coming months.

Northstone’s maiden development called Silkash in Westhoughton, Bolton, has recently celebrated its show home launch and is now open for viewings, by appointment only. To speak to a member of the sales team, please call: 01942 460001.