Northstone is bringing forward an outline planning application on land off Victoria Road, Horwich. These proposals will establish the principle of delivering up to 150 homes at this site, along with a new area of ecological and community greenspace located towards the urban edge of Horwich and providing a transition area to the open countryside beyond.
We see the redevelopment of Horwich Golf Club as an opportunity to deliver more than just new homes. Northstone’s aim is to deliver a scheme that will benefit the whole community and puts placemaking at the heart of what it does. That’s why these draft proposals offer a significant area of the site for a new ecological and community green space.
We recently held a public consultation on the plans and we are now reviewing the feedback received before an outline planning application is submitted to Bolton Council.
We don’t just build houses. We create homes, exceptional spaces, sustainable environments and new communities where families love, grow and thrive. We’re part of Peel L&P. That means that we’re passionate about our heritage in the North and proud to be a part of a company that has been transforming the region and enhancing people’s lives for over 40 years. At Northstone, we innovate, adapt and regenerate spaces and places. We create sustainable, energy-efficient homes in community-focused spaces that shape the future of living.
Bolton Borough Council has failed to deliver the number of houses it needs to meet current housing requirements and those of future generations. With a growing population, longer life expectancies and increasing numbers of people living alone, it is predicted that the number of households across the Borough will continue to increase significantly. However, Bolton Council is currently unable to demonstrate a sufficient supply of housing land over the next 5 years, which is a minimum requirement of national planning policy. There is also a very substantial shortfall of affordable housing provision against the identified needs of Bolton, meaning that people in need of an affordable home are currently unable to access one.
There is therefore a significant shortage of market and affordable housing within the Borough to meet growing needs, and Northstone’s proposals for Horwich will help address this problem.
Peel L&P purchased Horwich Golf Club in 2012 when the business was failing. Since that time, the Golf Club has continued to operate because of investment from Peel L&P. However, this is not a long-term solution for this site as the Golf Club is still financially unviable. Left undeveloped, the site could attract anti-social behaviour and crime as has been the case with other closed golf clubs in the area.
In 2018, an application for 300 homes on the site was refused by Bolton Council, a decision which was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate at appeal due to the impact of the proposals on the landscape at the site’s northern boundary.
While the application submitted by Peel L&P in November 2019 addressed the concerns raised by the planning inspector regarding the scheme’s visual impact, the Planning Committee refused this updated planning application in January 2020.
Northstone understands that previous planning applications for new homes at this site have failed to secure the backing of local councillors. As such, Northstone is seeking to develop a scheme that will be supported locally and one that is a viable alternative future use for this site.
Horwich Golf Club sits approximately 800m south east of Horwich Town Centre and within 8km of Bolton Town Centre. The site is located on land currently used by Horwich Golf Club.
The site is well situated for the delivery of a sustainable community that is close to all essential amenities, such as shops, schools and GP surgeries, and that’s residents will not need to be reliant on car travel for everyday journeys. Horwich Golf Club is within convenient walking distance of three state primary schools, St. Joseph’s RC High School, an NHS GP, pharmacy, dental surgery, food stores, restaurants and pubs. Old Station park and Horwich Youth Centre are also within walking distance.
There are public footpaths that run around the edges of the site and these will be retained within the scheme. Other facilities such as a pharmacy, a dentist, a bank, additional shops, pubs and employment sites and several sizeable recreation open spaces are all within a 1.5km walking distance of site.
The sustainable location of the site was recognised by the planning inspector, whose feedback to the previously appealed application stated that: “The site is reasonably close to most local facilities and transport services. In terms of its accessibility by sustainable modes of transport, there is no question that it represents a suitable location for housing.”
A bespoke development delivering up to 150 high quality family homes in Horwich with access taken from Victoria Road to the South of the site;
Up to 34% of properties delivered will be affordable homes, helping those that are struggling to afford rent or a deposit to secure suitable accommodation;
A scheme that will stand the test of time by utilising advances in technology, such as smart control systems, electric vehicle charging capacity and secure delivery boxes for all properties;
A range of property types to meet the needs of local people, from starter homes to larger family homes as well as homes for those looking to downsize;
Open-plan, uncluttered living featuring clever storage solutions to fully utilise the space;
Homes that can be adapted to respond to residents’ needs and requirements, with flexible room configurations and sheds that can be provided with electricity and upgraded to offices;
An ecologically enriched environment through considered planting of trees, plants and hedgerows to encourage birds, bees and insects;
Properties that will exceed standard energy-efficiency requirements by providing household technology that is proven to lower energy bills;
A pedestrian-led development offering significantly more breathing space between homes than conventional designs;
Homes which are centred around the site’s natural features, creating natural open spaces and points of interest throughout;
An economic boost for local businesses in Horwich and the wider area with more people spending locally;
The creation of jobs during the construction phase;
A significant area of the site for a new ecological and recreational green space;
Here you can find out about the design principles that underpin Northstone’s approach to development.
We’ve challenged and elevated traditional property development principles in home building. Our exclusive designs have been informed by our vast experience and the ‘wish-list’ knowledge we’ve gained over the years from occupiers and homeowners.
For example, our homes provide open-plan, uncluttered spaces featuring clever storage solutions to maximise living areas. High ceilings and large windows increase natural light for residents, while all properties can be adapted to respond to residents’ needs and requirements.
Northstone homes also exceed standard energy-efficiency requirements by providing household technology that is proven to lower energy bills.
Whilst Peel L&P’s application for 276 homes, submitted December 2019, addressed comments raised by the Planning Inspector in relation to landscape impact, we appreciate that this application failed to get the backing of Planning Committee members. As such, Northstone has gone much further to reduce the visual impact of the new homes on the landscape. Our current proposals include plans for a new ecological and recreational green space that will stretch across the northern section of the site. Whilst the final layout and exact specifications of this green space will be confirmed at reserved matters stage, this new community asset will extend across a significant proportion of the site and could include an array of habitats, plant species and landscaping features. The proposed greenspace area is shown on the illustrative masterplan.
Through the delivery of an ecological and recreational green space at Horwich Golf Club, there is an opportunity to significantly enhance ecology and biodiversity. We’d like to hear your views on how this can be achieved.
Across the developed area of the site, existing trees and hedgerows will be retained, where possible, while significant additional planting and landscaping will encourage birds, bees and insects.
The site will be accessed via the existing access for the Golf Club on Victoria Road. Pedestrian access points will be provided to ensure connectivity with the surrounding development areas, public rights of way, landscape and public transport facilities.
Questions about the highways impact were raised in relation to the first planning application at this site for 300 homes. The Council considered these concerns alongside the findings of the various highways assessments and concluded that, provided funding was made for improvements to the Beehive Roundabout, the proposed development of 300 homes would have “no unacceptable impact on highway safety” and “no residual cumulative impacts on the highway network which would be material or severe”. Against that background, Northstone’s proposals for 150 properties is considered acceptable in terms of the impact on local roads.
Furthermore, public transport connections are available by train and bus. There are train services at Horwich Parkway station, circa 2km from the site. Direct services provided from the station include to Bolton, Salford, Manchester, Chorley and Preston. Horwich Parkway also has a large and popular Park and Ride facility. As well as the linkages available from Horwich Parkway, there are several bus services that run close to the site along Victoria Road, Chorley New Road and Church Street. High frequency bus connections are available from the site with bus services to Horwich town centre and Bolton, including the bus station and Bolton interchange.
New development inevitably increases the number of people that use local services and infrastructure such as schools, GP surgeries and local roads. As such, Northstone will be engaging with Bolton Council to understand whether these services and infrastructure have sufficient capacity to support new residents. Should any issues be identified, such as a shortage of school places, discussions will be held between the Council and Northstone as to how the plans can help facilitate the required work to ensure services and infrastructure can continue to operate effectively.
Such discussions often result in councils and developers agreeing to Section 106 packages. This is when developers provide funding to the Council to fund any necessary work to existing infrastructure or services, or sometimes funds the delivery of new schools, roads or medical centres.
The proposed development will seek to utilise Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) to manage surface water across the site. Attenuation basins will be located in the lower areas of the site, allowing them to capture water run off from the development parcels uphill. The basins will also be placed strategically within areas of open space to enhance amenity value as well strengthening sustainability and ecological value.
Swales will be located to the sides of roads or through open spaces where required, channelling water from the site toward the proposed detention basins, while also further benefiting the amenity value of the open spaces and softening edges of roads and development areas. Drainage features of the existing golf course will be retained and enhanced where possible. The stream along Nellie’s Clough will be retained, and where necessary enhanced to encourage greater species diversity and habitat mosaics along its length. A flood risk assessment and drainage strategy have been submitted to accompany the application.
Unlocking investment in new ecological and recreational green space
While the plans are in the early stages of development, initial design principles include:
Delivering a space for nature to flourish through the enhancement of existing habitats through tree management and new planting. Our plans could also create new habitats to increase biodiversity through considered placement of new plants, trees and permanent structures such as bat boxes.
A space to connect with nature by improving footpath links through the site to the wider countryside, alongside places to sit and relax. The plans could also create space for communities to come together, perhaps through initiatives such as a community orchard.
A Space for activity, wellbeing and play through the creation and maintenance of new recreational routes to increase opportunities for physical fitness. A new woodland area of play for children, which could include play equipment, could also be included.
Delivering the right homes for the local area
Like the rest of the UK, new homes are needed in locally. Northstone is committed to delivering the right homes for the local area and, as such, will be seeking the views of the local community when a reserved matters planning application is prepared. Northstone is committed to delivering a high-quality residential development that responds to the needs of the existing community in Horwich.
A new, forward-thinking developer to bring-forward the scheme
Northstone’s plans for Horwich will be designed for 21st century living. This means that our homes, shared spaces and the site infrastructure will serve the needs of residents today and in future years.
For example, we want to equip our homes with technology that will facilitate low-carbon and smart living lifestyles. This is about ensuring our homes are prepared for the demands and needs of future generations, and our proposals will embrace these challenges to deliver a truly sustainable development.
A boost for businesses in Horwich
Delivery of our new homes at Horwich Golf Club will increase the number of residents who use Horwich’s shops, cafes, restaurants and other amenities. These residents will bring additional footfall for businesses and give a huge boost to the local high street. This, in turn, could act as a catalyst for further investment in the area.
Increased Council funds
Bolton Council will receive increased Council Tax revenue generated from these new homes. This additional income will be available to spend on local facilities to benefit the community. In addition, the Council may receive a New Homes Bonus payment from the Government, which is an incentive payment made to councils to support the building of homes.
The scheme will create new employment opportunities during the construction phase, both directly and indirectly through the supply chain. The housebuilding industry, including its supply chain, is a major contributor to both national and local economies as part of the wider construction sector, both through the employment it creates and the investment it makes in the sites being built.
Northstone is bringing forward new and exciting proposals for new homes and a new ecology, amenity and recreational green space on land currently occupied by Horwich Golf Club. The proposals seek to agree the principle of delivering up to 150 homes, the appropriate vehicle access off Victoria Road and the principle of delivering a new community green space.
An outline application establishes the principle of a certain type of development on a site and seeks to establish the appropriate extent of development in the specified location. Before developers can build, they must obtain full planning permission, therefore applicants with outline planning permission must get further permission from the Council before work can commence.
The site is located south east of Horwich at Horwich Golf Club, Victoria Road.
A planning application for up to 300 homes was refused by the Council in 2018, which was subsequently taken to appeal. At appeal, the planning inspector upheld the Council’s decision due to concerns about the impact of the application on the surrounding landscape and views.
Peel L&P submitted a scheme for 276 homes in November 2019 to address the inspectors concerns on landscape impact. However, the Planning Committee also refused this application in January 2020 against the advice of planning officers. An appeal has been submitted against this refusal.
Northstone is now bringing forward revised proposals that we hope will be supported by residents and councillors alike.
Northstone intends to transform the northern section of the site into a public space which can be enjoyed by both existing and new residents. This means new homes will not concentrated in the southern section, reducing the visual impact of the scheme even further. The illustrative layout indicates the area of proposed development and green spaces.
Northstone is submitting an outline application, which means that at this stage the principle of developing new homes and a community green space is what will be agreed. The exact sizes and specifications of the homes will be agreed with a later reserved matters planning application. However, it is envisaged that this later application will respond to local housing needs, such as the current demand of homes for first-time buyers, the elderly and growing families.
Northstone’s proposals will be developed in accordance with Bolton Council’s Affordable Housing policy requirements which could see up to 34% of the scheme come forward as affordable housing.
While the type and tenure of the affordable mix is to be agreed with the Council, affordable units will be constructed throughout the development in a style consistent with the other dwelling houses within the development.
We recently held a public consultation on the plans and we are now reviewing the feedback received before an outline planning application is submitted to Bolton Council. Northstone is committed to engaging with local residents and stakeholders about our plans for Horwich. We know previous applications at this site have not secured the support of councillors and many in the neighbourhood and we strongly believe that only by working with the local community we can help to deliver what your area needs in the right way.
In the meantime, if you would like to get touch with us you can do so using the following details:
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