Bolton Council accused of having 'hidden agenda' in preferring application for Horwich Loco Works site

Bolton Council accused of having "hidden agenda" in preferring application for Horwich Loco Works site

First published in News
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This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

THERE was confusion about whether Bolton Council has a "preferred applicant" for the controversial Loco Works development site at a meeting of Horwich Town Council. 

One resident accused Bolton Council of having a "hidden agenda" after separate plans for the site were allegedly dismissed - a claim that was strongly refuted by the leader of the council.

Developers Horwich Vision submitted plans for 1,700 homes to be built on the site in January, but a meeting of Horwich Town Council heard that a second application, from Hong Kong Racing Ltd, for 28 apartments and 130 dwellings as well as recreational space and new pedestrian and cycle routes has been submitted.

But when resident Barry Jubb accused Bolton Council of having a preferred bidder for the site, the members of Bolton Council who also sit on Horwich Town Council appeared to disagree on whether this was the case.

Mr Jubb said: "I was present at a meeting in March where this other application was discussed, then, at a meeting about the loco works, Cllr (Ken) Denton handed a leaflet about the plans to (town council leader) Kevin McKeon.

"He gave it a cursory glance and said it will not happen.

"I want to know the real reason - I put it to you that Bolton Council has a preferred bidder. There is a hidden agenda and I want to know what it is."

Cllr McKeon, who is both a Bolton borough and Horwich town councillor responded by stating that there was "nothing untoward going on" but that Bolton Council "does have a preferred developer".

He added: "That is what councils do when they want areas developed, but of course anyone can put in an application.

"The reason I would oppose this application is because it's not part of the overall vision the council has in mind."

His account was queried by fellow Bolton Councillor, Joyce Kellet, who is the vice-chairman of Bolton's planning committee.

She said: "Bolton doesn't have a preferred developer before the plans come to the planning committee.

"As vice-chair of the committee I haven't heard anything about a preferred developer."

Horwich town councillor Cllr Christine Root asked for clarification on the matter.

She said: "I have just heard two different things from Bolton Councillors on this - can we get this clarified as we look like we don't know what is going on?"

The town council then voted to recommend refusal on Hong Kong Ltd's application.

Comments (18)

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12:11am Fri 25 Jul 14

Ernagy2 says...

What a surprise, Bolton Council don't know what's going on. I'm surprised plans have been submitted for a Mosque. There isn't one in that area.
What a surprise, Bolton Council don't know what's going on. I'm surprised plans have been submitted for a Mosque. There isn't one in that area. Ernagy2
  • Score: 23

12:23am Fri 25 Jul 14

boltonnut says...

Hidden agenda,it was probably hidden UNDER THE TABLE wink wink.
Hidden agenda,it was probably hidden UNDER THE TABLE wink wink. boltonnut
  • Score: 7

1:32am Fri 25 Jul 14

Andyroost says...

What will prove interesting is whether Armstrongs will be made to clear their part of the site back to a flat surface as it started, Im probably bad minded but I cant see them moving any waste from site, Where is the tip inspector from Bolton MBC who is in charge of their site, He needs to monitor the situation now, There is a pile of old mattresses 20 feet high and 50 foot wide, cant see for how far they are stored but i would say a fire is on the cards very soon, They need to be made to clear the whole of their stock pile before being allowed to jump ship, lets see how Bolton MBC handle this situation, Suspect a few brown envelopes will be passed. then nothing said.
What will prove interesting is whether Armstrongs will be made to clear their part of the site back to a flat surface as it started, Im probably bad minded but I cant see them moving any waste from site, Where is the tip inspector from Bolton MBC who is in charge of their site, He needs to monitor the situation now, There is a pile of old mattresses 20 feet high and 50 foot wide, cant see for how far they are stored but i would say a fire is on the cards very soon, They need to be made to clear the whole of their stock pile before being allowed to jump ship, lets see how Bolton MBC handle this situation, Suspect a few brown envelopes will be passed. then nothing said. Andyroost
  • Score: 36

11:41am Fri 25 Jul 14

gladrill says...

I would have thought due to the traffic problem on the roads through Horwich the prefared bidder would have been the one that does'nt ruin Horwich. On no lets clog the roads up. you should be listening to the people that elected you. We are sick to death of their views.
I would have thought due to the traffic problem on the roads through Horwich the prefared bidder would have been the one that does'nt ruin Horwich. On no lets clog the roads up. you should be listening to the people that elected you. We are sick to death of their views. gladrill
  • Score: 10

11:44am Fri 25 Jul 14

marco999 says...

How about asking the people who live in Horwich, the rate payers, the poor saps who have to accept this so called 'overall vision' the council has for the site. Ask them what they think about 1700 houses and the inevitable 3000 extra cars that will be coming into the area. Horwich used to be a nice village but will quickly become an over developed gridlocked sprawling town if the council have their way.
How about asking the people who live in Horwich, the rate payers, the poor saps who have to accept this so called 'overall vision' the council has for the site. Ask them what they think about 1700 houses and the inevitable 3000 extra cars that will be coming into the area. Horwich used to be a nice village but will quickly become an over developed gridlocked sprawling town if the council have their way. marco999
  • Score: 13

12:13pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Brumas says...

Preferred developer? So this latest proposed development had no chance of being approved?
So why has Bolton Council yet again let their dirty washing be exposed to the public? This new developer must have paid a substantial amount to submit this application, with Bolton Council knowing full well it would be refused, but accepting the fee, is that not immoral? It shows how unscrupulous Bolton Council is.
Plus what a farce, members of the same party not knowing about what appears to be double dealing, with one member Leader of Horwich Council saying there is a preferred developer, with another member who is Vice Chair of Bolton Planning Committee saying Bolton doesn't have a preferred developer before the plans come to the planning committee, are they for real.
Either way the people of Bolton Borough deserve to know the truth.
Preferred developer? So this latest proposed development had no chance of being approved? So why has Bolton Council yet again let their dirty washing be exposed to the public? This new developer must have paid a substantial amount to submit this application, with Bolton Council knowing full well it would be refused, but accepting the fee, is that not immoral? It shows how unscrupulous Bolton Council is. Plus what a farce, members of the same party not knowing about what appears to be double dealing, with one member Leader of Horwich Council saying there is a preferred developer, with another member who is Vice Chair of Bolton Planning Committee saying Bolton doesn't have a preferred developer before the plans come to the planning committee, are they for real. Either way the people of Bolton Borough deserve to know the truth. Brumas
  • Score: 10

2:11pm Fri 25 Jul 14

boydell says...

marco999 wrote:
How about asking the people who live in Horwich, the rate payers, the poor saps who have to accept this so called 'overall vision' the council has for the site. Ask them what they think about 1700 houses and the inevitable 3000 extra cars that will be coming into the area. Horwich used to be a nice village but will quickly become an over developed gridlocked sprawling town if the council have their way.
The people of Horwich WERE asked for feedback at the meeting earlier on in the year and they rejected the whole thing, but were ignored .....as usual.
The Bolton/Horwich council is a law unto themselves and will do what THEY want regardless of what the people of Horwich want. These meetings are a complete waste of time... and electricity.
[quote][p][bold]marco999[/bold] wrote: How about asking the people who live in Horwich, the rate payers, the poor saps who have to accept this so called 'overall vision' the council has for the site. Ask them what they think about 1700 houses and the inevitable 3000 extra cars that will be coming into the area. Horwich used to be a nice village but will quickly become an over developed gridlocked sprawling town if the council have their way.[/p][/quote]The people of Horwich WERE asked for feedback at the meeting earlier on in the year and they rejected the whole thing, but were ignored .....as usual. The Bolton/Horwich council is a law unto themselves and will do what THEY want regardless of what the people of Horwich want. These meetings are a complete waste of time... and electricity. boydell
  • Score: 9

3:37pm Fri 25 Jul 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

They are so corrupt they don't know what to do anymore!!!!
They are so corrupt they don't know what to do anymore!!!! FreedomOfSpeech1945
  • Score: 12

7:06pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Brumas says...

Sorry "boydell" this application was not put before the residents earlier this year, this was a separate application for between 130 and 160 dwellings. it transpires that the Bolton Council don't want any one else other than Bluemantle to develop the Old Loco Works site.
Sorry "boydell" this application was not put before the residents earlier this year, this was a separate application for between 130 and 160 dwellings. it transpires that the Bolton Council don't want any one else other than Bluemantle to develop the Old Loco Works site. Brumas
  • Score: 2

9:02pm Fri 25 Jul 14

owencoyle99 says...

Here we go again with planning why is there no trust in BMBC
Easy when Nick Peel is in charge he will make sure it goes through if we like it or not
Here we go again with planning why is there no trust in BMBC Easy when Nick Peel is in charge he will make sure it goes through if we like it or not owencoyle99
  • Score: 5

10:10pm Fri 25 Jul 14

JJKBolton says...

marco999 wrote:
How about asking the people who live in Horwich, the rate payers, the poor saps who have to accept this so called 'overall vision' the council has for the site. Ask them what they think about 1700 houses and the inevitable 3000 extra cars that will be coming into the area. Horwich used to be a nice village but will quickly become an over developed gridlocked sprawling town if the council have their way.
We have been asked, its called a consultation exercise. But they arnt asking if we agree with a plan or not. The idea of a consultation plan is for the local authority ( "authority" being the operative word here), to tell us what will happen. It certainly has nothing whatever to do with democracy, rather more a dictatorship.
[quote][p][bold]marco999[/bold] wrote: How about asking the people who live in Horwich, the rate payers, the poor saps who have to accept this so called 'overall vision' the council has for the site. Ask them what they think about 1700 houses and the inevitable 3000 extra cars that will be coming into the area. Horwich used to be a nice village but will quickly become an over developed gridlocked sprawling town if the council have their way.[/p][/quote]We have been asked, its called a consultation exercise. But they arnt asking if we agree with a plan or not. The idea of a consultation plan is for the local authority ( "authority" being the operative word here), to tell us what will happen. It certainly has nothing whatever to do with democracy, rather more a dictatorship. JJKBolton
  • Score: 4

11:58pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Steven Chadwick says...

Sooner Horwich leave Bolton the better! Time to join with Chorley in their bid for unitary status!
Sooner Horwich leave Bolton the better! Time to join with Chorley in their bid for unitary status! Steven Chadwick
  • Score: 2

6:12am Sat 26 Jul 14

By George says...

If I was head of planning In Bolton I would be concerned about so many reports of corruption and so many mistakes generally being made on planning applications, just look at the old flying shuttle, in Highfield Even the local Councillor our Noel is in on the bent application, it is a mess and the only explanation is corrupt council employees , why else would such a mess be allowed?
If I was head of planning In Bolton I would be concerned about so many reports of corruption and so many mistakes generally being made on planning applications, just look at the old flying shuttle, in Highfield Even the local Councillor our Noel is in on the bent application, it is a mess and the only explanation is corrupt council employees , why else would such a mess be allowed? By George
  • Score: 1

9:04am Sat 26 Jul 14

boydell says...

Brumas wrote:
Sorry "boydell" this application was not put before the residents earlier this year, this was a separate application for between 130 and 160 dwellings. it transpires that the Bolton Council don't want any one else other than Bluemantle to develop the Old Loco Works site.
Beg to differ Brumas,,, I was at the meeting in Horwich RMI, and this meeting was for the plan for 1700 houses to be explained to the people of Horwich who bothered to turn up to the meeting. It was asked for a show of hands for or against this new build and the majority overwhelmingly voted against it........nothing at all to do with 130/160 dwellings. As Marco999 said, (and I agree with him its a dictatorship which runs Horwich and Bolton!
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: Sorry "boydell" this application was not put before the residents earlier this year, this was a separate application for between 130 and 160 dwellings. it transpires that the Bolton Council don't want any one else other than Bluemantle to develop the Old Loco Works site.[/p][/quote]Beg to differ Brumas,,, I was at the meeting in Horwich RMI, and this meeting was for the plan for 1700 houses to be explained to the people of Horwich who bothered to turn up to the meeting. It was asked for a show of hands for or against this new build and the majority overwhelmingly voted against it........nothing at all to do with 130/160 dwellings. As Marco999 said, (and I agree with him its a dictatorship which runs Horwich and Bolton! boydell
  • Score: -1

10:21am Sat 26 Jul 14

Brumas says...

boydell, sorry again you are wrong. The application before Horwich Planning Committee on Thursday was submitted by Quod on behalf of Hong Kong Racing Ltd. The application you refer to was submitted by Bluemantle for Rivington Chase. This application has the name of Leopards Hill and if it was the same application, why do you think the Councillors are falling out among their selves?
boydell, sorry again you are wrong. The application before Horwich Planning Committee on Thursday was submitted by Quod on behalf of Hong Kong Racing Ltd. The application you refer to was submitted by Bluemantle for Rivington Chase. This application has the name of Leopards Hill and if it was the same application, why do you think the Councillors are falling out among their selves? Brumas
  • Score: 1

1:03pm Sat 26 Jul 14

kmum01 says...

Boydell is trying to that Horwich rejected the 1700 homes project, we haven't been asked to comment on the recent Hong Kong application , it sounds preferable to the Bluemantle application. Bolton council are simply looking to complete the "tickbox" mentality imposed on them by the government. It's a joke
Boydell is trying to that Horwich rejected the 1700 homes project, we haven't been asked to comment on the recent Hong Kong application , it sounds preferable to the Bluemantle application. Bolton council are simply looking to complete the "tickbox" mentality imposed on them by the government. It's a joke kmum01
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Sat 26 Jul 14

By George says...

Steven Chadwick wrote:
Sooner Horwich leave Bolton the better! Time to join with Chorley in their bid for unitary status!
The sooner we leave Greater Manchester and go back to Lancashire County Council the better , where is Lancashire Cricket club based? Who are the elected members of Greater Manchester? How many real jobs has Nick Peel Had? Why did we not have a vote or a war on becoming Greater Manchester? The Tories took away our democracy and the socialist made sure it was effective , the liberals are ditherers , the Ukip Councillors are a joke, who is to represent the normal members of society , fairness is what we want and that is not discrimination, we need people in the Town hall to comply with regulations,we need to end positive discrimination which is an offence, the greens are weak , have no idea about. diesel carcinogenic effect on our kids . The pubs are shut so we cannot meet up and declare war against the non representative elected members. Come back citizen smith.
[quote][p][bold]Steven Chadwick[/bold] wrote: Sooner Horwich leave Bolton the better! Time to join with Chorley in their bid for unitary status![/p][/quote]The sooner we leave Greater Manchester and go back to Lancashire County Council the better , where is Lancashire Cricket club based? Who are the elected members of Greater Manchester? How many real jobs has Nick Peel Had? Why did we not have a vote or a war on becoming Greater Manchester? The Tories took away our democracy and the socialist made sure it was effective , the liberals are ditherers , the Ukip Councillors are a joke, who is to represent the normal members of society , fairness is what we want and that is not discrimination, we need people in the Town hall to comply with regulations,we need to end positive discrimination which is an offence, the greens are weak , have no idea about. diesel carcinogenic effect on our kids . The pubs are shut so we cannot meet up and declare war against the non representative elected members. Come back citizen smith. By George
  • Score: 3

5:15pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Steven Chadwick says...

By George wrote:
Steven Chadwick wrote:
Sooner Horwich leave Bolton the better! Time to join with Chorley in their bid for unitary status!
The sooner we leave Greater Manchester and go back to Lancashire County Council the better , where is Lancashire Cricket club based? Who are the elected members of Greater Manchester? How many real jobs has Nick Peel Had? Why did we not have a vote or a war on becoming Greater Manchester? The Tories took away our democracy and the socialist made sure it was effective , the liberals are ditherers , the Ukip Councillors are a joke, who is to represent the normal members of society , fairness is what we want and that is not discrimination, we need people in the Town hall to comply with regulations,we need to end positive discrimination which is an offence, the greens are weak , have no idea about. diesel carcinogenic effect on our kids . The pubs are shut so we cannot meet up and declare war against the non representative elected members. Come back citizen smith.
Time for a Horwich political party which puts the needs of Horwich First!!!
[quote][p][bold]By George[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Steven Chadwick[/bold] wrote: Sooner Horwich leave Bolton the better! Time to join with Chorley in their bid for unitary status![/p][/quote]The sooner we leave Greater Manchester and go back to Lancashire County Council the better , where is Lancashire Cricket club based? Who are the elected members of Greater Manchester? How many real jobs has Nick Peel Had? Why did we not have a vote or a war on becoming Greater Manchester? The Tories took away our democracy and the socialist made sure it was effective , the liberals are ditherers , the Ukip Councillors are a joke, who is to represent the normal members of society , fairness is what we want and that is not discrimination, we need people in the Town hall to comply with regulations,we need to end positive discrimination which is an offence, the greens are weak , have no idea about. diesel carcinogenic effect on our kids . The pubs are shut so we cannot meet up and declare war against the non representative elected members. Come back citizen smith.[/p][/quote]Time for a Horwich political party which puts the needs of Horwich First!!! Steven Chadwick
  • Score: 0

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