A plan which will shape Bolton for years to come has been approved by the government.
Bolton Council is the first Greater Manchester authority to have its core strategy document approved.
The document sets out the future for planning in the borough up to 2026, with a series of policies on key issues such as housing, employment, retail and transport development.
An independent examination of the plan by an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate was conducted and he has supported the council in all its key proposals.
The inspector has endorsed a mixed use redevelopment of Horwich Loco Works for employment and housing. The plan recognises the importance of the Horwich Loco Works site and a supplementary planning document to guide the development of the site is being prepared.
He has also supported the development of a strategic employment site at Cutacre and the overall distribution of development across the borough.
The council consulted extensively with the public before submitting the plan and did make a number of changes to it, which have also been approved.
The document allocates between 145 to 165 hectares of land for employment use whereas previously it was 175 to 195 hectares.
This change arose as the council resolved to reduce the amount of green belt required for development on the Cutacre site by almost two thirds.
The inspector makes only one recommendation to change the Core Strategy and that is to include a section on contingencies should parts of the plan not come to fruition.
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, said: “We’re really pleased that all our hard work has paid off and the inspector has approved our plan. We will be writing to everybody who made formal representations when we consulted with the public, to let them know the outcome. The plan, together with the inspector’s report is also viewable on our website.”
Full council will need to approve the adoption of the core strategy and it is anticipated that it will go before council members in March.
The core strategy and the inspector’s report are viewable at the link on the right hand side.