Land south of Chequerbent
Land south of
Potential Development Site - March 2014
Peel Holdings (Land & Property) Ltd
The Trafford Centre
Emery Planning Partnership
South Park Court
3 Chepstow Street
© Crown copyright, All rights reserved. 2014 Licence number 100018033
SITE AND SURROUNDINGS
OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSTRAINTS
Additional land is required to be identified to meet the
objectively assessed housing needs of Bolton.
Land at Chequerbent, Westhoughton is an opportunity
to help meet these needs. Development of the site as an
urban extension would enable planned growth to the east of
Following a site appraisal it is considered that the land
represents a logical and sustainable location that is suitable
and achievable for development.
The site is largely owned by Peel Investments (Intermediate)
Ltd (‘Peel’), a subsidiary of Peel Holdings (Land and Property)
Ltd, which has a track record in bringing forward major
development sites. Part of the area is in other ownerships
however it has been considered appropriate to define a
logical planning boundary for the purposes of this exercise.
Peel commissioned a professional team comprised of Randall
Thorp, Emery Planning and I-Transport to prepare this
The document is to inform the progression of the Local Plan
© 2014 Google
The site is located between Bolton and Wigan and the M61
and M6. The site is close to Junction 5 of the M61, with the
motorway providing connections to the M60 to the south
east and M6 to the north.
The site therefore has easy access to a range of destinations
including: Bolton, Greater Manchester, Chorley, Preston, the
East Lancashire towns and to the west towards Wigan and
The site is also close to Westhoughton town centre where
there is a range of local facilities and services.
As well as the strategic road connections, there are two rail
stations in close proximity and the site is close to a range of
bus services in the Westhoughton area.
A6 Manchester Road
© 2014 Google
© 2014 Google
SITE AND SURROUNDINGS
Six lengths of public right of way pass through the site.
The proposed development site encompasses a significant
These provide good permeability through the site providing
area of land on the eastern edge of Westhoughton. It
connections to the north, south, east and west.
extends to approximately 100 hectares (250 acres). The
immediate context of the site is characterised by the
The topography of the site broadly falls from north to south,
following land uses:
with lowest land being located adjacent to the railway. Within
the site there are localised undulations in topography which
• To the north is existing housing which is located along
the route of the A58 Park Road and the A6 Manchester
has resulted in the formation of areas of ponds and flashes
throughout the site.
• To the east is Hulton Park, a 200 hectare landscape
Numerous lengths of trees and hedgerows pass through
park largely laid out over the years of the 19th century,
the site defining field boundaries and watercourses. Small
and originally associated with Hulton Hall. Between
areas of woodland are located close to the centre of the
the site and Hulton Park is the former route of the
site and close to the south-east corner along the route of a
Chequerbent railway line, now heavily vegetated.
small stream. At the northern corner of the site is an area of
• To the south of the site is the Wigan – Manchester
railway line, set within cutting. Beyond the railway line
woodland which extends into the site from Hall Lee Bank
is an extensive area of agricultural land which is located
between the built up areas of Westhoughton and
Visually the site is generally enclosed by existing vegetation
or development which filters or screens views. From the
• To the west is Hall Lee Bank Park, a semi-formal
woodland park located along the narrow valley of Hall
southerly part of the site there are some long views across
the valley to the south.
Lee Brook which is a Local Nature Reserve.
Bolton Council have produced the document ‘A Landscape
The site is broadly rectangular, with the northern edge
contiguous with the south-eastern edge of Westhoughton.
Although the woodland corridor of Hall Lee Bank Park forms
the western site boundary, there is also housing located
immediately to the west of the Park.
The site is almost entirely comprised of agricultural land with
occasional isolated farms and residential properties located
throughout. The properties are accessed from Platt Lane
which is a historic medieval route which passes north-south
through the site linking Westhoughton with Atherton. The
route is a popular ‘rat-run’ between Westhoughton and
Character Appraisal of Bolton’ which looks at landscape
character at a local level. The site is located within the
‘Blackrod/Hulton Ridge’ landscape character area. The key
landscape features are:
• Undulating topography with hills and valleys falling to the
Mersey Basin in the south.
• Low grade agricultural land with ponds and flash areas.
• Structure provided by broadleaved woodland.
• Fragmented landscape with scattered settlements and
dissecting transport links.
• Lack of historical continuity and variety in landscape
Atherton. A second smaller lane called Green Common
Lane, branches off from Platt Lane in a loop providing access
to other farms and residential properties.
The proposed development seeks to meet national and local planning policy
NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY
DEVELOPMENT PLAN GUIDANCE
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
The development plan comprises the Bolton Core Strategy
was published on the 27 March 2012. It sets out the
and saved policies of the Bolton Unitary Development Plan
Government’s planning policies in a single document, is a
(UDP). The site is currently designated as Protected Open
material consideration in all planning decisions.
Land on the adopted proposals map.
At the heart of the NPPF is a presumption in favour of
The Council is currently in the process of preparing an
sustainable development, which should be seen as a golden
Allocations Plan to allocate specific sites for development.
thread running through both plan making and decision-
This has reached Examination stage. Additional sites are
taking. Local planning authorities should positively seek
required to provide an adequate and deliverable supply of
opportunities to meet the development needs of their
housing land. One of the options for addressing the shortfall
area and approve development that accords with the
would be to involve Protected Open Land and and so the
development plan without delay.
Chequerbent opportunity should be considered for release.
The NPPF requires local authorities to significantly boost
The additional land could help Bolton to meet the
the supply of housing, and widen the choice of high quality
objectively assessed needs of the area and provide an
homes, by identifying a sufficient supply of deliverable sites
adequate supply of housing both for the next 5 years and
and considering housing applications in the context of the
also the plan period.
presumption in favour of sustainable development.
The site is located on the edge of the Westhoughton in a
highly sustainable location. It is well contained by permanent
physical features, namely existing housing to the north and
west, the railway to the south and the dismantled railway
to the east. The railway line and former railway line
embankments are tree lined and would provide a logical,
well defined settlement boundary. The site represents a
suitable, deliverable option for addressing the housing land
The land south of Chequerbent can play an important role in supporting and facilitating sustainable
and inclusive communities
PUBLIC TRANSPORT CONNECTIVITY
walking distance of the site. With the school on site and
Public transport connections, which will provide an
nearby schools in Westhoughton, it is concluded that the site
accessible and convenient alternative to the private car, are
has excellent accessibility to education.
available by train and bus. There are train services at two
stations close to the site, at Daisy Hill and Westhoughton.
The stations serve many destinations with direct services to
The nearest GP surgery and pharmacy is the Peter House
Wigan, Bolton, Salford and Manchester. Horwich Parkway,
surgery on Captain Lees Road, within easy walking distance of
c4-5km to the north-west provides additional services to
the site. There are two other GP surgeries in Westhoughton
Manchester, Chorley and Preston.
and a health centre at Atherton. There are pharmacies and
dentists in Westhoughton, again within easy walking distance.
There are several bus services that run close to the site
along Park Road/Manchester Road and at Hag Fold in Wigan,
Accessibility to primary healthcare facilities is therefore
with high frequent services to Westhoughton, Hindley,
Wigan, Bolton and Atherton.
RETAIL AND LEISURE
The size of the site is such that there is the potential to
There is a small convenience store on Park Road, and Tesco
support the viability of bus services in the local area, including
Express on Manchester Road is less than 1km from the site.
potential enhancements to existing services.
Westhoughton town centre has a range of shopping facilities,
while higher-order retail facilities are available at Bolton,
WALKING AND CYCLING
The site is within walking distance of Westhoughton town
centre and there are good pedestrian connections from the
site to Park Road and the town.
There is a traffic-free cycle route around Chequerbent
roundabout providing onward connections to various cycle
routes in Bolton. There are also several on-road advisory/
quiet cycle routes in Westhoughton.
Wigan, Salford and Manchester and can be accessed by
Westhoughton town centre has a library and community
centre and there are various other parks and leisure facilities
in the area.
The accessibility of the site to retail and leisure uses is
ACCESSIBILITY TO FACILITIES AND
The site is large enough to support a new primary school.
There are several other primary schools within the vicinity
of the site including St Thomas Chequerbent, less than
500m from the site boundary. Westhoughton High School
is located at the eastern end of the town centre, within easy
Westhoughton offers a range of employment opportunities
and there are large employment areas at Wingates and off
Swan Lane. Employment is also available within the nearby
larger towns and cities, accessed by train and/or bus.
The site’s accessibility to employment is therefore very
1 St Thomas Chequerbent CofE Primary School
2 St Bartholmews’s CofE Primary School
3 Washacre Primary School
4 Eatock Primary School
5 St James CofE Primary School
6 St Georges CofE Primary School
7 St Georges CofE Primary School (Westhoughton)
8 Sacred Heart RC Primary School
9 The Gates Primary School
SECONDARY SCHOOLS &
1 Westhoughton High School
2 Oakfield High School & College
3 Hindley Community High School
4 Atherton Community School
1 Daisy Hill Railway Station
2 Hag Fold Railway Station
3 Atherton Railway Station
4 Westhoughton Railway Station
Unsworth Group Practice
Stable Fold Surgery
Church Street Surgery
Atherton Health Centre
Westhoughton Dental Care
Church Street Dental Practice
Atherton Dental Care
Rowlands Pharmacy (x2)
Rigby and Higginson Pharmacy
1 Westhoughton Library
2 Westhoughton Community Leisure Centre
3 Central Park
4 Hulton Park
5 Westhoughton Cricket Club
1 Post Office (x3)
2 Westhoughton Town Centre - Market
3 Atherton Town Centre - Market Street
6 Tesco (Atherton)
7 Tesco Express (Westhoughton)
8 Local Convenience Store
1 Westhoughton Town Centre
2 Atherton Town Centre
3 Wingates Industrial Estate
4 Employment off Swan Lane
5 Preswich Industrial Estate
1 km Walking Catchment
2 km Walking Catchment
There are no constraints preventing the allocation or future development of land south of
Although the site is currently comprised of mostly agricultural
land, it is well contained by existing development, major
There is a strong network of mature hedgerows and trees
infrastructure and well established vegetation. The site
across the site. Where possible these should be retained and
is largely unconstrained and provides an opportunity to
incorporated into a well-connected green space network.
create a sustainable urban extension to Westhoughton. An
appropriate masterplan for the site should take into account
The development provides the opportunity to create new
areas of public open space which can meet the recreational
needs of existing and future local residents.
There is potential to accommodate vehicular access into the
The development should create an appropriate interface
site at locations including:
between the development and the adjacent greenbelt. This
• Chequerbent Roundabout
• A58 Park Road (opposite Captain Lee’s Road)
• Platt Lane
would become a defensible greenbelt boundary.
The network of existing ponds and ditches across the
The site has potential to provide a new bypass for
site should be sensitively accommodated within the
Westhoughton which could link from Chequerbent
development. There is potential to create additional water
Roundabout to the southern boundary of the site. There
attenuation areas within the open space areas at the lower
is an existing road spur located to the south of the site
parts of the site. These would form part of a sustainable
between Westhoughton and Atherton.
drainage system. Pond areas can be designed to become
attractive visual features and to provide maximum ecological
PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY
The network of existing public rights of way which pass
through the site should be sensitively accommodated within
the development. Care should be taken to retain the routes
The protection and enhancement of green infrastructure
on their current alignment and to incorporate them into a
across the site is important in order to conserve natural
strong landscape framework.
assets, protect local distinctiveness and minimise habitat
The development provides opportunities to enhance
pedestrian movement across the site, promoting
connectivity into the wider area.
There are some existing farms and residential properties
on the site. Some of these buildings are attractive and
characterful. There is potential to retain the key buildings
The mediaeval route of Platt Lane should be preserved in
within the masterplan to add character and a sense of place
situ. Opportunities should be explored to reduce traffic flows
to the development.
along the route by providing an alternative primary vehicle
route through the site.
St Thomas Chequerbent
Church of England Primary School
B5235 Leigh Road
Hall Lee Brook
© 2014 Google
Existing public right of way
The development has potential to deliver approximately 1700 new homes at an average net density
of 30 dwellings per hectare, a school and community facilities
A Conceptual Masterplan has been prepared to show how
would accommodate existing public rights of way and
development might respond sensitively to the site context.
provide new footpaths to enhance east-west permeability
The scheme would be further developed in consultation
through the site.
with key stakeholders.
A new Country Park could be created around the southern
and eastern edges of the development to tie in with Hall Lee
The main access to the site can be provided off
Bank Park. This could include:
Chequerbent roundabout where a new entrance to the
• A naturalistic wetland park at the south-eastern edge of
junction would be created. This route through the site
the site, ensuring that a green gap is retained between
would have potential to form part of a new Westhoughton
Westhoughton and Atherton;
bypass. A second access can be provided off Park Road
• Retained farm buildings to form an attractive and
opposite Captain Lees Road. Peel controls a corridor of land
characterful arrival space when approaching the
of sufficient width to create an access.
development from the south;
• Flowering meadow areas to provide a transition from
Platt Lane runs through the site. At the southern end of the
the naturalistic southern wetlands and formal recreation
site, the road can provide access to the site from Atherton.
areas to the north;
At the northern end it can provide access from Park Road
although the main and secondary access would afford the
• Formal recreation areas in the north to meet local
opportunity to restrict parts of Platt Lane within the site for
use only by pedestrians, cyclists and potentially buses.
The new Country Park would provide an interface with and
improved access around the periphery of Hulton Park.
MOVEMENT AND STREETS
The emphasis of the masterplan is to create an appropriate
hierarchy of roads through the site. The major routes would
Secure development blocks would be created where
be designed to minimise impacts of faster moving traffic upon
housing is orientated to maximise views over open spaces
residential areas through the provision of landscape buffer
and pedestrian routes - providing natural surveillance and an
planting. The minor routes would prioritise non-vehicular
attractive outlook for residents. The size and shape of the
movement and the social use of spaces. Local streets would
development blocks will be dictated by the existing landscape
be designed to restrain speeds through methods such as
carriageway narrowing, reduced forward visibility and the
materiality of street surfaces.
MIX OF USE
The masterplan provides the opportunity to consider a
range of uses to complement and enhance the existing offer,
The masterplan is shaped by the existing landscape features.
whilst ensuring all future residents are within an appropriate
Where appropriate, trees, hedgerows, ponds and attractive
walking and cycling distance.
buildings would be retained within the scheme to create an
instant sense of place and to add instant maturity.
Along with housing the masterplan indicates provision of a
primary school and community hub which would enhance
A linked network of multi-functional greenspaces would be
local provision but not harm the vitality and viability of the
created throughout the site. The network of greenspace
existing local service offering.
H U L
T O N
B A N K
P A R
© Crown copyright, All rights reserved. 2014 Licence number 100018033
Existing trees / woodland
Proposed ponds / surface water
Vehicular access point
New woodland / landscape
Potential link road
Existing public right of way
P A R K
The site is achievable, suitable and available in accordance with the principles of the NPPF
The site is presently greenfield land. It is located in a stable
and successful market area. The sensitive development
of the site would create a highly attractive residential
community that could be brought forward from early within
the plan period, with phased development sustained over a
number of years.
It is anticipated that the site could be developed by two or
more major housebuilders concurrently, with a Registered
Provider delivering affordable housing.
Around 80-100 units could be achieved per annum, with
development commencing in 2016/17.