Horwich Locomotive Works, Bolton

Project Overview

Located on the former Horwich Locomotive works, and covering an area in excess of 80ha, the Rivington Chase development is one of the largest brownfield regeneration schemes in the North West.

With proposals to build over 1,600 homes, with associated roads, infrastructure, drainage and public realm requirements, this £260m development forms a key part of Bolton Council’s core strategy for housing provision in the borough for the next 10 to 15 years.

RoC Consulting has been engaged on the project since 2009, initially providing constraints and high level input into the site’s master planning process. More recently we have undertaken a site wide ground investigation to establish baseline conditions as well as targetting contamination sources. In addition we have been engaged to support submission of an Outline Planning application for the development including EIA technical input.


The site has been subject to over 130 years of industrial activity with numerous sources of contamination including landfill sites containing asbestos, residual hydrocarbons, and PCB contamination and ground gas ingress from the nearby SSSI Red Moss peat bog.

Whilst a detailed contaminated land assessment was completed as part of our study, there was also a need to provide meaningful design information to all stakeholders at an early stage of the project to inform future master planning decisions. By working in close liaison with the design team we were able to inform potential abnormal costs and advise on future development layout plans, to minimise the volume of material to be excavated and carted offsite.

In conjunction with the geotechnical investigation works a site wide cut and fill exercise was also undertaken using 3D modelling software PDS Volumetrics. This exercise was undertaken to enable feasibility study of developable areas to be undertaken as well as the detailed design of a 35,000m 3 drainage pond and 15m high road embankment.

Added Value

By adopting a holistic approach to the investigation and assessment we have been able to provide critical design information across the site that has aided the ongoing design process and project feasibility.

A cut / fill exercise finalised the completion of the first stage of the site investigation works, thereby facilitating a a preliminary cost estimate of abnormal and site infrastructure costs to inform financial development appraisal models.

Project Details
ProjectHorwich Locomotive Works, Bolton
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Strategic Land
ClientHorwich Vision
Project Duration2009 - 2020
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0161 214 5390 info@rocconsulting.com

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