Public Meeting to Discuss Proposals for Manchester Road and the Community Centre

Blackrod Town Council is to hold a public meeting in order to facilitate further discussion on the proposals to develop the Manchester Road playing field and the Community Centre, carpark and associated playing field, as identified in Bolton council’s draft allocation plan


The meeting will include an outline of the proposals to be given by an Officer from Bolton Council’s Development & Regeneration Department.

The meeting will take place at Blackrod Church School, Vicarage Road, Blackrod on

Tuesday November 27th at 7pm


Details of the allocation plan can be found here

A form to submit comments (if you have not already done so) can be found Consultation-response-form-2




Land off Bolton Road – Called in by Secretary of State

Chorley Councillors , believed they had no choice but to approve controversial plans for 170 houses on the green fields of Adlington, so they wrote to Eric Pickles – Secretary of State to ask for the application to be called in. This means the planning permission cannot be granted – until he has considered all the issues. If approved the development will have consequences across the Chorley Borough.


The Secretary of State Mr Eric Pickles has issued a holding notice on the planning application that was controversially passed for the land off Bolton Road. This means that the council cannot grant planning permission until the Secretary of State has had chance to consider it.

Councillor Dennis Edgerley is urging all residents to lobby the minister, Eric Pickles MP. The more strength of feeling on the proposed development the more chance of getting the right outcome.

This development will affect the whole of Adlinton village and onwards to Blackrod and Horwich open the flood gates for other large developments on green fields in the village.

A suggested letter can be found HERE


Public meeting to discuss threat to the Community Centre, and Blackrod’s green spaces

A public meeting has been arranged by Blackrod Council,  for 27 November , to start at 7pm at Blackrod Church School Hall – to discuss the consultation regarding The Blackrod Community Centre, associated car park, playing fields and associated changing rooms and also the playing field at Manchester Road.  Blackrod Council and all Blackrod Councillors have expressed there concerns and their strong objections to the proposals.

In  October (2011) Bolton Council released a draft plan for the whole of the Bolton Metropolitan area, which includes in addition to Blackrod the communities of Horwich, Westhoughton, Farnworth and Little Lever, plus the whole of Bolton. This plan attempts to identify unused land which can be allocated for future housing use. The  proposals inlude  Blackrod Community Centre, car park and football pitch – 39 houses and the green playing field  behind residential properties on Manchester Road.

The Community Centre and the football field, together with the car park, are used by Blackrod children and older residents on a daily basis. There is a play group in the Community Centre five days a week. There are evening classes for older residents such as keep fit and martial arts plus other functions throughout the year that will be lost should these plans go ahead.

Similarly the open play area behind Manchester Road which is used regularly by our young children for less formal activities would be lost.

On top of the problems that Blackrod currently suffer regarding the lack of play facilities we also suffer from severe lack of parking spaces and public transport. Why then would we want to lose a well used car park at the Community Centre?


In the first stage of the consultation across the whole of the Bolton Metropolitan Area, , concerns from  Blackrod  represent some 25% of all the objections for all the many other proposals Bolton-wide.

The public meeting will take place on Tuesday November 27th at 6:45 pm (for 7pm) at Blackrod Church school , Vicarage Road, Blackrod

Details of the allocation plan can be found here

A form to submit comments (if you have not already done so) can be found Consultation-response-form-2





River Douglas Walkover – postponed



Groundwork is 1 of 15 national pilots delivering a Catchment Pilot for the River Douglas in partnership with DEFRA and the EA.  The project seeks to pilot a catchment based approach to managing water quality in the Douglas catchment area.  Within this, Groundwork will be working with key local partners and DEFRA bodies, to indentify priorities for the management of water quality in the area, engage wider stakeholders and communities in the water quality agenda, and derive an inclusive catchment plan which will help indentify and prioritise interventions within the catchment.

Delivering the pilot will be  through a range of methodologies- one of which is the delivery of a River Walkover which will take place on the 8th November, with the walk starting near the source of the Douglas at the West Pennine Moors and heading downstream towards Horwich stopping at a variety of locations along the way.  It is hoped to have a mix of stakeholders, agencies and members of the public on the walkover- to achieve good collaboration and cross learning.

Groundwork are hoping to deliver further river walkover routes in the new year in partnership with the EA, so will keep your group posted about these also.

Meet Thursday 8 November at Hilton Table Tennis Club, Nuttall Avenue Horwich – lunch will be provided.

If you wish to attend please contact


Land off Bolton Road

The application to build 170 homes close to the Blackrod border will be considered by Chorley Council Tuesday 30 October at 6.30pm. This is in addition to the 76 ?? homes already in the process of being built near Adlington Railway station.

The planning officer is recommending approval.

Objection is complicated by the fact that the land has been included in proposals in the Local Development Framework – similar to Blackrod Community Centre and the Land at Manchester Road, in Blackrod.

Objectors to the Land off Bolton Road development are encouraging supporters to attend the Planning Meeting at Chorley Town Hall and have even arranged a bus.

More information can be found here

The Green Deal

The Energy Act 2011 includes provisions for the new ‘Green Deal’, which intends to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by revolutionising  the energy efficiency of British properties.

The new innovative Green Deal financial mechanism eliminates the need to pay upfront for energy efficiency measures and instead provides reassurances that the cost of the measures should be covered by savings on the electricity bill.


A new Energy Company Obligation will integrate with the Green Deal, allowing supplier subsidy and Green Deal Finance to come together into one seamless offer to the consume

As of 2 October 2012 the legal framework for the Green Deal is in place.  This regulatory green light signals to industry that the market can now get started.

In practice it means that Green Deal providers, assessors and installers can start to become authorised, and display the Green Deal Quality Mark, and put in place their systems for delivering assessments to consumers – although consumers won’t be able to sign up to a Green Deal finance plan until 28th January 2013.

The Green Deal will remove the biggest barriers to demand for energy efficiency solutions, opening up the market for more participants and giving people more choice.

From late January, Green Deal Providers will be able to offer Green Deal plans to consumers and begin delivering energy efficiency and heating measures and go on to meet the Government’s ambitions for a major programme of national energy efficiency retrofit.

The Green Deal will empower consumers by giving them new ways of funding home improvements, and empower businesses by enabling them to compete for energy efficiency opportunities in new and innovative ways. It will boost the low carbon economy by supporting up to 60,000 jobs in the insulation sector alone by 2015, up from around 26,000 today.

The Green Deal could see British homes and businesses save enough energy to power 1 million homes in 2020.

Businesses wanting to find out about the Green Deal for the first time can find out more on the Green Deal Industry pages or contact the Green Deal Oversight & Registration Body.

More information can be found here 


If you want to see the National heatmap – click here  (Notre put filter on heat map, and put Blackrod in search box at top right hand side

Blackrod Community Centre and Green spaces still under threat – and now bin collections

Despite hundreds of responses from Blackrod residents objecting to proposals the green spaces in Blackrod are still under threat.  The Two Towns forum  has recorded its objections, as has Blackrod Town Council.

Allocation plan

Draft Allocation:responses to consultation  

The council has considered all the responses it has received regarding the Draft Plan. In March 2012 the Government issued the National Planning Policy Framework and a new planning policy for traveller sites. The council is carrying out further consultation on the changes it is proposing to make as a result of comments on the Draft Plan and the new national planning advice.


Blackrod Community Centre:  Development has the potential to improve the appearance of the site; however it would result in the loss of a well used community centre and football pitch. Any development would need to mitigate this through the replacement of these facilities nearby.  Change proposed: NO

Manchester Road: Strategy policy CG1 allows development on informal greenspace like Manchester Road (125sc) within the urban area provided it allows for improvements of remaining greenspace and helps meet strategic housing objectives. This loss should be mitigated through improvements to other public space  nearby and new housing taking into account the character of the existing housing. Change proposed: NO

Shawbury close: Shawbury Close (124SC) has value as open space.  Change proposed: Proposed housing site Shawbury Close 124sc to be deleted

The closing date for consultation is 14 December 2012, and all comments should be returned to the council by that date. Comments cannot be treated as confidential. At this stage comments can only be made on the proposed changes, not on the original Draft Plan; comments from the previous stage will be taken into account when the council gets to the next stage of plan preparation.

Next stages


After the additional consultation, the council will publish the Allocations Plan. This will be the version of the Plan that the council intends to adopt. Representations will be invited on this published plan for a period of six weeks. The council will then submit the Plan to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. A Planning Inspector will carry out an examination to assess whether the Plan is sound, and anybody who made a representation at publication stage will be entitled to appear at the examination hearings. The inspector will report on the Plan, and the council will adopt it in the light of the report.


The timetable for the remaining stages are as follows:


Publication: New Year 2013

Submission to the Secretary of State: Summer 2013

Start of public examination hearings: Autumn 2013

Adoption of the Plan: Spring 2014

The council will produce a revised Local Development Scheme to reflect the amended timetable.


We have until 14 December 2012


you may email your comments to


or a copy of the form can be found Consultation response form (2)



Meanwhile it is being proposed that grey bins are collected every two weeks, rather than every week. This is already the case in several areas in Blackrod.

To see the details and make your comments see HERE






Fox are back – Bolton Road – Adlington

Plans have been re submitted by fox for the development of Land Surrounding Huyton Terrace Previously Baly Place Farm Bolton Road Adlington Lancashire.
They have submitted their revised plans for the housing development of 170 houses and demolition of No 74 and 76 Bolton Road to make way for the estate entrance, click on the link below. The site is now further away from the Blackrod border.

This is in addition to c 50 houses already approved along side the railway

Dont forget – if you submitted an comment regarding the previous application – this does not count towards this application ie you will need to make a new comment submission


More details to follow

80m TURBINE: LAND TO THE EAST OF WALKER FOLD ROAD, BOLTON, BL1 7PU – Bottom of th’ Moor and more “Restoration”

They keep getting bigger

This one is 79.6m to the tip ( hub height 55,.6m) Planning application 88335/12
No further information is available on line at this time.

It is however understood that the turbine is very close to livery stables.

Horwich Parkway……… .24.8m ……….. in situ
matchmoor ……….. 34.2m …………. refused – appealed
Douglas Valley ……….. 45 m ………… refused – appealed
Chadwick ……….. 3 x 66m …………. refused (appeal and re-submission expected)
Birches Farm…………. 66m ………….. being considered 19 July 2012 (public invited) – bigger turbine application expected
Walker Fold ……….. 79.6m ………….. application received

With the exception of Horwich Parkway (Which we believe fails to meet statutory guidlines due to proximity to the rail line) all these turbines are within 500m of residential property.


The application which would see materials being tipped onto this site of Biological Importance. It could also mean even more lorries going up and down Church Street past the school with this waste material.

The Council’s Greenspace officer and an officer from the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit have already written in to recommend refusal.

Link to application is here

No evidence of mermaids, says US government

There is no evidence that mermaids exist, a US government scientific agency has said.

The National Ocean Service made the unusual declaration in response to public inquiries following a TV show on the mythical creatures.

It is thought some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary.

“No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found”


Have a great scarecrow festival this weekend – (BTW – they arent real – people in our village make them)

‘Pssst… Pass it on’

Please watch this film ‘Pssst… Pass it on’ – Children from Blackrod Church School have been involved in a short film made by Royal Bolton Hospital to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation

Pssst ….Pass it on

Three people a day will die waiting for a transplant. Join the register by visiting

Blackrod Balsam Bash

This is rerun of an article printed August 3rd, 2011

It would be difficult to miss the rafts of Himalayan Balsam invading our two communities. It was first introduced to the UK in 1839. It is now one of the most invasive and damaging plants in the UK.

Last year Wildlife Minister Huw Irranca-Davies said:

“It is essential that our native species are given the protection they need to flourish. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and it’s more important than ever to do all that we can to halt the loss of biodiversity. Stopping the spread of invasive non-native species makes a real difference to the survival of our own native plants,birds and animals.”

So much been said – so little been done !

To many it is an attractive plant – indeed it is effectively a garden escape. To others it is a menace, particularly colonising wet areas and woodlands. Studies have shown that it reduces species richness by 25%, either by blocking out light to smaller plants, else by being favoured above native plants by pollinating bees – a situation which could be deteriorating, given the massive drop in bee numbers. As the plant dies back in the winter, it leaves bare earth – and increases erosion particularly by river banks, or along ditches , which become more prone to flooding.

The good news is it is relatively easy to control. It is best pulled in June, before flowering.

Best practice managements suggests that all local sites, where an infestation occur need to be identified.

Then it needs landowners, the council and the general public to have a co-ordinated effort.

If you are able to help identity local sites, are a land owner with a significant infestation or are willing to help in a 2012 Balsam bash , please contact

For more information on Himalayan Balsam, click HERE, or see the links on the right.

The Bolton News reports :

Sarah Peet, of the Environment Agency said: “ Invasive, non-nat ive species are threatening to wipe out native plants around the North West. Whilst Himalayan Balsam is colourful and attractive, it often becomes so prominent it can displace native plants.”

Extra support for BHEAG – and the Community

BHEAG with a small army of helpers, sometimes including the local youth group, have helped maintain and improve the appearance of Blackrod Cemetery, co-operating with Bolton Council, over the last years. Now, after nearly two years of requests the community pay back scheme have added their support.
A campaign is also currently in its infancy to fully restore the cemetery chapel.
The previously neglected rose garden, near to Vicarage Road has also been replanted – sponsored by BHEAG , with the support of local residents ( and their spades) and Age Concern. Polyanthus are currently in bloom, with nearly three dozen new rose bushes, already planted.
In this jubilee year the red, white and blue display of petunias will also add a little colour in the village.

We are often asked how many members are there in BHEAG. There are probably no more than a few dozen people at the core – all with the wider community at heart. At times when public meetings however, it is not uncommon for several hundred people to attend.

When BHEAG have spoken to local schools about the environment – it has become abundantly clear that the thing that the children most love about Blackrod and Horwich is the amazing countryside and the openess which surrounds our community. It is this countryside and openess which often attracts people to this area.

It is also this countryside, with its low population densitity, which can provide very attractive to certain businesses.

Occassionally BHEAG are asked by residents to support them in opposing planning applications, often we decline the invitation. BHEAG do not object to many planning applications. In fact we rarely object, we usually ask for information , which we believe to be omitted or highly misleading to be clarified – such as 2 meter high walls, in an open plan estate, being “in-keeping”. Potentially highly contaminated land being ignored and the cumulative impact of hundreds of HGVs passing through a small town centre, passing within a few feet of local schools being potentially ignored. More recently identifying possible multiple fraudulent support letters.

Occasionaly we change our view. Such a situation is wind turbines eg Douglas Valley or Chadwicks. What appear to be well located sites actually have a massive impact on a few residents, who we believe deserve the support of the whole community (and indeed would not be entertained by the councils that have quantifed the impact of wind turbines on distance to residential properties).

The poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

“First they came for the communists,

and I did not speak out

—because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the trade unionists,

and I did not speak out

—because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews,

and I did not speak out

—because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me

—and there was no one left to speak out for me

With millions of pounds at stake,for the applicants and with various threats of litigation against individuals and the group, we are proud at our 100% record -in dealing with substantiated proven facts. We are also proud that we have been able to improve the appearance of a few areas in our town, whilst protecting others and it is great news that there is now further support from The Community Pay Back scheme

New Planning Guidlines Published


New National Policy Guidlines have been published today.  There will be a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

According to the BBC Council policies” must encourage brownfield sites to be brought back into use – and allowed them to protect back gardens, while ensuring that “playing fields continued to benefit from the same protection that they do currently”.


It also allow communities to specify where renewable energy sources such as wind farms should, and should not, be located.

Similarly greenbelt appears to have the same protection previously afforded

Reaction has been mixed




Land off Bolton Road

Adlington Town Council have strongly objected to the application.
It is understood that over 250 letters of objection have been received by Chorley Council

There will be a meeting 23 February, at 7pm at the Adlington Community Centre, on Railway Road for residents who feel they may be able to help and form an action group.

From our experience with other groups finding a treasurer ar even a secretary can be difficult, not to mention people able to deliver leaflets.

No matter how small every bit of help counts.

If you are willing to help – it will be apprecaited and it may make a difference