Amir Khan plans to build £1.6 million banqueting hall in Deane
BOXING hero Amir Khan has announced plans to build a seven-figure banqueting suite and function hall on a plot of wasteland.
The former IBF and WBA Light Welterweight champion is hoping to start building work immediately and complete the bulk of it by the end of the year, if Bolton Council approves the plans for the vacant land in Washington Street, just off Deane Road.
With the consultation period for the plan now over, a decision will be made at the next planning committee meeting on September 12, with one objector set to put a case forward.
But, the council’s planning officers have recommended the project for approval, describing it as a “high quality” piece of regeneration, which will create up to 75 new jobs.
The estimated £1.6m development is intended as a venue for weddings and business conferences, with a restaurant, function hall, banqueting suite, car park and landscaped gardens included in the plans.
Despite the application having been submitted by his father, Shah, in April this year, it was Amir who announced the plans on Twitter.
He said: “I’m building a banqueting hall for weddings and conferences and a few restaurants.
“Two acres of land on Washington Street and building work has started.”
The boxer, who first shot to international fame after winning a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, also declared that the building should be fully built by the end of the year.
His father, Shah, did not want to comment on the plan directly until the council has given its verdict but said he was “hopeful” that it would be approved.
A Bolton Council planning report said: “The proposed development would be of a high quality, regenerate an otherwise derelict site, provide a complementary use in a existing mixed use area which would not unduly impact on Bolton Town Centre nor prevent future investment into the borough.
“The application is accordingly recommended for approval.”
The new facility will have two access roads and extensive parking provision, which led planning officers to conclude that traffic impact would be minimal.
There will be 51 parking spaces available at the front of the new building, while the car park at the Bolton Enterprise Centre next door will also be revamped to provide an additional 141 places.
They also estimated the Khan family’s plans would create 25 full-time and 50 part-time jobs in Bolton.
When complete, the development will contain three floors and a roof terrace and will be adequately set back from the nearest residential streets, Fern Street and Deane Road.
The ground floor will contain a restaurant with a capacity for 620 people, as well as a large bar area.
Upstairs will be a function hall, which will cater for as many as 800 guests.
Two floors up, just below the roof terrace, will be a breakout area, which is earmarked, in part, for a more select VIP restaurant.
Neighbours have voiced concerns over the plan, citing possible invasions of privacy, as well as noise and light pollution.
Planning officers have reassured residents that a 2.5 metre perimeter fence will be built to shield neighbouring properties, while outside areas will not be in use after 11pm.
A suggested development for the site in 1995 was refused by Bolton Council.
In February of that year, an application to change the vacant roller shutter manufacturing building to car auction rooms was rejected on the grounds of increased traffic, car parking and commercial activity.
This will not be Amir’s first commercial property in Bolton.
The Gloves Community Centre and Gym, in Prince Street, is a charitable foundation formed as a result of a £700,000 investment from the boxer.
In recommending approval for the Khan family’s plan, the council’s pollution control officers, highways engineers, landscape design and development staff, strategic development unit and economic strategy team were all consulted.
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