Sports club plans move to make way for Whites’ project

First published in News

A SPORTS club has applied to move its base to make way for Bolton Wanderers’ £100 million sports development.

Lostock Sports Club is looking to move from its base at the former BAE site on Hercules Business Park, off Lostock Lane, because of the football club’s ambitious Middlebrook Masterplan, which would involve redeveloping the site and building on surrounding land.

Whites bosses want to build a sport, education and office development next to the Reebok Stadium. The scheme includes a free school run by Wanderers, which, it is thought, would be the first in England run by a football club outside the Premier League.

Lostock Sports Club was granted permission in 2007 to move to and develop a new site in Chew Moor Lane, Westhoughton, to the south of the M61, but permission expired in 2011.

The developers, Grasscroft Property Solutions, were granted a one-year extension to start the work, but the deadline has passed.

The plans are for two pitches for rugby and football, a cricket pitch and a floodlit bowling green.

It also includes a single-storey clubhouse, changing facilities and a scoreboard.

Cllr Christopher Peacock, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for sport, youth and culture, said: “Anything that highlights the ease for people to get involved in sport is a good thing.

“There are fewer bowling greens because people are unable to maintain them.

“I am pleased about the bowling green because you can get involved in the sport at any age, any level of fitness and it’s very accessible for people with disabilities.

“It’s one of the most inclusive sports. The development would encourage more people to get involved in sport. I would much rather see sports facilities than retail developments.”

He did not think the complex would take customers away from Westhoughton Leisure Centre. Cllr David Wilkinson, of Westhoughton Town Council, said: “Unfortunately Lostock Sports Club has been scattered here, there and everywhere.

“At least they will all be back in one site. It will be very popular. Hopefully, people in the Chew Moor area will get involved.”

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