Town councillors turn down Middlebrook plan

First published in News
Last updated

HORWICH Town Council has expressed concern about the lack of consultation over plans for a multi-million pound development at the Reebok Stadium and Bolton Arena.

Councillors discussed the application at their planning meeting and said they were planning to contact Burnden Leisure, the company behind the plans.

The £100 million Middlebrook Masterplan will 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, including a free school run by Wanderers.

But Horwich town councillors said that although they had no objection to expansion in principle, they had concerns over the size of the development, and that the location was on a flood plain.

They were also concerned about traffic congestion.

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse the application, which will now go before Bolton Council’s planning committee.

Comments (26)

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10:13am Thu 7 Feb 13

XTMike says...

There has to be serious concerns about road access to this very busy area. All traffic has to pass through nearsighted near Tescos or the M61 Motorway island. At busy periods it requires a lot of patience and a full tank of fuel to get off the shopping car park. Another access to the West is urgently needed.
There has to be serious concerns about road access to this very busy area. All traffic has to pass through nearsighted near Tescos or the M61 Motorway island. At busy periods it requires a lot of patience and a full tank of fuel to get off the shopping car park. Another access to the West is urgently needed. XTMike
  • Score: 8

11:48am Thu 7 Feb 13

Brumas says...

What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why?
What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why? Brumas
  • Score: 6

11:49am Thu 7 Feb 13

Brumas says...

What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why?
What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why? Brumas
  • Score: -2

4:23pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Reality50 says...

As one of the many BWFC fans who wants to see the club see sense and return to Bolton then this is good news. The Moor Lane bus station is from 2015 to be empty and has a wide and long area that could accommodate a 25000 seat stadium and is ideally located. The Reebok should be sold for business use and the club return to its rightful place within the town of Bolton. I applaud Horwich Town Council.
As one of the many BWFC fans who wants to see the club see sense and return to Bolton then this is good news. The Moor Lane bus station is from 2015 to be empty and has a wide and long area that could accommodate a 25000 seat stadium and is ideally located. The Reebok should be sold for business use and the club return to its rightful place within the town of Bolton. I applaud Horwich Town Council. Reality50
  • Score: -6

5:40pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hatonfire says...

Brumas wrote:
What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why?
Brumas, there is no point in having a town council in Horwich or Blackrod or Westhoughton for that matter. The only power these town councils have is to raise the extra amount of council tax you pay if you live in their particular area.

Other than that, town councillors can do no more than make recommendations to Bolton council.

This may sound unfair but the vast majority of areas in Bolton i.e. Farnworth, Harwood, Bromley Cross, Breitmet, Daubhill, Halliwell and the rest do not have a town council.

It should also be pointed out that Horwich does have the same No. of Borough councillors on Bolton council as all other parts, in fact may have more per person than the rest with three Borough councillors for Horwich North, three for Horwich South and also three for Blackrod, so there are plenty of Borough councillors from Horwich (on top of the town councillors). It could be argued that these town councillors are a complete waste of time. which in my view they are.
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why?[/p][/quote]Brumas, there is no point in having a town council in Horwich or Blackrod or Westhoughton for that matter. The only power these town councils have is to raise the extra amount of council tax you pay if you live in their particular area. Other than that, town councillors can do no more than make recommendations to Bolton council. This may sound unfair but the vast majority of areas in Bolton i.e. Farnworth, Harwood, Bromley Cross, Breitmet, Daubhill, Halliwell and the rest do not have a town council. It should also be pointed out that Horwich does have the same No. of Borough councillors on Bolton council as all other parts, in fact may have more per person than the rest with three Borough councillors for Horwich North, three for Horwich South and also three for Blackrod, so there are plenty of Borough councillors from Horwich (on top of the town councillors). It could be argued that these town councillors are a complete waste of time. which in my view they are. hatonfire
  • Score: 5

5:49pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hatonfire says...

Oh yes, I forgot to say. The headline 'Town councillors turn down Middlebrook plan'. This is very poor reporting. As I previously said, town councils have no power to 'Turn down' anything, only make recommendations as the reporter should know.
Oh yes, I forgot to say. The headline 'Town councillors turn down Middlebrook plan'. This is very poor reporting. As I previously said, town councils have no power to 'Turn down' anything, only make recommendations as the reporter should know. hatonfire
  • Score: 3

6:01pm Thu 7 Feb 13

William2701 says...

Reality50 wrote:
As one of the many BWFC fans who wants to see the club see sense and return to Bolton then this is good news. The Moor Lane bus station is from 2015 to be empty and has a wide and long area that could accommodate a 25000 seat stadium and is ideally located. The Reebok should be sold for business use and the club return to its rightful place within the town of Bolton. I applaud Horwich Town Council.
Won't happen so don't know why you are bothering to mention it.
[quote][p][bold]Reality50[/bold] wrote: As one of the many BWFC fans who wants to see the club see sense and return to Bolton then this is good news. The Moor Lane bus station is from 2015 to be empty and has a wide and long area that could accommodate a 25000 seat stadium and is ideally located. The Reebok should be sold for business use and the club return to its rightful place within the town of Bolton. I applaud Horwich Town Council.[/p][/quote]Won't happen so don't know why you are bothering to mention it. William2701
  • Score: 3

6:03pm Thu 7 Feb 13

William2701 says...

Brumas wrote:
What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why?
Rather like its near neighbours Westhoughton and Blackrod it gives narrow minded people the chance to think they are playing at being a politician: tin-pot politics.
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: What concerns me is the fact that Horwich Council will not get more information, then the plan will not be returned to Horwich for consideration. So what is the point of Horwich Council, we pay a precept of Thirty odd pounds for a Town Council that has it's hands tied, why?[/p][/quote]Rather like its near neighbours Westhoughton and Blackrod it gives narrow minded people the chance to think they are playing at being a politician: tin-pot politics. William2701
  • Score: 1

6:28pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Reality50 says...

The club are £140 million in debt so of course relocation of BWFC could happen and should happen. The Reebok has been a financial millstone around the clubs neck since day one in 1997 and plunged the club into an immediate £35 million debt which has since multiplied. By selling the Reebok land and buying the bus station and building a new town centre stadium the club would make a hefty profit thus cutting the clubs astronomical debt. It is a no brainer and most BWFC fans do not love the Reebok anyway and many pine for the days of Burnden. Moor Lane bus station has everything and the boom to surrounding businesses in the town centre would be massive. BWFC need to copy Juventus and ditch the stadium after 15 years and build a new one in our home town.
The club are £140 million in debt so of course relocation of BWFC could happen and should happen. The Reebok has been a financial millstone around the clubs neck since day one in 1997 and plunged the club into an immediate £35 million debt which has since multiplied. By selling the Reebok land and buying the bus station and building a new town centre stadium the club would make a hefty profit thus cutting the clubs astronomical debt. It is a no brainer and most BWFC fans do not love the Reebok anyway and many pine for the days of Burnden. Moor Lane bus station has everything and the boom to surrounding businesses in the town centre would be massive. BWFC need to copy Juventus and ditch the stadium after 15 years and build a new one in our home town. Reality50
  • Score: 1

6:37pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Reality50 says...

The only reason Burnden Leisure are seeking expansion is because of the clubs debt. My idea is far simpler and far more effective. Bolton Council and the Town Centre business community should support a Moor Lane BWFC campaign. BWFC will continue to plunge further into debt while at the Reebok and when Eddie Davies passes away-hopefully not soon-then the club will be in a paralysed crisis. We are carrying one of the biggest debts in English football with a team near the bottom of footballs second tier. With grants and lottery funding plus the fact land in BL6 generally costs more than in BL1 then financially a new town centre stadium is partially a way out of the clubs debt mess. If the club are not promoted in the next 2 years wxpect the debt to hit nearly £200 million. Time to wake up and smell the coffee. BWFC Moor Lane Stadium!!!!
The only reason Burnden Leisure are seeking expansion is because of the clubs debt. My idea is far simpler and far more effective. Bolton Council and the Town Centre business community should support a Moor Lane BWFC campaign. BWFC will continue to plunge further into debt while at the Reebok and when Eddie Davies passes away-hopefully not soon-then the club will be in a paralysed crisis. We are carrying one of the biggest debts in English football with a team near the bottom of footballs second tier. With grants and lottery funding plus the fact land in BL6 generally costs more than in BL1 then financially a new town centre stadium is partially a way out of the clubs debt mess. If the club are not promoted in the next 2 years wxpect the debt to hit nearly £200 million. Time to wake up and smell the coffee. BWFC Moor Lane Stadium!!!! Reality50
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hatonfire says...

Why does no one question this £130million debt?

The money hasn't been spent on players, in fact the club have probably made a profit over the years when it comes to buying and selling.
The Sky money, £40million then rising to over £50million a year more than pays the wages and that's before you count the gate money and corporate events. Wigan made a profit last season, we posted a £10million lose.

Something very fishy at BWFC.
Why does no one question this £130million debt? The money hasn't been spent on players, in fact the club have probably made a profit over the years when it comes to buying and selling. The Sky money, £40million then rising to over £50million a year more than pays the wages and that's before you count the gate money and corporate events. Wigan made a profit last season, we posted a £10million lose. Something very fishy at BWFC. hatonfire
  • Score: 2

6:52pm Thu 7 Feb 13

dazza666 says...

Re some of the comments....A home town stadium and paying off huge debts all sounds great....trouble is, that isn't what's being proposed!
What is being proposed are exciting developments that would bring employment, education & recreation to the area. This major development is put in front of a tin pot council that has no idea and no authority anyway.
They are not the decision makers. Pitching these ideas must be like going into Dragons Den only to find that Duncan Bannatyne & co are not in.... but the cleaner will listen to you and says he can pass a message on! ;-)
Re some of the comments....A home town stadium and paying off huge debts all sounds great....trouble is, that isn't what's being proposed! What is being proposed are exciting developments that would bring employment, education & recreation to the area. This major development is put in front of a tin pot council that has no idea and no authority anyway. They are not the decision makers. Pitching these ideas must be like going into Dragons Den only to find that Duncan Bannatyne & co are not in.... but the cleaner will listen to you and says he can pass a message on! ;-) dazza666
  • Score: 2

6:59pm Thu 7 Feb 13

hatonfire says...

Why does no one question this £130million debt, where the hell did it come from?
It certainly wasn't from buying players in fact the players in/out is probaly in profit.
The Sky money £40million rising to over £50million a year more than pays the players wages.
Wigan, with a smaller attendance made a profit last year whilst we .posted a lose of £10million.

Something a bit fishy at BWFC.
Why does no one question this £130million debt, where the hell did it come from? It certainly wasn't from buying players in fact the players in/out is probaly in profit. The Sky money £40million rising to over £50million a year more than pays the players wages. Wigan, with a smaller attendance made a profit last year whilst we .posted a lose of £10million. Something a bit fishy at BWFC. hatonfire
  • Score: 1

7:21pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Reality50 says...

The current debt of £133 million-a debt several months old now so £140 million probably more accurate-originated in 1997 when the Reebok was built and the land at Burnden I seem to remember wasn't sold unil 1999 plunging the club into £35 million of instant debt, Basically since 1997 the club have been paying interest on that debt and over 15 years it has spiralled out of control.It was the move from Burnden to the Reebok that caused the debt and is mainly responsible for that spiral as it was never tackled adequately. The local media are too scared to speak to Messrs Duckworth Gartside or Davies about the debt and anyone who isn't prepared to worry or discuss it is not facing reality. The existence of the club is at stake and our debt now matches Leeds and Portsmouth before their demise. If Eddie Davies dies and his family calls in the debt we are doomed. We need a long term strategy to cut the debt and relying on promotion to the Premier League within 2 seasons is folly. A new stadium needs to be promoted and discussed and it would not only help BWFC financially but revive Bolton town centres dying economy.
The current debt of £133 million-a debt several months old now so £140 million probably more accurate-originated in 1997 when the Reebok was built and the land at Burnden I seem to remember wasn't sold unil 1999 plunging the club into £35 million of instant debt, Basically since 1997 the club have been paying interest on that debt and over 15 years it has spiralled out of control.It was the move from Burnden to the Reebok that caused the debt and is mainly responsible for that spiral as it was never tackled adequately. The local media are too scared to speak to Messrs Duckworth Gartside or Davies about the debt and anyone who isn't prepared to worry or discuss it is not facing reality. The existence of the club is at stake and our debt now matches Leeds and Portsmouth before their demise. If Eddie Davies dies and his family calls in the debt we are doomed. We need a long term strategy to cut the debt and relying on promotion to the Premier League within 2 seasons is folly. A new stadium needs to be promoted and discussed and it would not only help BWFC financially but revive Bolton town centres dying economy. Reality50
  • Score: 1

7:27pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Reality50 says...

The cost of the Reebok to build was £40 million and the sale of Burnden netted £12.6 million. The club already had a small debt before moving although not much.The club have been in an ever increasing debt since moving to the Reebok despite playing all bar 3 seasons there in the top flight in the most lucrative league in the world..
The cost of the Reebok to build was £40 million and the sale of Burnden netted £12.6 million. The club already had a small debt before moving although not much.The club have been in an ever increasing debt since moving to the Reebok despite playing all bar 3 seasons there in the top flight in the most lucrative league in the world.. Reality50
  • Score: -2

10:11pm Thu 7 Feb 13

fitz108 says...

Burden leisure shares purchased to help the club years ago by ordinary supporters ( not financial speculators) are worthless,
I am one of mr gartside's plebs who didn't have the same inside information to get rid of the shares, unlike some in the know at the club did,...before they were rendered worth nowt !
Mr Davies has loaned mega money to the club, but the return he is apparently getting on the loan makes it worthwhile. He will not lose out believe me.
BWFC has lost all credibility, and it is very sad for what was once the pride of our town.
The fans (or in mr gartside's words) the plebs......deserve better.
Burden leisure shares purchased to help the club years ago by ordinary supporters ( not financial speculators) are worthless, I am one of mr gartside's plebs who didn't have the same inside information to get rid of the shares, unlike some in the know at the club did,...before they were rendered worth nowt ! Mr Davies has loaned mega money to the club, but the return he is apparently getting on the loan makes it worthwhile. He will not lose out believe me. BWFC has lost all credibility, and it is very sad for what was once the pride of our town. The fans (or in mr gartside's words) the plebs......deserve better. fitz108
  • Score: 3

1:12am Fri 8 Feb 13

Reality50 says...

I predict the following will happen in the next 3 or 4 years: 1, We have another 1982 crisis where the clubs begs fans to bail them out. In 1982 Lifeline was formed by a desperate club weeks from liquidation. Fans of a certain age will not forget the bleak days of the early 80s and the Mulhall Wright and McGovern years when we were in freefall and bankrupt. I predict the club will sell its few assets to stay afloat and the last asset being the stadium and hotel. This will all happen unless we get back to the PL as the club is losing up to £500,000 a week.The upshot will be a temporary groundshare with Salford Rugby or Bury i suspect. Financially the club is in a desperate state with Eddie Davies the only lifesaver. This is why we need a new stadium with a slightly smaller capacity and a more central location. A new stadium won't solve all the financial issues but it will go a long way as long as the Reebok and its other assets up at Horwich are sold. Its time for people to wake up before we become another Leeds or Portsmouth. Part of the reason they went into meltdown is they never had a new stadium thus meaning outside income was minimal. BWFC however could not afford financially to move to the Reebok in 97 and we have paid for that ever since as the debt grew larger with interest.
I predict the following will happen in the next 3 or 4 years: 1, We have another 1982 crisis where the clubs begs fans to bail them out. In 1982 Lifeline was formed by a desperate club weeks from liquidation. Fans of a certain age will not forget the bleak days of the early 80s and the Mulhall Wright and McGovern years when we were in freefall and bankrupt. I predict the club will sell its few assets to stay afloat and the last asset being the stadium and hotel. This will all happen unless we get back to the PL as the club is losing up to £500,000 a week.The upshot will be a temporary groundshare with Salford Rugby or Bury i suspect. Financially the club is in a desperate state with Eddie Davies the only lifesaver. This is why we need a new stadium with a slightly smaller capacity and a more central location. A new stadium won't solve all the financial issues but it will go a long way as long as the Reebok and its other assets up at Horwich are sold. Its time for people to wake up before we become another Leeds or Portsmouth. Part of the reason they went into meltdown is they never had a new stadium thus meaning outside income was minimal. BWFC however could not afford financially to move to the Reebok in 97 and we have paid for that ever since as the debt grew larger with interest. Reality50
  • Score: 0

9:46am Fri 8 Feb 13

saj70n says...

Eddy sell the club please it needs a billionair to run clubs these days, now that the plans have been ditched you can use the £100m to rebuild the club and get back to them prem, all that sky money we are loosing.
Eddy sell the club please it needs a billionair to run clubs these days, now that the plans have been ditched you can use the £100m to rebuild the club and get back to them prem, all that sky money we are loosing. saj70n
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Fri 8 Feb 13

boltoncity says...

hatonfire wrote:
Why does no one question this £130million debt?

The money hasn't been spent on players, in fact the club have probably made a profit over the years when it comes to buying and selling.
The Sky money, £40million then rising to over £50million a year more than pays the wages and that's before you count the gate money and corporate events. Wigan made a profit last season, we posted a £10million lose.

Something very fishy at BWFC.
i agree , something doesnt seem to add up
[quote][p][bold]hatonfire[/bold] wrote: Why does no one question this £130million debt? The money hasn't been spent on players, in fact the club have probably made a profit over the years when it comes to buying and selling. The Sky money, £40million then rising to over £50million a year more than pays the wages and that's before you count the gate money and corporate events. Wigan made a profit last season, we posted a £10million lose. Something very fishy at BWFC.[/p][/quote]i agree , something doesnt seem to add up boltoncity
  • Score: 1

3:45pm Fri 8 Feb 13

walkerman says...

Horwich Wanders should wander off somewhere else. Horwich has already lost farms and beauty spots due to horrible Middlebrook complex.

They should allow anymore plans to build closer to the hugely important SSSI that is/was red moss.

Bolton council should wander off somewhere else too, somewhere hot maybe like hell where they belong.
Horwich Wanders should wander off somewhere else. Horwich has already lost farms and beauty spots due to horrible Middlebrook complex. They should allow anymore plans to build closer to the hugely important SSSI that is/was red moss. Bolton council should wander off somewhere else too, somewhere hot maybe like hell where they belong. walkerman
  • Score: -4

3:46pm Fri 8 Feb 13

walkerman says...

walkerman wrote:
Horwich Wanders should wander off somewhere else. Horwich has already lost farms and beauty spots due to horrible Middlebrook complex.

They should allow anymore plans to build closer to the hugely important SSSI that is/was red moss.

Bolton council should wander off somewhere else too, somewhere hot maybe like hell where they belong.
Should *not allow anymore plans.
[quote][p][bold]walkerman[/bold] wrote: Horwich Wanders should wander off somewhere else. Horwich has already lost farms and beauty spots due to horrible Middlebrook complex. They should allow anymore plans to build closer to the hugely important SSSI that is/was red moss. Bolton council should wander off somewhere else too, somewhere hot maybe like hell where they belong.[/p][/quote]Should *not allow anymore plans. walkerman
  • Score: -3

2:52pm Sun 10 Feb 13

Tommy60 says...

Regarding the original article concerning the Middlebrook development and traffic issues, when this is combined with the loco works development of 1600+ new homes surely another exit route is required. Ideally this should be along the back of the loco works and out onto the A6 at Blackrod
Regarding the original article concerning the Middlebrook development and traffic issues, when this is combined with the loco works development of 1600+ new homes surely another exit route is required. Ideally this should be along the back of the loco works and out onto the A6 at Blackrod Tommy60
  • Score: 2

6:43pm Tue 12 Feb 13

limey redneck says...

it would be great to see the wanderers occupy the moor lane site.as a boltonian in the usa,i follow them online since they were relegated last season.i think the move back to bolton town centre would bring much needed revanue to the town centre shops;& just maybe the team will pull their socks up & start winning some games & bling.
it would be great to see the wanderers occupy the moor lane site.as a boltonian in the usa,i follow them online since they were relegated last season.i think the move back to bolton town centre would bring much needed revanue to the town centre shops;& just maybe the team will pull their socks up & start winning some games & bling. limey redneck
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Wed 13 Feb 13

hoboh2o says...

walkerman wrote:
Horwich Wanders should wander off somewhere else. Horwich has already lost farms and beauty spots due to horrible Middlebrook complex.

They should allow anymore plans to build closer to the hugely important SSSI that is/was red moss.

Bolton council should wander off somewhere else too, somewhere hot maybe like hell where they belong.
Horwich should have been left as the little backwater town it was turning into when the Loco works closed, your right, you could have sat on your piles of pubs and takeaways and relied on the bikers on Sundays to bring in some cash!!
Doh Cavemen!
[quote][p][bold]walkerman[/bold] wrote: Horwich Wanders should wander off somewhere else. Horwich has already lost farms and beauty spots due to horrible Middlebrook complex. They should allow anymore plans to build closer to the hugely important SSSI that is/was red moss. Bolton council should wander off somewhere else too, somewhere hot maybe like hell where they belong.[/p][/quote]Horwich should have been left as the little backwater town it was turning into when the Loco works closed, your right, you could have sat on your piles of pubs and takeaways and relied on the bikers on Sundays to bring in some cash!! Doh Cavemen! hoboh2o
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Tommy60 says...

Come on move Horwich forward take advantage of Bolton town centre so called decline,develop the loco works and middlebrook area and at the same time improve the road infrastructure
Come on move Horwich forward take advantage of Bolton town centre so called decline,develop the loco works and middlebrook area and at the same time improve the road infrastructure Tommy60
  • Score: 1

3:55pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Wigan Trotter says...

I cannot believe that some people can think that a new Stadium slap bang in a town centre will ever happen, especially when so much money has been spent on Middlebrook and the present Stadium.

What world are they living in?
I cannot believe that some people can think that a new Stadium slap bang in a town centre will ever happen, especially when so much money has been spent on Middlebrook and the present Stadium. What world are they living in? Wigan Trotter
  • Score: 0

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