8:52am Friday 15th March 2013
STUDENTS could soon be snapping up trendy pads in Bolton’s newest ‘des res’ location — inside a church.
Developers have spent 20 years trying to revive the empty Holy Trinity Church in Trinity Street, but it has proved difficult because the exterior of the building is listed and must be left untouched.
Innovative architects have now come up with a solution.
Rather than demolishing the church, they want to build a three-storey apartment block inside.
Bosses from development firm Hamilton Black have tabled a multi-million-pound plan.
As part of the scheme, they would also build a four-storey apartment block to the east of the church and a two-storey apartment block called The Lodge on the Crook Street side to create 82 studio en-suite apartments, each with one bedroom.
Forty-two of those would be inside the church, eight would be in The Lodge and the rest in the Eastern building.
The apartments could prove popular with Univer sity of Bolton students, who snapped up 100 similar studios at the former Pack Horse pub in Nelson Square. The church vestry would have to be demolished and two staircases and seating galleries would have to be removed.
Built in 1823, the church was designed by architect Philip Hardwick.
A report to the council says: “The church closed in 1992. It is a listed building which will not survive unless a user is found.
“The significance of the building lies in its local landmark status as it is beside a main road into the centre of Bolton and directly alongside Bolton Railway Station, so it is a first point of entry for many visitors to the town.
“The concept of the ‘building within a building’ allows the roof, walls and windows of the church to remain undisturbed.”
Brian Tetlow, chairman of Bolton Civic Trust, praised the developers.
He said: “It is something a bit different and, if it ultimately leads to the church exterior being preserved, I am all for it. It is essential they retain the integrity of the building, which has suffered several decades of neglect.”
Bolton Council is aiming to reach a planning permission decision by May 5.
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