Bolton's last greyhound racing track in Westhoughton will be demolished

END OF AN ERA The greyhound track in Westhoughton

END OF AN ERA The greyhound track in Westhoughton

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

THE only remaining greyhound track in Bolton will be demolished to make way for 38 new homes after councillors unanimously approved plans.

Bolton Council received 17 letters of objection to allowing the stadium in Wigan Road, Westhoughton, to close and opponents of the plans booed as they were given the go-ahead yesterday.

Cllr Bob Allen said he sympathised with fans of the sport but said it was “dying” and that the site was always going to change “sooner or later”.

Councillors and council officers praised the applicant and developers for the thought that went into the proposals, especially the consideration of the impact on traffic, the environment and its compatibility with the surrounding area.

The site is listed as part of greenbelt but this was discounted as it had already been developed.

It was also noted that, in addition to the letters of objection, the council received more than 1,000 messages of support for the plan, most of which came from animal rights protesters.

Westhoughton Town Council had recommended refusal to the plan on the grounds of over-development.

Cllr Ann-Marie Watters said: “Although this is a green belt site I think it will be in keeping with the area.

“My main concern was the dangerous impact of traffic from Wigan Road but the measures to reduce the speed limit to 30mph will enhance traffic calming measures already in place.

“I actually think this site will look greener than it does currently, and it will vastly improve it.”

Applicant Ian Holden has said he had to consider an alternative use for the track after finding its maintenance unsustainable after being forced to halve the rent.

The site will contain plenty of green space, with planning regulations stating that there is space for 82 homes rather than the 38 earmarked.

Mr Holden claimed more than 60 local jobs would be created by the development.

A speaker on behalf of the developers said: “We all know housing provision is becoming a huge issue nationally.

“This would provide 38 high quality houses and the plan is of immediate value.

“We are aware that the site has heritage and people will be sad to see the track close but I think its best days are behind it.”

Comments (16)

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1:37am Sat 19 Oct 13

Reality50 says...

Attendances at Greyhound stadium meetings across the country in the evenings have risen massively. This area seems to be the only one that hasn't caught on. A decent dog track with food and drink facilities would do massively well. As usual Bolton misses a trick. Go to Belle Vue or Kinsley near Pontefract for proof. The decision to close the track at Manchester Road has proved to be the wrong one.
Attendances at Greyhound stadium meetings across the country in the evenings have risen massively. This area seems to be the only one that hasn't caught on. A decent dog track with food and drink facilities would do massively well. As usual Bolton misses a trick. Go to Belle Vue or Kinsley near Pontefract for proof. The decision to close the track at Manchester Road has proved to be the wrong one. Reality50
  • Score: 9

9:43am Sat 19 Oct 13

Sickandtiredoffit says...

About time just like the market hall get rid and build something better. The city centre is a shining example of what can be done with a little planning and a lots of meetings
Now lets get a pound shop and a gambler on site ! Trebles all round .
About time just like the market hall get rid and build something better. The city centre is a shining example of what can be done with a little planning and a lots of meetings Now lets get a pound shop and a gambler on site ! Trebles all round . Sickandtiredoffit
  • Score: -1

10:25am Sat 19 Oct 13

Phil from Smithills says...

Another shambles of a decision by Bolton Council, they should and must abide by the discion of the locally elected Westhoughton Council who objected to the proposal and who have more local knowledge.

Another point, Westhoughton is NOT Bolton. Westhoughton is its own town in its own right although administered or should I say mis-administered by Bolton Council.
Another shambles of a decision by Bolton Council, they should and must abide by the discion of the locally elected Westhoughton Council who objected to the proposal and who have more local knowledge. Another point, Westhoughton is NOT Bolton. Westhoughton is its own town in its own right although administered or should I say mis-administered by Bolton Council. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 1

11:29am Sat 19 Oct 13

Chrome1 says...

Technically, Westhoughton is a part of Bolton. Administratively it may be devolved but ultimately it comes under the Bolton wing.
Greyhound tracks, who needs them anyway. All flat caps and ey-ups.
Technically, Westhoughton is a part of Bolton. Administratively it may be devolved but ultimately it comes under the Bolton wing. Greyhound tracks, who needs them anyway. All flat caps and ey-ups. Chrome1
  • Score: -7

12:25pm Sat 19 Oct 13

Comment777 says...

More back hand payments and a decision swayed by such financial dealings!
More back hand payments and a decision swayed by such financial dealings! Comment777
  • Score: 6

6:09pm Sat 19 Oct 13

Sirrius7 says...

Greyhounds are beautiful animals and have a wretched existence, spending most of their lives penned up until they are brought out to race.

If Reality50 is so keen on Greyhound racing perhaps he and a few mates could race each other. Suitably muzzled of course.
Greyhounds are beautiful animals and have a wretched existence, spending most of their lives penned up until they are brought out to race. If Reality50 is so keen on Greyhound racing perhaps he and a few mates could race each other. Suitably muzzled of course. Sirrius7
  • Score: 7

10:11pm Sat 19 Oct 13

Reality50 says...

Flat caps? You clearly haven't been to a greyhound meeting recently then! Go to Belle Vue and at evening meets the average age of the crowd is about 30 or 35. Women and men even have their hen and stag nights there around the racing itself. The problem with backward Bolton Council is it lives in the past and the average age of councillors is well over 50. To say Bolton Council needs young blood within its confines is an understatement. One week Animal World goes and now this. What a boring backward town Bolton has become. If I could afford it I would leave. Pound shops,takeaways,char
ity shops,massive immigration,scruffy tired town centre,and even my beloved BWFC up sticks 16 years ago. The town has nothing worth staying for. Manchester and Bury are booming while Bolton is in terminal decline.
Flat caps? You clearly haven't been to a greyhound meeting recently then! Go to Belle Vue and at evening meets the average age of the crowd is about 30 or 35. Women and men even have their hen and stag nights there around the racing itself. The problem with backward Bolton Council is it lives in the past and the average age of councillors is well over 50. To say Bolton Council needs young blood within its confines is an understatement. One week Animal World goes and now this. What a boring backward town Bolton has become. If I could afford it I would leave. Pound shops,takeaways,char ity shops,massive immigration,scruffy tired town centre,and even my beloved BWFC up sticks 16 years ago. The town has nothing worth staying for. Manchester and Bury are booming while Bolton is in terminal decline. Reality50
  • Score: 6

11:30pm Sat 19 Oct 13

Chrome1 says...

Reality 50,I firmly had tongue in cheek and I admit never having been to a meet. My only experience of a greyhound track is when it featured in a Steptoe and Son film. I agree with you entirely about the economic state of Bolton though. If I was in different circumstances I'd leave as well.
Reality 50,I firmly had tongue in cheek and I admit never having been to a meet. My only experience of a greyhound track is when it featured in a Steptoe and Son film. I agree with you entirely about the economic state of Bolton though. If I was in different circumstances I'd leave as well. Chrome1
  • Score: 3

8:50pm Sun 20 Oct 13

MasterOfPuppets says...

I've been crying myself to sleep since I've heard about this
I've been crying myself to sleep since I've heard about this MasterOfPuppets
  • Score: 0

10:21pm Sun 20 Oct 13

BWFCmonk87 says...

38 high quality houses - it pays to be eastern european
38 high quality houses - it pays to be eastern european BWFCmonk87
  • Score: 4

10:27am Mon 21 Oct 13

popeye1 says...

well i for one am pleased that one more track has closed , dogs are exploited for gambling , for every dog you see on a race track there will be at least another four unaccounted for !!what happens to them , some are exported to Spain where they are treated even more barbarically , some to China , and we all know what they like to eat over there , lose a race and your dinner !! its a disgrace that in our day this horrible sport still exists at all !!
well i for one am pleased that one more track has closed , dogs are exploited for gambling , for every dog you see on a race track there will be at least another four unaccounted for !!what happens to them , some are exported to Spain where they are treated even more barbarically , some to China , and we all know what they like to eat over there , lose a race and your dinner !! its a disgrace that in our day this horrible sport still exists at all !! popeye1
  • Score: -1

12:48pm Mon 21 Oct 13

Lee3695 says...

As the owner of a rescued ex-racing Greyhound, I can only say that I am glad another one of these vile places will be demolished. The supporters of Greyhound racing either don't know or care about the welfare of the dogs involved. How would you not like to be fed all day until after a race. Once your useful life is over you are either destoyed, abandoned or sold on abroad for other 'uses'. Only a few of these fine dogs, which also make fantastic family pets, are rescued and go one to live decent lives. I do question the need for yet more housing though. Surely a 'leisure' use could be replaced with some new leisure development instead of yet more 'Martini' mock-georgan chav pads crammed onto a small an area as possible? Bolton definately is lacking in the leisure and rcreation development area. Middlebrook is just a gian car park surrounded by a supermarket, clothes shjops and eating houses. There is the football stadium but football dosen't appeal to eveyone.
As the owner of a rescued ex-racing Greyhound, I can only say that I am glad another one of these vile places will be demolished. The supporters of Greyhound racing either don't know or care about the welfare of the dogs involved. How would you not like to be fed all day until after a race. Once your useful life is over you are either destoyed, abandoned or sold on abroad for other 'uses'. Only a few of these fine dogs, which also make fantastic family pets, are rescued and go one to live decent lives. I do question the need for yet more housing though. Surely a 'leisure' use could be replaced with some new leisure development instead of yet more 'Martini' mock-georgan chav pads crammed onto a small an area as possible? Bolton definately is lacking in the leisure and rcreation development area. Middlebrook is just a gian car park surrounded by a supermarket, clothes shjops and eating houses. There is the football stadium but football dosen't appeal to eveyone. Lee3695
  • Score: -1

1:07pm Mon 21 Oct 13

Bolton Lad 85 says...

As a resident of Bolton for 28 years, I can honestly say this is the first time i have heard Bolton had a Grayhound track, have only ever heard of Bell Vue. This may be something to do with its attendances.
As a resident of Bolton for 28 years, I can honestly say this is the first time i have heard Bolton had a Grayhound track, have only ever heard of Bell Vue. This may be something to do with its attendances. Bolton Lad 85
  • Score: -1

4:33pm Mon 21 Oct 13

Ernagy2 says...

So animal rights protestors don't care what happens to the site as long as it doesn't have animals racing on it. What a selfish society we really are. Westhoughton doesn't need anymore homes. It needs facilities and better shopping.

Bolton Shopping centre is probably the worst in the country and the lack of an exhibition centre is turning business away.
So animal rights protestors don't care what happens to the site as long as it doesn't have animals racing on it. What a selfish society we really are. Westhoughton doesn't need anymore homes. It needs facilities and better shopping. Bolton Shopping centre is probably the worst in the country and the lack of an exhibition centre is turning business away. Ernagy2
  • Score: 1

7:47pm Tue 22 Oct 13

Loose Talk says...

Green belt land? Turn it back to farmland.
Green belt land? Turn it back to farmland. Loose Talk
  • Score: 2

12:40am Sat 26 Oct 13

Eddie Z says...

Building houses nets the local council more revenue from council tax but when will some consideration be given to the fact that the infrastructure of the local area simply can't take anymore.
There are only two main routes into Daisy Hill, both of which are seriously congested at key time of the day, we are experiencing more and more power cuts year on year and it just seems that every available scrap of land is being put to new homes......... where do the children play?? As cat stevens used to say!!!
Building houses nets the local council more revenue from council tax but when will some consideration be given to the fact that the infrastructure of the local area simply can't take anymore. There are only two main routes into Daisy Hill, both of which are seriously congested at key time of the day, we are experiencing more and more power cuts year on year and it just seems that every available scrap of land is being put to new homes......... where do the children play?? As cat stevens used to say!!! Eddie Z
  • Score: 1

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