Bolton Wanderers' £100 million 'Middlebrook Masterplan' to go before planning

The Bolton News: The Middlebrook Masterplan The Middlebrook Masterplan

CONTROVERSIAL plans by Bolton Wanderers to build a massive £100 million sport, education and office development next to the Reebok Stadium will be debated at a special meeting of the council's planning committee tomorrow.

Councillors will vote on the scheme - called the Middlebrook Masterplan by developers - which spans the Reebok, Bolton Arena and surrounding land.

The proposal includes plans for an upgraded and reconfigured arena, expanding the west stand of the Reebok, the construction of new sports facilities, a 60-bed hotel, up to 200 apartments and a wealth of office space, restaurants and hospitality suites.

Burnden Leisure, the company that owns the club, and Bolton Middlebrook Leisure Trust also want to build a new free school and sports academy in Burnden Way – thought to be the first school in England run by a football club outside the Premier League.

John McKenzie, associate director of Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, Wanderers’ agents for the application, said the school would be open to 16 to 18-year-olds and is an integral part of the complex.

He said: “The school will consolidate, formalise and expand the existing education offer and provide a sports orientated curriculum.

“The improved sports facilities, as well as enhancing the sports/leisure offer for local people, will also benefit Bolton Wanderers FC and in particular its academy.”

The scheme has drawn criticism from high-profile developers including Bluemantle, which is working with Bolton Council to regenerate the nearby Horwich Loco Works and the town centre.

In a letter to the council Mark Caldwell, chief executive of Bluemantle, said the firm is "broadly supportive" of the sporting and educational aspects of the proposal, but they contested Wanderers’ bid for more offices.

He said: “The office element of the applicant’s proposals causes us to object as owners and developers of the Church Warf site.

“The applicant’s proposals are clearly in conflict with Bolton’s ‘town centre first’ policy and we continue to dispute the applicant’s argument that there were no suitable alternative sites in or near to the town centre.”

The town councils of Horwich, Blackrod and Westhoughton have all raised objections to the plans, saying it would impact badly on the highway network.

A separate scheme to replace the existing temporary buildings at the Wanderers’ Academy in Ox Hey Lane, Lostock, with a new pavilion building will also be discussed.

Comments (3)

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6:58pm Wed 4 Dec 13

prestonexile says...

I suggest that the board look at the management and players first because the way things are going they are going to have fantastic facilities but a club in the third tier of the English League. What is the point of having a magnificent stadium with crowds below 10,000 because thats what will happen if we are relegated. Last night's second half display against Huddersfield was little better than a pub team, and was probably the worst they have played all season, and there have been some bad ones.
I suggest that the board look at the management and players first because the way things are going they are going to have fantastic facilities but a club in the third tier of the English League. What is the point of having a magnificent stadium with crowds below 10,000 because thats what will happen if we are relegated. Last night's second half display against Huddersfield was little better than a pub team, and was probably the worst they have played all season, and there have been some bad ones. prestonexile

10:10am Thu 5 Dec 13

MarkP27 says...

The main issue has to be traffic. On a matchday cars park on Middlebrook and all the surrounding housing estates, whilst the stadium car park is half full. On a weekday evening gridlock is a common occurrence, so if the roads are not to be amended as part of the master plan the current situation will only get worse.
The main issue has to be traffic. On a matchday cars park on Middlebrook and all the surrounding housing estates, whilst the stadium car park is half full. On a weekday evening gridlock is a common occurrence, so if the roads are not to be amended as part of the master plan the current situation will only get worse. MarkP27

12:08pm Thu 5 Dec 13

frank bough says...

Well there's one flaw in that building arrangement. The purple buildings adjacent the back of the North Stand will create a wind tunnel between the stadium and themselves.

The Reebok is already the windiest place on Earth.
Well there's one flaw in that building arrangement. The purple buildings adjacent the back of the North Stand will create a wind tunnel between the stadium and themselves. The Reebok is already the windiest place on Earth. frank bough

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