Bolton's last greyhound track is demolished

The Bolton News: Christine Crook surveys the scene of rubble at Westhoughton greyhound track Christine Crook surveys the scene of rubble at Westhoughton greyhound track

BULLDOZERS have moved in to start demolition work on Bolton’s last greyhound track.

The stadium in Wigan Road, Westhoughton, is being knocked down to make way for 38 new houses.

Rubble from the remains of the buildings surrounding the circuit is currently littering the track, which is now overgrown and surrounded by piles of rubble.

Christine Crook, aged 67, has worked at the track since she was 14 and said the closure was “always on the cards” but that the demolition work was an “extremely sad sight”.

Councillors unanimously approved an application from developer Sparkle Developments to transform the track in October.

The plans caused huge controversy, with animal rights campaigners welcoming the decision while supporters of the sport reacted angrily to the closure.

Sparkle Developments’ owner Ian Holden said several things were still to be resolved before building work on the houses could begin.

“The latest is that the demolition is taking place at the moment, but it is unclear when the work will take place for the construction,” said Mr Holden.

“There is a lot of preparation work and planning that goes into projects such as these.”

Members of Bolton Council’s planning committee observed that it was sad to see the track close but that greyhound racing was dying as a sport.

The council received 17 letters of objection to the plans and boos rang out across the council chamber when approval was given.

More than 1,000 messages of support for the plan were received, although most of these came from animal rights protesters.

Mrs Crook, who first worked at the track while at school before later getting a job in its office said: “It is very sad obviously and the track has been a huge part of my life.

“I’ve met some lovely people here, many of them owners of dogs. A lot is said about greyhound racing, and it gets a bad name, but to my mind the dogs were usually very well looked after.

“I’ve got a couple of retired ones myself, which are 12 and 13-years old now, so at least I’ll be able to rest up a bit now and look after them.”

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

It will still contain plenty of green space, with planning regulations stating there is enough space for 82 homes rather than the 38 earmarked. Westhoughton Town Council originally recommended refusal to the plan on the grounds of over-development.

Comments (7)

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2:38pm Sat 18 Jan 14

FreedomOfSpeech1945 says...

Disgusting. Yet more houses!
Disgusting. Yet more houses! FreedomOfSpeech1945

3:53pm Sat 18 Jan 14

ZoonPolitikon says...

Fantastic news for the greyhounds!!! If the public knew the truth about greyhound racing every track in Britain would be doomed. The dogs welfare and the campaigns and debate surrounding their treatment is covered in a new 155-page publication free to access on the internet: Behind the Lights, the Tote and the Non-starters. Unlike much of the rubbish given out by antis, this publication is based on hard facts and many years painstaking research, to include talking to more than one hundred trainers, owners and officials.
Fantastic news for the greyhounds!!! If the public knew the truth about greyhound racing every track in Britain would be doomed. The dogs welfare and the campaigns and debate surrounding their treatment is covered in a new 155-page publication free to access on the internet: Behind the Lights, the Tote and the Non-starters. Unlike much of the rubbish given out by antis, this publication is based on hard facts and many years painstaking research, to include talking to more than one hundred trainers, owners and officials. ZoonPolitikon

11:41am Sun 19 Jan 14

Bolton Lad 85 says...

FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Disgusting. Yet more houses!
What a cretin. We need lots more housing in Bolton lets hope it is housing.
[quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Disgusting. Yet more houses![/p][/quote]What a cretin. We need lots more housing in Bolton lets hope it is housing. Bolton Lad 85

12:29pm Sun 19 Jan 14

traveller59 says...

If building more houses can they please give a better bus service as only one bus per hour, 559, and no bus at all between 8.45 and 10.45 as 9.45 only starts from old Westhoughton POlice Station ((why?)...we pay our rates like everone else and deserve more than one bus per hour..this is the only bus service to Park Rd.Doctors and appointments cant be made during tge two hours when no bus at all!!! Hope the people who intend buying these houses will be aware of this...we dont all have cars, especially a lot of elderly in this area!
If building more houses can they please give a better bus service as only one bus per hour, 559, and no bus at all between 8.45 and 10.45 as 9.45 only starts from old Westhoughton POlice Station ((why?)...we pay our rates like everone else and deserve more than one bus per hour..this is the only bus service to Park Rd.Doctors and appointments cant be made during tge two hours when no bus at all!!! Hope the people who intend buying these houses will be aware of this...we dont all have cars, especially a lot of elderly in this area! traveller59

6:25pm Sun 19 Jan 14

why-do-councillors-never-listen says...

Bolton Lad 85 wrote:
FreedomOfSpeech1945 wrote:
Disgusting. Yet more houses!
What a cretin. We need lots more housing in Bolton lets hope it is housing.
Not housing that the average Boltonion cant afford
[quote][p][bold]Bolton Lad 85[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]FreedomOfSpeech1945[/bold] wrote: Disgusting. Yet more houses![/p][/quote]What a cretin. We need lots more housing in Bolton lets hope it is housing.[/p][/quote]Not housing that the average Boltonion cant afford why-do-councillors-never-listen

12:52am Mon 20 Jan 14

Fiverdog says...

Good riddance, the more tracks that get bulldozed the better! Check out Caged Northwest's website for the true horrors of the industry. Join the protest in Manchester at the Hilton hotel on Deansgate next Saturday 26th January at 4pm.
Good riddance, the more tracks that get bulldozed the better! Check out Caged Northwest's website for the true horrors of the industry. Join the protest in Manchester at the Hilton hotel on Deansgate next Saturday 26th January at 4pm. Fiverdog

7:47am Tue 21 Jan 14

Lee3695 says...

As the owner of a retired racing Greyhound I am glad another one of these vile stadiums is being demolished. people have a choice to visit the races or not, just as they have a choice whether to live in yet another council approved Legoland housing development or not. Greyhounds do not have a choice whether they race or not.
As the owner of a retired racing Greyhound I am glad another one of these vile stadiums is being demolished. people have a choice to visit the races or not, just as they have a choice whether to live in yet another council approved Legoland housing development or not. Greyhounds do not have a choice whether they race or not. Lee3695

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