Transformation of run-down part of Bolton town centre back on track - after 10 years

The Bolton News: The junction of Bark Street and St Helena Road. Picture from Google Maps. The junction of Bark Street and St Helena Road. Picture from Google Maps.

AN ambitious scheme to transform a rundown part of Bolton town centre looks set to finally be started — 10 years after it was first approved.

Bark Street Investments was given outline permission to build a part-seven, part-10 storey building at land at the junction of Bark Street and St Helena Road in 2003.

And now councillors have approved the plans for 16 three-bedroom apartments, a food store, warehouse, offices and cafes at the site.

The application — quipped by chief planning officer Tim Hill as having been hanging around ‘like a bad smell’ — was held up after a food retailer pulled out of the project, it is understood.

Backing the plans, deputy leader of Bolton Council Linda Thomas said the site had had a “chequered history”.

She added: “I personally think this is going to be the best thing we will get out of the land.

“I think we need to agree with this — it is a particular part of town that is an eyesore.”

Cllr Nick Peel added: “We can’t underestimate the importance of this scheme.”

Also included in the scheme are plans for 490 parking spaces, a riverside footpath and cycle parking.

Cllr John Walsh received an assurance from the developers that an important part of Bolton’s heritage — namely, grooves in the road that show where industrialists would turn their cartwheels in the road — would be protected and incorporated into the scheme.

Comments (8)

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10:52am Mon 10 Mar 14

Beyond News Forum says...

I will bring it up again ten years later - Are the council or the investors going to clean up that open stinking sewer, the River Croal?

I lived down that way for 30-years, the river is disgusting, full of vermin and rubbish - it stinks and looks awful to visitors.

So with that in mind would you sit next to the sewer and have a coffee?

If the river is cleaned up then I am all for it and may even have coffee there.
I will bring it up again ten years later - Are the council or the investors going to clean up that open stinking sewer, the River Croal? I lived down that way for 30-years, the river is disgusting, full of vermin and rubbish - it stinks and looks awful to visitors. So with that in mind would you sit next to the sewer and have a coffee? If the river is cleaned up then I am all for it and may even have coffee there. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 10

12:23pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Lee3695 says...

I wouldn't get too excited about the development propsals just yet. The developer has an outline permission to devlop the site, that dosn't mean they will develop it. It is not uncommon for land owners to hold onto a site until it has an extant permission, then sell it at a higher land value due tot he permission. It is also worth pointing out, they have three years to discharge a planning condition (doing so will constitute the development as having commenced). Again, it is not that unusual to discharge one of the lesser conditons after 2-3 years of the approval, to 'buy' more time to sell the land with an extant permission, again at a higher value. The length of time taken to do anything so far may indicate a desire to off-load a 'difficult' development site rather than actually develop it.
I wouldn't get too excited about the development propsals just yet. The developer has an outline permission to devlop the site, that dosn't mean they will develop it. It is not uncommon for land owners to hold onto a site until it has an extant permission, then sell it at a higher land value due tot he permission. It is also worth pointing out, they have three years to discharge a planning condition (doing so will constitute the development as having commenced). Again, it is not that unusual to discharge one of the lesser conditons after 2-3 years of the approval, to 'buy' more time to sell the land with an extant permission, again at a higher value. The length of time taken to do anything so far may indicate a desire to off-load a 'difficult' development site rather than actually develop it. Lee3695
  • Score: 12

12:28pm Mon 10 Mar 14

SleepingThunder says...

Come on a little credit would not go amiss Be the change you want to see in the world, i think it is a step in the right direction & the Enviroment agency is responsable for the river systems not bolton council.
Come on a little credit would not go amiss Be the change you want to see in the world, i think it is a step in the right direction & the Enviroment agency is responsable for the river systems not bolton council. SleepingThunder
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Mon 10 Mar 14

stereo_world says...

Beyond News Forum wrote:
I will bring it up again ten years later - Are the council or the investors going to clean up that open stinking sewer, the River Croal?

I lived down that way for 30-years, the river is disgusting, full of vermin and rubbish - it stinks and looks awful to visitors.

So with that in mind would you sit next to the sewer and have a coffee?

If the river is cleaned up then I am all for it and may even have coffee there.
Totally agree with you - the croal is a cesspit of muck and grime, all stemming from Queens Park. A couple of years ago they dredged the pond it flowed in to, but with all the fly tipping reported recently, that'll soon be undone. They need to attend to that before they make the river a feature.

The worry I have is that the level of the croal - at the point where you cross that scummy bridge to get to the Bark Street car park, you could pretty much leap across the water. How on earth are you going to get a "Riverside" footpath if the river level isn't even that high?

My guess is that they'd remove the dam which lies next to the section at the side of the lads club, that may raise the river level. But again, it flows underneath some buildings - it may not be safe.

Don't get me wrong, I like the ambition of the project. That area is in dire need of something which may be of use to people other than heroin addicts. Plus, it might actually attract some businesses to that waste of money office building on Bark Street.
[quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: I will bring it up again ten years later - Are the council or the investors going to clean up that open stinking sewer, the River Croal? I lived down that way for 30-years, the river is disgusting, full of vermin and rubbish - it stinks and looks awful to visitors. So with that in mind would you sit next to the sewer and have a coffee? If the river is cleaned up then I am all for it and may even have coffee there.[/p][/quote]Totally agree with you - the croal is a cesspit of muck and grime, all stemming from Queens Park. A couple of years ago they dredged the pond it flowed in to, but with all the fly tipping reported recently, that'll soon be undone. They need to attend to that before they make the river a feature. The worry I have is that the level of the croal - at the point where you cross that scummy bridge to get to the Bark Street car park, you could pretty much leap across the water. How on earth are you going to get a "Riverside" footpath if the river level isn't even that high? My guess is that they'd remove the dam which lies next to the section at the side of the lads club, that may raise the river level. But again, it flows underneath some buildings - it may not be safe. Don't get me wrong, I like the ambition of the project. That area is in dire need of something which may be of use to people other than heroin addicts. Plus, it might actually attract some businesses to that waste of money office building on Bark Street. stereo_world
  • Score: 9

2:02pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Jim271 says...

We have empty shops already in Bolton,

Why do they feel the need to build more?
We have empty shops already in Bolton, Why do they feel the need to build more? Jim271
  • Score: 8

5:51pm Mon 10 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

stereo_world wrote:
Beyond News Forum wrote:
I will bring it up again ten years later - Are the council or the investors going to clean up that open stinking sewer, the River Croal?

I lived down that way for 30-years, the river is disgusting, full of vermin and rubbish - it stinks and looks awful to visitors.

So with that in mind would you sit next to the sewer and have a coffee?

If the river is cleaned up then I am all for it and may even have coffee there.
Totally agree with you - the croal is a cesspit of muck and grime, all stemming from Queens Park. A couple of years ago they dredged the pond it flowed in to, but with all the fly tipping reported recently, that'll soon be undone. They need to attend to that before they make the river a feature.

The worry I have is that the level of the croal - at the point where you cross that scummy bridge to get to the Bark Street car park, you could pretty much leap across the water. How on earth are you going to get a "Riverside" footpath if the river level isn't even that high?

My guess is that they'd remove the dam which lies next to the section at the side of the lads club, that may raise the river level. But again, it flows underneath some buildings - it may not be safe.

Don't get me wrong, I like the ambition of the project. That area is in dire need of something which may be of use to people other than heroin addicts. Plus, it might actually attract some businesses to that waste of money office building on Bark Street.
Bolton Council has no remit with regards to the river as that comes under the Environment Agency. So complain about the Council?

All this is the rehash of the Victoria Hall development which should have been built just after the Market Hall ie. over 15 years ago. Nothing came of it then and then it was rehashed and nothing came of it and I have doubts t will take place now as it is on the "wrong" side of town to where the Council wants to develop, i.e. near the brand new bus station!
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beyond News Forum[/bold] wrote: I will bring it up again ten years later - Are the council or the investors going to clean up that open stinking sewer, the River Croal? I lived down that way for 30-years, the river is disgusting, full of vermin and rubbish - it stinks and looks awful to visitors. So with that in mind would you sit next to the sewer and have a coffee? If the river is cleaned up then I am all for it and may even have coffee there.[/p][/quote]Totally agree with you - the croal is a cesspit of muck and grime, all stemming from Queens Park. A couple of years ago they dredged the pond it flowed in to, but with all the fly tipping reported recently, that'll soon be undone. They need to attend to that before they make the river a feature. The worry I have is that the level of the croal - at the point where you cross that scummy bridge to get to the Bark Street car park, you could pretty much leap across the water. How on earth are you going to get a "Riverside" footpath if the river level isn't even that high? My guess is that they'd remove the dam which lies next to the section at the side of the lads club, that may raise the river level. But again, it flows underneath some buildings - it may not be safe. Don't get me wrong, I like the ambition of the project. That area is in dire need of something which may be of use to people other than heroin addicts. Plus, it might actually attract some businesses to that waste of money office building on Bark Street.[/p][/quote]Bolton Council has no remit with regards to the river as that comes under the Environment Agency. So complain about the Council? All this is the rehash of the Victoria Hall development which should have been built just after the Market Hall ie. over 15 years ago. Nothing came of it then and then it was rehashed and nothing came of it and I have doubts t will take place now as it is on the "wrong" side of town to where the Council wants to develop, i.e. near the brand new bus station! BWFC71
  • Score: 7

6:53am Tue 11 Mar 14

biglad44 says...

Jim271 wrote:
We have empty shops already in Bolton,

Why do they feel the need to build more?
Yes fill the empty shops in the market place reduced rates some some of start up plan 12 months free when you take out a 2 year lease.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: We have empty shops already in Bolton, Why do they feel the need to build more?[/p][/quote]Yes fill the empty shops in the market place reduced rates some some of start up plan 12 months free when you take out a 2 year lease. biglad44
  • Score: -3

5:35pm Tue 11 Mar 14

BWFC71 says...

biglad44 wrote:
Jim271 wrote:
We have empty shops already in Bolton,

Why do they feel the need to build more?
Yes fill the empty shops in the market place reduced rates some some of start up plan 12 months free when you take out a 2 year lease.
But Bolton Council do NOT set the business rates - Central Government does.

That, I think is the only flaw in your ideology!
[quote][p][bold]biglad44[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: We have empty shops already in Bolton, Why do they feel the need to build more?[/p][/quote]Yes fill the empty shops in the market place reduced rates some some of start up plan 12 months free when you take out a 2 year lease.[/p][/quote]But Bolton Council do NOT set the business rates - Central Government does. That, I think is the only flaw in your ideology! BWFC71
  • Score: 0

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