Homes for sale on site of former Smithills Coaching House
HOMES set to be built at the former Smithills Coaching House site are now being advertised.
Potential homeowners interested in the controversial development can now register their interest.
Described as “the perfect blend of new and refurbished properties, ideal for those looking for something a little bit different”, there is, as yet, no price for the homes.
The Jones Homes website says: “Smithills Coaching House is a hidden gem, perfectly located in the beautiful surroundings of Smithills Country Park.
"The fabric of the refurbishment is a 17th century, Grade II listed coach house and stables, which once served the historic Smithills Hall.
"The coach house and stables will be lovingly converted into nine unique two, three and four bedroom homes, all positioned around a peaceful courtyard.”
It comes as developers, Jones Homes, has submitted new plans for the Grade-II building, which they say could stop unnecessary damage to the historic structure.
The firm was given permission to turn the popular former restaurant into eight homes in December, 2012, prompting anger from residents and heritage activists.
A further 21 homes have been granted permission to be built on surrounding protected green belt land.
After starting work on the site last summer, the company has now asked for permission to change the blueprint, after finding plans did not match the true state the building is in.
Under new proposals, architects Atelier MB said Jones Homes would not need to remove the stone roof or destroy the historic Ashlar stonework or timber framing in at least one of the new units.
In the application to the Bolton Council, Atelier MB said: “The fact that the building was full of cooking equipment, furniture both loose and fixed, structures to be demolished as being damaging interventions, and the inability to see inaccessible areas, meant that the proposals have had to be revisited.
“We have also identified areas where the approved proposals would have damaged the character of and/or the historic structure of the listed buildings.”
Smithills councillor Roger Hayes had battled against the initial development and argued that the additional 21 houses approved to be built on neighbouring countryside would set a dangerous precedent for the area.
Speaking about the most recent application he said: “As long as English Heritage have been consulted and are happy I don’t have a problem with it.
“This scheme looks to be an improvement on the original application.”
Describing the new plans, managing director of Jones Homes, Gary Hardy said another application was necessary to “improve the overall aesthetic of the refurbishment”.
He added: “While undertaking the demolition and soft strip works on site we have uncovered a number of items which we believe require an alternate treatment to better restore sensitively the listed building.”
Council planning officers will now examine the plans.
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