WIND turbines and solar panels could be used to power new multi-storey car parks in Bolton town centre.

The idea was suggested at a Bolton Council meeting where initial plans for two multi-storeys - to be built on the current Breightmet Street and Bath Street surface level car parks - were backed.

Three more multi-storeys are also being planned.

Cllr Ebrahim Adia, Bolton Council's executive member for development, said he welcomed the suggestion that sun and wind power be used.

He said: "We should be as environmentally sustainable as possible and there is a real possibility of using solar panels and wind turbines.

"We are interested in exploring this further, but it's early days and we need to look at whether it is feasible.

"If we were able to establish the principle for these two car parks, it would make sense to look at the others planned."

The council's environment strategy aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2011.

It also aims to produce more electricity through using new technology on council buildings.

Copies of the plans for the 828-space Bath Street multi-storey car park and the 600-space Breightmet Street multi-storey are being sent to interested developers.

The £10 million five-storey Bath Street car park will include ground level shops and CCTV and could open in March 2009.

Access to the car park would be from Topp Way and it would house a base for a messaging system that would control digital boards dotted around the town centre telling visitors how many car spaces are available.

The Breightmet Street car park would be accessed by new slip roads at the bottom of Bridgeman Place.

Three buildings alongside the six-storey car park could also include offices, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Others multi-storeys are planned at Bow Street, as part of the Church Wharf development; off Deane Road, as part of a scheme to bring together Bolton Community College and Bolton Sixth Form College; and in the town's planned cultural quarter around Le Mans Crescent.

Cllr Adia added that multi-storeys were a more efficient use of land than surface level parking.

He said: "We are going to be losing a lot of surface level parking in the regeneration of the town centre. We will maintain the centre's overall parking capacity, but multi-storeys will be more convenient for people and it's important we keep shoppers coming into the town."