THE multi-million pound regeneration of Church Wharf has moved another step forward.

A planning document guiding the redevelopment of the area has now been adopted by Bolton council following a six-week public consultation.

The area — which encompasses land bounded by St. Peters Way, the River Croal, Manor Street, Bank Street and Folds Road — is one of five sites which make up the authority’s “town centre masterplan”.

Plans for Church Wharf include creating a residential neighbourhood that brings together hundreds of new homes with “high quality new public spaces”, as well as a new pedestrian route along the River Croal.

Cllr Nick Peel, Bolton Council’s executive member for the environment, it was an important stage in bringing the plans to fruition.

He said: “We will be seeing a major planning application coming through later this year, that’s the next piece of the jigsaw in terms of the development of that site.

“The council has purchased quite a lot of it and we have money to one side to purchase the remaining buildings.

“It won’t happen overnight because it’s quite a large scheme, but it’s something the council is determined to push it forward as a key plank of our regeneration of the town centre.”

One of the obstacles to the scheme is the council’s acquisition of buildings in Bank Street, which it plans to demolish to make way for the new development.

Last year Barry Grundy, the owner of Diamonds night club said he would only sell up if the council met his valuation and a suitable new location could be found.

Cllr Peel said: “We are still in negotiations with one of two owners to move along the Bank Street and Church Wharf developments.

“I don’t think there is anybody in Bolton that will miss that awful vista on Bank Street , the sooner we can get the ownership or powers to move this on, the better.”

If negotiations with any property owner fail Bolton Council can buy up properties by the use of its compulsory purchase powers. However an approved planning application will need to be in place before they can be exercised.

Town hall bosses announced last month that developer Muse will be leading the transformation of the area.

The adopted document will now be used by Muse to help it draw up detailed proposals for the area.

Cllr Peel told The Bolton News: “Muse are a major plc and a major player, we are really pleased they are in Bolton. If you get off the train in Salford the first developments you see are all Muse, so they have a proven track record.”

And this week Bolton Council’s cabinet agreed to use some of its Town Centre Strategy Fund for enabling works to help with the redevelopment.

The authority’s masterplan aims to redevelop the town centre up to 2030 and beyond.

It includes creating 1,800 new homes, 7,400 new jobs and generating economic activity worth an additional £412 million over five sites.

A copy of the final document can be obtained from Bolton Library and the One Stop Shop from Tuesday, April 17.