A LONG-STANDING eyesore is set for a facelift after planning chiefs gave the go-ahead for a new social housing development.

Watson Homes has been given the green light to build 33 properties on land near Mortfield Lodge, in Halliwell.

The Bolton News:

The scheme will see 24 two and three-storey houses built on the site off Shepherd Cross Street and Hatfield Road, as well as a three-storey block of nine apartments.

Once completed, the homes will be let and run by housing association Place for People.

Bolton Council leader Linda Thomas — also a Halliwell ward councillor – has welcomed the news.

She said: “This has been so long awaited and I think the people around there will be delighted and I’m delighted for them. It’s been such a blot on the landscape, this particular piece of land.”

“I’m really pleased because we talk a lot about brownfield sites and this is a brownfield site that has desperately needed some housing on it and it’s just been left standing there.

“When you have an area of land like that it brings the area down for people who live around there and they really deserve some really nice and good quality housing in their area.

“ I’m glad someone has had the presence of mind to see it’s a good idea.”

The Bolton News:

Cllr Thomas added that developing the site — part of which was the old Mortfield Bowling Club — would give a huge boost to the appearance of the area, for those who live and use services.

She added: “It’s facing a very prominent old Carnegie library which is now a wonderful urban care and neighbourhood (UCAN) centre.

“About 28,000 people went through there last year and everyone who goes into it has seen this horrible piece of land. It’s wonderful, it’s going to lift the look of the area completely.”

Cllr Thomas hopes that the new development may also lead to more people discovering a nearby Mortfield Lodge, a nearby wildlife haven.

She said: “People don’t realise that’s there, a little piece of wildlife area which is lovely, and you can gain access to it from Shepherd's Cross Street or Avenue Street.

“These houses will back on to it and will have a lovely aspect, a lovely view, it will make that part of Bolton really appealing for people.”

The Bolton News:

Fellow Halliwell ward councillor Akhtar Zaman has also welcomed the news.

He said: “I think it’s very good news for the local area because, over the last few years, I’ve had a lot of complaints and concerns raised by local residents over the state of that piece of land near Mortfield Lodge.

“I think it’s really, really good news. It will bring that whole area up and help regenerate that area even further because we’ve put in quite a lot of investment. It’s welcome news and I think it will be welcomed by the community.”