THE FIRST two schemes which could change the face of Bolton town centre have been approved.

Yesterday, members of Bolton Council’s Planning Committee unanimously agreed to initial proposals for the Church Wharf and Croal Valley projects - the first of Bolton’s £1.2bn regeneration masterplan.

Supporting the plans, Cllr Nick Peel said he hoped approval would be a “defining moment in the history of our town”.

The first scheme, Church Wharf, would see the construction of 352 new homes on the bank of the River Croal, with several buildings on Manor Street and Bank Street demolished.

The Bolton News:

Planners approved both an outline and a full application for this project.

Outline permission has been given for most of the demolition work, although Diamond Glass Works and the southern section of Project House in the river basin are to be maintained.

Full permission was given for a “weathering steel” footbridge which would join Bank Street to Water Street on the site of the former Late Club.

David Burkinshaw, from the company behind the scheme, Muse Developments, said: “This is a huge step forward in delivering a new neighbourhood at Church Wharf. With a focus on high quality design and architecture this gateway site will be transformed into a vibrant new area of the town.”

The Bolton News:

Forshaw Land and Property, the firm behind the Croal Valley project were given full permission for 262 homes built in four blocks on a site bordered by Pool Street, St George’s Road, Noel Street and St Helena Road.

Managing director Lyndon Forshaw, said: “I am very pleased with the outcome today. This project will set a new benchmark for high quality residential schemes in Bolton town centre.”