DESIGNS for a proposed health centre and library in Little Lever have been revealed.

An updated application has been submitted to demolish the former Tesco Metro supermarket in Market Street and build a library and health centre on the site.

The application includes computer generated images showing how the new building is likely to look.

Plans to turn the supermarket into a modern new facility have been in the pipeline since the store moved from Market Street to Crossley Street at the end of 2014.

Two planning applications for the project were approved — one in September 2016 and another in November 2017 — both of which involved converting the building, rather than a full rebuild.

In October 2018, Bolton Council chiefs gave the go-ahead for the building to be demolished to make way for a purpose-built facility.

UKIP Leader and Little Lever and Darcy Lever councillor Sean Hornby said that the plans have “been a long time coming”.

He added: “Originally they wanted to change the use of the old building but once they started to cost it out, it was going to be far too expensive.

“They had another look and they decided to knock it down and make it purpose-built, which will be a bit more expensive but worth it in the long run.

“I’m looking forward to it. It’ll fit in nicely with the new Little Lever town centre plan.”

Little Lever and Darcy Lever’s Labour councillor David Evans shared the frustrations about the timescale but admitted he is relieved that things have taken a step forward.

He said: “I’m disappointed it’s taken so long but I’m glad it’s happening. It feels like it’s taken forever to get to where it needed to be.

“I’m happier now that it’s going to be a purpose-built one.”

Planning Agents AFL Architects said the new facility would provide “activity benefits” for the local area.

In a design and access statement, they wrote: “The existing building which is being proposed to be demolished with a new-built single storey building is a vacant unit with little prospect of being occupied for retail use.

"The proposed development would deliver community and town centre activity benefits. It will provide to develop and expand new medical facilities as well as providing improved facilities for the library.”

No decision has yet been made on the future of the current library building, in Coronation Square.

It is hoped that the building, which was built in 1940, can become a community hub of sorts. The war memorial at the site will be retained and preserved.