A "GAPING hole" has been left in the front of a Grade II listed home after a car ploughed into it.

Residents reported that their row of terraced homes shook as a result of the impact.

A silver Vauxhall Astra smashed into the front of a stone property in Smithills Croft Road at the junction with Smithills Dean Road, as well as knocking down a 20mph speed limit sign and two bollards.

The vehicle ended up outside a neighbour's property, in Smithills Dean Road.

It is believed a driver and two passengers, all aged 18 to 20, were inside the car at the time, and none of them were injured.

A neighbour told the Bolton News: "The house shook. We heard a huge crash. We thought the car had come into our house.

"There was a car outside our kitchen window. There were three lads inside. I cannot believe they have walked out of it alive.

"I went to check they were okay. They were all holding their heads in their hands. They were really shaken up.

"There was a gaping big great hole in the next door neighbour's wall.

"The car had gone through the front, into the dining room. It is a listed building. The owners must be absolutely gutted."

The occupants were not inside their house at the time of the collision, at about 11.30pm yesterday.

A neighbour, aged 51, called 999 and police and fire crews attended the scene.

A police cordon was put in place. Smithills Dean Road was shut in both directions. A section of Smithills Croft Road was also closed.

The Bolton News: The listed home in Smithills Croft Road has been boarded upThe listed home in Smithills Croft Road has been boarded up

Building inspectors attended the house this morning, which is registered with Historic England as Grade II listed.

A council spokeswoman said: "A building control officer attended the site at 12.30am on Thursday and on attendance called a contractor - they have propped up the building, secured it and made safe.

“The owner has contacted his insurers who will be appointing contractors to carry out the necessary work.”

The house is believed to have been built as a lodge in about 1830.

The property has been secured and boarded up. Traffic cones have been placed around a large pile of stones and debris left on the pavement.

The Bolton News: Broken stones and debris are piled up at the side of the house in Smithills Dean RoadBroken stones and debris are piled up at the side of the house in Smithills Dean Road

A gas leak has also been identified and engineers have been working at the scene for several hours to fix it.

A spokesman for gas network Cadent said: "I can confirm that the emergency services called us to support with this incident, as they were concerned that gas equipment may have been damaged.

"Our investigations led us to find a leak - nothing big, and not anything that should alarm people - and work to fix that is ongoing. Everything is under control."

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: "At about 11.45pm on Wednesday, January 22, firefighters were called to a report of a car colliding with a house in Smithills Croft Road, Bolton.

"One fire engine from Bolton North fire station was quickly on the scene, and firefighters administered first aid to the driver of the vehicle before handing over to colleagues from Greater Manchester Police."

The crew was in attendance for about 90 minutes.

The Bolton News has contacted Greater Manchester Police.