MORE than 600 jobs could be created as major plans for up to three new logistics warehouses at Wingates Industrial Estate have been revealed.

The site of the former Bernstein’s Kitchen Factory, which ceased operations in 2008, could be used for up to 38,768 square meters of warehouse floorspace.

Parcel delivery company Hermes is set to occupy one of two new industrial units for which full planning permission has been sought at Great Bank Road.

A hybrid planning application has been submitted to Bolton Council by planning and development consultancy Lichfields on behalf of UK arm of Panattoni, the largest developer of logistics facilities in Europe.

Matt Grant, senior planner at Lichfield's, described the proposal as an “ambitious project”.

He said: “Approval of this scheme will deliver significant economic benefits and job creation for Bolton, and this economic and social benefit should be given substantial weight in considering the proposals.”

Hermes’ unit, on the west of the site, would consist of a warehouse and office space while a a second unit to the east, for which an occupier has not yet been secured, would have a three-storey office building alongside its warehouse.

An additional industrial unit of up to 5,000 square metres or additional car parking spaces has also been proposed in an outline application.

The construction phase of the development, valued at around £16m, is expected to create around 140 jobs with a further 160 supply chain jobs.

Once operational, the development is likely to create 615 direct jobs, with a further 250 supply chain jobs, according to Lichfields’ estimates.

Westhoughton North and Chew Moor councillor Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon welcomed the news but raised concerns about local highway infrastructure.

She said: “I’ve got no objections because it’s brownfield. That’s always the preferred way of development.

“Of course, the 615 jobs is brilliant given the current economic predicament with the pandemic.

“But if the warehouses operate 24 hours a day, we are going to have a lot of pollution and a lot of lorries going up the A6.

“We are bottle-necked anyway with lorries and cars going up the A6. I’ve had numerous complaints from residents that the terraced houses are rattling.

“But it’s good news in relation to the jobs and brownfield land being used.”

The site was initially developed in the late 1970s as a single warehouse for the manufacturing and distribution of car parts.

Most recently, it accommodated the Bernstein’s Kitchen Factory, which closed over 10 years ago with the buildings demolished in 2011 after arson attacks.

The disused kitchen factory was targeted by arsonists twice in eight months.