Bolton and District Civic Trust has shared its disappointment at the recently approved plans for the former Moor Lane bus station site.

Plans for 162 flats and 44 three-storey, three-bed houses along with retail space and two small parks were narrowly passed by Bolton’s planning committee at a meeting on Thursday, November 11.

Work is due to begin on this site in April 2022.

The Trust has regularly spoken out against these plans, saying they do not offer enough green space and are poorly designed.

They have also submitted alternative plans which they feel addressed these problems.

Richard Shirres, acting chair of the Bolton & District Civic Trust, said: "With Moor Lane scheme’s approval, Bolton Council has just filled another development footprint from a 20th Century developer’s playbook.

"This site, perhaps the most prestigious in Bolton, was a ‘make or break’ opportunity to trigger an upward spiral of investment in the town. Here was a moment to respond to the town centre’s miserably little, green space.

"Approving this scheme does not befit any of that.

"56 years ago, Bolton’s town clerk pushed to form the Civic Trust as a critical friend for our urban environment.

"And as a charity, we have always striven to study proposals and offer constructive input. In 2016, we offered a viable outline scheme for Moor Lane, showing one model for ‘green’, 21st century development.

"That was in response to Bolton Council’s 2015 ‘any town’ proposals, which were not ‘climate ready’.

"Six years later, Boltonians now have a 20th Century scheme, which fails in many ways.

"This scheme does not have the qualities to foster diverse, resilient communities, vital for the regeneration of the town centre. This scheme fails on scale and suitability of green infrastructure and on quality place-making, including the built heritage impact.

"For more than 80 years, the western side of the Grade II listed Crescent has awaited a fitting complement. Instead, it receives an incongruous 4-storey mass angled into the façade of the five portals, ineptly cramping its display.

"In the week of COP26, this is categorically not the sort of development that Boltonians need to meet the enfolding climate crisis."

In an officers report which recommended the plans for approval before the committee meeting, council officers addressed all of the Trust's concerns.