THE first tenants of a new generation of 'eco-homes' - a stone's throw from Bolton's Queens Park - have started to move in.

Council bosses have heralded the development, for 118 homes on Chorley Street, as the first in a series of 'town centre living' projects.

Supporters of the initiative are hoping, given its proximity to the town centre, householders can be persuaded to ditch their cars.

Architects have also designed a flood attenuation scheme for the scheme, around rainwater, to burnish its environmental credentials.

Paths and cycleways, connecting the homes with Queen's Park and the River Croal, are another feature.

The council has been working with Bolton at Home, Irwell Valley Homes and contractors Watson Homes on the initiative.

Claire Griffiths, growth executive director at Irwell Valley Homes said: "This development offers something for everyone, responding to the diverse need for affordable homes to rent and to buy in Bolton, as well as the growing demand for specialist housing for older people."

Jon Lord, Bolton at Home chief executive, added: "We’re happy to see new tenants moving into new homes and we’re continuing to identify appropriate development sites. We need to provide more properties to give more people a warm, comfortable and sustainable home for them and their family to live in.”

The homes, on a disused car park and former industrial site, were constructed using grant funding from Homes England.

Cllr Martyn Cox, council leader, said: "The council’s masterplan for Bolton town centre continues to deliver by converting empty brownfield sites into quality homes for local people. Visitors to the town centre will have seen several regeneration projects already in progress, with more planned for 2022."

Work has begun on new homes for Central Street and a new estate is now set to be built on the old bus station site in Moor Lane.