An important part of the Bolton Town Centre Masterplan is at risk unless the council accepts more than half a million pounds less for the land than agreed.

The authority took on the bus station at Moor Lane from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) a number of years ago after it was replaced by the bus station at Bolton Interchange.

According to a report for consideration by leader Martyn Cox, the council came to an agreement with developer FSG Moor Lane Bolton Developments Ltd, a partnership between Bolton at Home and Step Places, to take on the land for the price paid to TfGM – around £1.85m.

READ MORE: Bolton: Preparation almost at an end for Church Wharf.

The developer sent an initial payment of £925,000 and started to prepare the site for the construction of more than 200 homes around this time last year.

But more than half of these homes are at risk unless the second payment is slashed to £385,000 – more than half a million less for the land than agreed.

According to the report, the reason for this is a decrease in the value of the site.

READ MORE: Bolton Primark to leave Crompton Place for Debenhams.

Cllr Cox is recommended to accept the undervalue in the short term on the basis of the benefits in the long term such as employment and investment by residents into the local economy.

To wait for an increase in the value of the site is not seen to be an option because, unless the construction starts before June 15, the introduction of new Building Regulations means costs are set to increase by more than £2.5m.

The report reads: "The value to the council in terms of economic and social benefits far outweigh the undervalue of the site. 

"Should approval be given, by taking the decision to accept an undervalue, and to support the continued development of the Moor Lane site, the council is operating with full consideration of both financial and economic factors."

READ MORE: Bolton: Construction starts on homes off Deansgate.

The bus station at Moor Lane is an important part of Cheadle Square, one of several so-called intervention areas in the regeneration of the town centre, as set out by the Bolton Town Centre Masterplan, of which other examples include Church Wharf, Crompton Place, Croal Valley and Trinity Square.

There are also a number of schemes outside these intervention areas, which are all at different stages, such as Bolton Library and the Wellsprings Building.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.