The construction of more than 100 homes at the Moor Lane development is back on track after the council accepted more than half-a-million pounds less for the land than agreed.

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

The council came to an agreement with 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.

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But while it received an initial payment of £925,000 for the first phase of the development, the phase to involve Bolton at Home, Step Places said more than 100 homes were at risk unless the second payment was slashed to £385,000 for the second phase of the development – more than half-a-million less for the land than agreed.

The leader of Bolton Council, Martyn Cox, was recommended to accept the undervalue on the basis of the benefits in the long term such as employment and investment by residents into the local economy. 

Cllr Cox accepted the undervalue at a meeting on Monday this week.

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In response, a spokesperson for Step Places said: "The second phase of the Moor Lane development being brought forward by Step Places was agreed in 2020. 

"In the years since, high inflation and supply chain challenges have affected the overall cost of the development, pushing up the build costs by up to 25 per cent.

"Step Places has worked hard with Bolton Council to bring the project forward at a reduced margin, which other developers may have declined to have followed through.

"We look forward to delivering this scheme which is a key component of Bolton’s regeneration ambitions for the town centre.

"The part of the development involving Bolton at Home and Step Places on the first phase are unaffected and will continue to progress at the previously negotiated price."

The Moor Lane development is a 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.