A major plan for a new budget supermarket, flats for retired people and football pitches is back on after a town hall debate.

This will see a Lidl store built on land off Darwen Road along with a total of 43 retirement apartments and new pitches for Bromley Cross FC close to the train station.

The project had originally been quashed by the high court after a challenge by the Co-operative group, but Bolton Councillors have this week decided to give their approval.

Sean Gaffey, representing the Co-op, said: “The viability information is clear that these apartments are not viable.”

He said that the group “did not object to the competition” but felt that the project was not appropriate since some of the developments would fall on greenbelt land.

The Bolton News: New retirement housing is included in the plansNew retirement housing is included in the plans (Image: Lidl)

The development will see the new store and other developments built on the site once occupied by the former Hollands Nurseries site.

This will also include an associated 125 space car park, a 91 space commuter car park for Bromley Cross Railway Station.

An initial application was approved nearly two years ago by Bolton Council but has now been brought back to the planning committee after a high court challenge from the Co-op.

The Bolton News: The plan also includes new football pitchesThe plan also includes new football pitches (Image: Lidl)

This week Bolton Council’s planning committee heard from officer Helen Williams who explained that the flats would help meeting the borough’s need for retirement housing.

Responding the questions put by Cllr Ryan Bamforth, officers also confirmed that once the new football pitches had been created responsibility for maintaining them would fall first to Lidl and then to Bromley Cross FC.

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Jonathan Harper, representing Lidl, also argued that developing the pitches would be beneficial to the whole community and would prevent the land from attracting anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Andy Morgan said: “If the competition element wasn’t there then it wouldn’t have been quashed in the first place.

“So I would ask committee members to support the application and support the people of Bromley Cross in having a new food offering.”

The committee members voted to delegate the decision to Bolton Council’s director of place who has in turn been recommended to refer it to the Secretary of State for approval.