A new canal side café is set to be built close to a controversial housing development.

A planning application has been lodged this week by Watson Homes for the hospitality development on land between Mytham Road and the Manchester, Bolton and Bury canal in Little Lever, Bolton.

The plans are for the development of a single storey canal side café, associated parking, outdoor seating and landscaping.

The plans also propose the narrowing of the canal in the vicinity of the café.

The café will be close to the Watson 300-homes Creams Mill development which is currently under construction.

The Bolton News: Creams Cafe1

The demolished mill area being developed is set between the canal and the northern bank of the River Irwell close to Moses Gate Country Park.

Despite Bolton Council refusing planning permission for the major scheme, Watson won an appeal with the planning inspectorate approving the scheme in early 2023.

Watson argued the project was a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to restore the canal, supported by various stakeholders and, along with delivering affordable homes, that proved a case for the ‘very special circumstances’ required to justify development in the green belt.

The project has since been short-listed in the ‘Best Housing Scheme (fewer than 500 homes)’ category at the 2023 Planning Awards.

The planning application for the development says if approved the café would support the equivalent of four full-time jobs.

Five parking spaces would be created for café users and suggested opening times would be between 7am-10.30pm and 8am and 6.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Planners at Bolton Council will decide on the café plans at a date yet to be decided.