BOSSES behind the controversial Cutacre development say heavy rain has left them facing a race against time to complete vital work before the winter sets in.

Planning permission was granted on June 21 for Harworth Estates—the property division of UK Coal — to carry out restoration work at the former mine in Over Hulton, with a view to eventually building a massive industrial and distribution complex on the land.

But work has been hit by adverse weather and efforts have been stepped up to try to get it finished before winter, when ground work will become more difficult. Stuart Ashton, planning and development manager at Harworth Estates, said: “Having received approval of the restoration plan in late June, we are racing against time and the weather to finish the restoration of the Cutacre site.

“We have now mobilised staff and equipment back on site to commence the final earthworks during what remains of the summer and autumn.

“We are doing quite well, but the extremely wet weather has been against us, as this is the kind of work that can only be carried out when it is dry.

“So we have to work as hard and as fast as possible whenever the rain stops, hence the increased activity to try to get the job done.”

Harworth is confident the majority of the restoration will be completed this year with landscaping work carried out in 2013.

Mr Ashton said: “Cutacre has the potential to be the premier industrial and logistics location servicing the North West and could create several thousand jobs.”

Cutacre has been the subject of years of wrangling because residents were told that it would be restored to a country park after coal mining finished in April last year.

The 212-acre industrial estate will be surrounded by 580 acres of recreational land and Bolton Town Hall bosses say it could create between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs.

Mr Harworth added: “Harworth Estates takes very seriously its commitment to keeping emissions and noise to a minimum and we monitor these constantly to ensure we remain within permitted levels.”