Bolton Church Wharf 1

The bridge, with the first building to the right

Muse takes £150m Church Wharf to the next stage

The developer’s plans for a £150m neighbourhood on the River Croal in Bolton town centre have been unanimously approved, paving the way for up to 350 homes, a hotel, offices, and public realm.

Designed by architect AEW and first revealed at a public consultation in January, the plans for Church Wharf centre around building a series of apartment blocks, as well as offices, a hotel, and ground-floor retail and commercial space.

The first building to come forward will be a residential block fronting the river; demolition work to clear part of the site has already begun, and this will clear the area for a new bridge over the river and access to the wider site.

The planning application was submitted last month and includes full permission to progress with infrastructure, public realm, demolition, and greening work along the River Croal corridor. Elements include widening of Well Street, extending public realm towards the river, and increased pedestrian access on the site.

The second part of the application is outline, including up to nine new buildings ranging from two to nine storeys.

Full clearance of the site is expected to cost around £10m and is being funded by the council from its wider £1bn budget for Bolton’s town centre masterplan. The professional team on the project features landscape architect CW Studio; planning consultant DPP; quantity surveyor Abacus; WSP on highways; and Scott Hughes Design as civil and structural engineer.

David Burkinshaw of Muse Developments said: “This is a huge step forward in delivering a new neighbourhood at Church Wharf. With a focus on high quality design and architecture this gateway site will be transformed into a vibrant new area of the town.

“The plans will provide around 350 new homes for young people, first-time buyers and families across Bolton and beyond, helping to breathe life into the town centre. We’re opening up access to the river, creating outdoor space for everyone to enjoy and an attractive place for people to live, work and relax.

“Church Wharf is the first project of this scale to be brought forward under Bolton Council’s wider plan to re-generate the town centre, and today is undoubtedly a significant moment in delivering this exciting vision.”

Bolton Council’s director of place Gerry Brough added: “We’re one step closer to achieving our vision in our £1.2bn masterplan.

“Church Wharf is fundamental to the regeneration of Bolton town centre. This decision now paves the way for the finer details to be worked through. This scheme will unlock an underused piece of land, creating new housing, hundreds of jobs and bringing a mix of people back into the town centre.

“Church Wharf is a key gateway into the town and of incredible strategic importance. Discussions will continue with landowners and businesses to enable this exciting development to go ahead as planned.”

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