Ask/Bluemantle get go-ahead for Bolton Church Wharf

Outline planning permission has been granted to Ask Developments and Bluemantle to tackle a 14-acre site in Church Wharf, Bolton town centre.

The Carey Jones-designed masterplan aims to expand the North East of the town centre along the River Croal.

The £210m scheme will include new offices totalling 300,000 sq ft across eight buildings. Plans also comprise residential in a range of town houses, family homes, apartments and starter homes; a leisure quarter featuring a multi-screen cinema and up to 10 café, bar and restaurant units; a new 160-bed hotel; more than 15,000 sq ft of retail accommodation and new pedestrian routes and public spaces.

David Deacon, development director of Ask, said: "We believe the development will be a huge step forward for the area and has the potential to become a catalyst for the transformation of the townscape of Bolton."

Mark Caldwell, chief executive of Bluemantle, said: "The next challenge will be to see if the public and private sectors can work closely together to overcome the difficulties of today's market conditions and move towards the first phase of development. It is at times of economic stress that public sector support for regeneration projects of this nature becomes critical."

An acquisition programme is ongoing to assemble the site. A detailed planning application for the first phase of the scheme is expected to be submitted next year.

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