The council is to support proposals to redevelop an area of Green Belt north of Bolton town centre into a Lidl supermarket, apartments for the elderly, and football pitches, before they are sent to the housing minister for final approval.
Lidl UK is also seeking permission to demolish buildings associated with the former Hollands Nurseries garden centre and create a 91-space commuter car park at the 27-acre site, which is located close to Bromley Cross train station.
The park and ride car park will be built in addition to the 125 spaces associated with the supermarket and aims to reduce the amount of on-street parking in the area around the station.
In total the scheme will comprise:
- A 12,000 sq ft Lidl food store with 125-space car park
- 43 retirement apartments within a three-storey block
- Football pitches to be used by Bromley Cross Football Club
- A 91-space park and ride facility
Lidl first submitted the plans in December 2019 and they will go before the planning committee at a meeting on Thursday.
While the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will have the final say on Lidl’s proposals, Bolton Council’s planning officers have backed the scheme.
Officers consider that, while the proposed development as a whole constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt, the benefits associated with the development “clearly outweigh the harm that has been recognised”, according to a report.
Objectors raised concerns about the location of the proposed supermarket and the subsequent impact it might have on retail within the centre of Bromley Cross.
However, the officers’ report said there were no sequentially preferable sites for the proposed Lidl supermarket and the development “would not have a harmful impact on… the vitality and viability of the centre”.
HTC Architects designed the scheme and Rapleys is the planning consultant.