Aerial Sketch
Architect Levitt Bernstein designed the scheme opposite the former Beales/Whittakers department store

Placefirst readies £25m Croal Valley scheme

Dan Whelan

The build-to-rent developer is preparing to lodge a planning application to build 130 homes as part of Bolton’s £1.5bn town centre regeneration. 

Located on Central Street in the Croal Valley area of the town, the development has been designed by architect Levitt Bernstein. 

It would be situated on a 2.7-acre plot opposite the former Beales/Whittakers department store, currently occupied by vacant buildings and a surface level car park. 

Placefirst’s project comprises an avenue of two- and three-bedroom townhouses running uphill from the River Croal embankment, and a mixed-use building, containing one- and two-bedroom apartments and ground floor commercial units, fronting Deansgate in Bolton.   

In partnership with Bolton Council, Placefirst also proposes improvements to the River Croal embankment, to be led by landscape architect CW Studios.

Place North West reported that Placefirst was working up proposals for the site last March. At that time, the developer was working with architect MCAU.

Bolton Central Street Placefirst

Earlier designs for the scheme were drawn up by MCAU last March

Deputy leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “Croal Valley is a key site in Bolton Council’s £1bn town centre masterplan and Placefirst’s plans are set to transform what it means to live in Bolton town centre.  

“These plans show that developers have confidence in Bolton despite the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and demonstrate the commitment investors are prepared to make.” 

David Mawson, chief executive of Placefirst, said the vision for Central Street “is much more than just bricks and mortar. It is about creating a thriving community in the heart of Bolton.”    

Gillian Harrison, associate at Levitt Bernstein, added: “Although the site presents many challenges, we are turning these into an opportunity to create a bespoke scheme tailored to its historic surroundings, which makes a significant contribution to the fabric of Bolton town centre.” 

A planning application is expected to be submitted at the beginning of December and Placefirst aims to start work on site in 2021 subject to consent. 

Manchester-based Maddox Planning is the planning consultant for the project.

Other developments being delivered as part of Bolton’s £1.5bn town centre masterplan include Beechline’s £55m Trinity Gateway project; an 87-bedroom hotel at Bolton Le Mans, and a £150m scheme to revamp Church Wharf, by Muse Developments.

There is also the £250m mixed-use scheme on the site of the former Crompton Place Shopping Centre being delivered by Bolton Regeneration, a joint venture between construction firm Beijing Construction Engineering Group International and regeneration specialist Midia.

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