Placefirst adds to Bolton boom with £28m build-to-rent scheme

The build-to-rent specialist has outlined plans for a 200-home, £27.5m project on the Central Street car park in Bolton, adding another major development to the town’s pipeline.

Placefirst is proposing to build four blocks designed around a network of pedestrian-priority streets, courtyards, and gardens.

The 200 homes will include a mix of townhouses along with one and two-bed apartments. Along with the houses, Placefirst is also proposing a 15,000 sq ft office with ground floor commercial space fronting Deansgate, one of Bolton’s key links to the town centre.

The site’s northern boundary follows the River Croal, and Placefirst will look to improve the riverside as part of a wider plan for pedestrian links along the river.

Placefirst is working on the proposals with MCAU Architects; Jeffrey Bell Architects was previously attached to the scheme. A planning application is expected later this year, and subject to consent, Placefirst will start on the project with its in-house contractor in early 2020.

The scheme is the latest to come forward in Bolton, which has an ambitious £1.2bn masterplan. Muse has submitted its £150m plans for Church Wharf, also on the River Croal; this will feature 350 homes, 130,000 sq ft of offices and leisure, as well as extensive public realm.

At Trinity Gateway, next to the town’s transport interchange, Midia is proposing a 20-storey tower, a 500-space multi-storey car park, and a 30,000 sq ft office block, while Midia has also partnered with BCEGI to deliver a major scheme at the Crompton Place shopping centre.

David Smith-Milne, managing director of Placefirst, commented: “Bolton Council has set out an ambitious vision for the town centre and we are excited to be working with such a forward-thinking local authority. We have developed our plans for Central Street with the wider town centre framework in mind and are confident our proposals will reflect that ambition.

“Having cut our teeth delivering complex refurbishment projects in regeneration areas, Bolton represents an important new milestone for Placefirst as our first major town centre new-build BTR community. This project will show that town centre, urban living isn’t just for young people living in boring apartments. Through good design and excellent placemaking, schemes such as this will appeal to families, downsizers and the elderly, living together in a genuinely multi-generational community.

“As a build-to-rent developer and landlord, Placefirst put the end-user at the forefront of our designs, ensuring we deliver great homes complimented by attractive amenity spaces that bring communities together. Central Street embraces this thinking through the creation of a new residential neighbourhood characterised by human scale urban design and an engaging public realm strategy.”

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