CGI showing the development Watson Homes hopes to build. Credit: via P4 Planning

Watson appeals refusal of 255 Bolton homes

An inquiry conducted by the Planning Inspectorate will begin on 15 November to see whether or not Bolton Council was right in rejecting the developers’ Creams Mill and Hall Lane project.

The council unanimously voted against the application in December last year because much of the scheme sits on Green Belt.

However, Watson Homes is arguing its proposal for 255 canalside homes is fitting for the area as it will help meet a need for housing and includes brownfield land.

Of the 255 homes proposed, 61% would be designated affordable housing.

The homes, a mix of apartments and houses, are spread out across two sites situated 1.4-kilometres apart from each other, but each along the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal in Little Lever.

The first area is Creams Mill, which is more than 10 acres in size, spread out across two plots. This section of the plan includes the site of a paper mill that was demolished in 2011. Permission has twice been granted for housing projects on one of these plots. Access to the Creams Mill development would be off Mytham Road.

This section of Watson’s plans calls for the building of 44 affordable apartments and 44 affordable houses on the site, as well as 24 apartments for private rent. These would sit on the old mill site. Another 66 affordable homes would be built on the other Creams Mill-area plot.

The second project is Hall Lane, which sits on more than five acres. This area would have 77 homes for private sale.

Part of Watson’s plans include repairing and restoring part of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal. The developer said it would open up 700 metres of the canal for the first time since 1936.

Watson also said it would plant 4,000 new trees to make up for the trees that need to be removed to enable the building of the neighbourhoods.

P4 Planning is leading on the appeal for Watson. P4 estimates that the Watson project could generate 240 construction jobs over three years and bring in £400,000 a year in council tax revenues.

The project team for the development includes TADW Architects and landscape consultant Enzygo.

Looking to learn more about the scheme? The application’s reference number with Bolton Council is 09775/20. The reference number with the Planning Inspectorate is APP/N4205/W/22/3301093.

This story has been updated to feature a more up-to-date image of Watson Homes’ proposals.

Your Comments

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Looking at the renders, a bleak array of identikit box houses randomly strewn across a sea of tarmac, I can understand why Bolton Council refused the application. These major housebuilders need to get more creative, there is no way I’d ever want to live on a grim estate like this.

By Anonymous

It’s affordable housing, Anonymous, not everyone gets to choose their ideal house-type.

By Johnny the Boss

What is considered “bleak” to one commenter, is a proper home for someone else. What is bleak is Bolton’s supply of housing; we need schemes like this.

By Anonymous

Bolton and Greater Manchester more generally requires a much greater supply of new housing, I agree. So why are we letting developers build low-density drivel on sites like this? To properly address the housing shortage, planners should be forcing developers to build medium to high density housing – that’s townhouses, and larger apartment buildings close to main roads and train stations/Metrolink stations. High quality homes, but high density at the same time. Transit-oriented development.

Not these random identikit cardboard boxes arranged randomly in a car park, which look like they could be anywhere. We also need to be building homes that last generations, like developers 100 years ago did. I’ve heard shocking stories from people who bought homes from the major housebuilders that are essentially falling apart within only a few years of being built.

Why are we letting these builders get away with taking up land in our cities, not utilising that land to its greatest potential (by building at medium to high densities), and not building homes to last? It’s criminal, really.

By housing shortage

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