Major Town Centre regeneration plans approved

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The completion of a major regeneration project in the centre of Bolton has moved a step closer, as one of the UK’s leading build-to-rent developers is granted planning approval for its £25m Croal Valley development.

North West-based Placefirst, in partnership with award winning architects Levitt Bernstein and landscape architects CW Studios, will deliver 158 stylish homes, offering a range of quality apartments and houses.

The development is designed around a network of pedestrian priority streets, a spacious square, courtyards, rooftop terraces and residents’ gardens. The scheme will also utilise a range of ground floor units to expand on the amount of commercial space available to local businesses.

The development will occupy 1.1 hectares at a brownfield site that is currently occupied by vacant buildings and a car park. It is located to the North of Deansgate, opposite the former Beales/Whittakers department store and extending to the River Croal.

Placefirst has worked collaboratively with Bolton Council and other stakeholders for the past two years, including putting its proposals to a number of independent design review panels and holding detailed discussions with the Civic Trust.

The new development demonstrates Bolton Council’s £1b masterplan to transform the town centre by complementing the historic fabric of Bolton centre through a mix of interesting, high quality buildings and well-thought-out public spaces. This includes a new courtyard square and improvements to the River Croal such as a river walk, channel widening and extensive landscape treatments.

Construction of the project is set to commence in April of this year with final completion of the development expected in 2023 which will see the properties let, maintained and managed by Placefirst as ongoing landlords for the scheme.

David Mawson, chief executive for Placefirst commented: “Having worked closely with Bolton Council for the past couple of years to make sure this project offers the right design for the town centre, we are excited to see this scheme move on to the next stage. Our aim has always been to leave positive lasting effects on any development we are involved in and we are confident that the Croal Valley development will prove fantastic for this area of Bolton.

“We are proud to be involved in addressing the lack of high-quality housing within the town centre and create a thriving community. We can’t wait to see the transformation this development has, all while offering local people a great option to rent affordable modern properties as an alternative to the financial headache of buying a house.”

Deputy Leader of Bolton Council and portfolio holder for regeneration, Councillor Martyn Cox said: “Croal Valley is a vital site in Bolton Councils town centre masterplan. The planning approval for PlaceFirst’s plans will bring much needed modern housing and attractive public spaces on a brownfield site. The new development is set in the heart of Bolton and will attract more people, create new jobs and position our town centre as a desirable place to live and work.”

For further information on the Croal Valley development, please visit

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