Developer works with council to re-write brownfield housing provision

Cllr Martyn Cox, left, and Tim Heatley

Manchester developer, Capital&Centric, has launched plans for a design-led residential scheme in Bolton which it claims will re-write brownfield housing.

Neighbourhood Bolton will create a community of design-led suburban townhouses on a cluster of brownfield sites in Bolton town centre.

Split across several plots, it will see Capital&Centric masterplan the area around the town’s train and bus stations.

They’ll bring forward plans for the first few areas, totalling 6.2 acres on and around Bradshawgate, alleviating pressure on greenfield sites.

It’s the developer’s second collaboration with Bolton Council, with work on the apartment-led Farnworth Green already under way.

Capital&Centric says Neighbourhood Bolton will set to the blueprint for a new breed of town centre communities, with design-led townhouses boasting distinctive architecture, set around green streets. Initial ideas are for integrated community amenity facilities and workspaces to be integrated into the sites – with a focus on creating genuine communities, as well as health and wellbeing.

It’s aimed for Neighbourhood Bolton to be a catalyst that kick-starts wider regeneration of the whole area, including surrounding sites.

Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital&Centric, said: “Bolton deserves sustained investment. The latest levelling up news was obviously disappointing, but we believe in Bolton’s future … just a week or so later, we’re here announcing our second local project to both unlock investment and bring about positive change.

“Loads of new build homes are a pastiche of the past and designed to maintain the status quo. But there’s got to be an alternative. We want to re-write the rules on suburban living and deliver homes with a design-led edge on brownfield sites that many write off as being too difficult.

“Neighbourhood Bolton will be our first such community of its kind, one that, hopefully, provides an antidote to what’s on today’s market. It’ll show how we can take key, underused sites in really well-connected towns like Bolton and write a new chapter for town centre living.”

With initial design ongoing, planning applications for the first Neighbourhood Bolton sites are planned for submission later this year.

Bolton Council leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “This investment is a huge vote of confidence in Bolton town centre, and in the council’s regeneration plans. As shopping habits change, we are working to bring in a mixture of residential, leisure and hospitality alongside the retail offer.

“Not only will Neighbourhood Bolton deliver much-needed homes on brownfield sites, but it will play a vital role in making our town centre a more vibrant place to live, work and visit. It will also complement the existing regeneration projects in the town centre and beyond.”

To date, Capital&Centric’s residential track record features a mix of new-build apartments and restorations of historic mills and warehouses, including Kampus, Crusader and Phoenix in Manchester, and Eyewitness Works in Sheffield – set to feature on a new Channel 4 primetime series ‘The Big Interiors Battle’ soon.

The news follows swiftly on from the developer starting work on the nearby Farnworth Green – the re-boot of Farnworth centre with shops, cafés and public green spaces, alongside 97 apartments and houses.

Tim Heatley added: “Good design and aspirational new-build homes don’t need to be the preserve of city centres or affluent cul-de-sacs. With the right support and partnership, places like Bolton can embrace a new wave of town centre residents desperately looking for more choice in Greater Manchester’s rental market.”