Placefirst reveal £25m plan for Croal Valley development

Build to Rent developer - Placefirst - is set to submit a planning application in December for the £25m Croal Valley development.

Croal Valley development, Bolton - designed by architect Levitt Bernstein - Placefirst | BTR News
Croal Valley Build to Rent scheme, Bolton - designed by architect Levitt Bernstein.

North West-based Build to Rent developer – Placefirst – is set to submit a planning application for more than 130 high-quality homes to be built in Bolton town centre – in the Croal Valley intervention area. A planning application is expected to be submitted at the beginning of December and Placefirst aims to start work on site in 2021.

“The proposals have been a long time in the making and we are delighted to now be in a position to submit for planning. We see great potential in Bolton and want to address the lack of high-quality housing within the town centre.”

“The development will see this prominent part-derelict site transformed with a new urban community helping to support the town centre economy.”

James Litherland, Planning and Development Manager, Placefirst

The £25m Croal Valley scheme proposal for a key 1.1-hectare brownfield site in Bolton town centre is part of Bolton Council’s £1bn masterplan to transform the town centre, and Placefirst is working with Bolton Council to regenerate the site. 

The site is located to the north side of Deansgate – opposite the former Beales/Whittakers department store. There are vacant buildings currently on the site and the Central Street surface level car park. The Croal Valley site extends north from Deansgate to the River Croal.

“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 with the focus on high quality residential properties and attractive public spaces making it a more desirable place to live and work.

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

Cllr Martyn Cox, Deputy Leader of Bolton Council

The Croal Valley scheme has been designed by international architecture and design practice, Levitt Bernstein. And Manchester-based Maddox Planning is acting as planning consultant. The proposals for the development include a new avenue of town houses running uphill from the river embankment and a mixed residential and commercial building fronting Deansgate.

The Croal Valley development is designed around a network of pedestrian priority streets, a spacious square, courtyards, rooftop terraces and residents’ gardens. The proposals are designed with the objective of complementing the historic fabric of Bolton centre.

“We are really excited to be working with Placefirst on such a key site in Bolton, creating high quality homes and outside spaces designed to foster a real sense of community.

“Although the site presents many challenges, we are turning these into an opportunity to create a scheme that is bespoke and tailored to its historic surroundings, making a significant contribution to the fabric of Bolton town centre.”

Gillian Harrison, Associate, Levitt Bernstein 

Designed to be attractive to a broad range of local residents, the homes include a choice of family town houses of two and three bedrooms and one and two bedroom apartments. Placefirst is also proposing a range of ground floor commercial units to enrich the vibrancy of what is set to become a key thoroughfare in Bolton town centre. Mew town centre car parks elsewhere are set to replace the Central Street surface level car park.

In partnership with the Council, Placefirst is also planning for the enhancement of the River Croal embankment. This links with a wider Council strategy to improve the river environment in the town. CW Studios is leading the landscape design.

“Our vision for this Central Street development is much more than just bricks and mortar and is about creating a thriving community in the heart of Bolton.

“We’ve a proven track-record of regenerating areas and turning them into places people love to live, so am extremely excited about the transformation we’ll make to the town centre through this ambitious development.”

David Mawson, Chief Executive, Placefirst