DEVELOPMENTS could completely change the landscape of Bolton in 2021, with much to look forward to according to town hall chiefs.

From new housing, to business and retail units, investment has continued to flow in to Bolton despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Bolton Council’s deputy leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, who is responsible for regeneration issues in the borough, told The Bolton News: “Despite the pandemic and the economic challenges we have faced this year, I’ve been encouraged to see so much interest in Bolton among developers and investors.

"We are clearly an attractive place for the property sector.

“Bolton needs to build new homes and to develop employment and leisure opportunities for our residents.

“We have bold ambitions for Bolton for 2021 and beyond. Taken together they will help us to make Bolton an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.”

Many showpiece developments have begun with an eye to being finished before the end of 2021.

Developers Forshaw have started work to build 59 town houses in Bark Street and will also soon begin demolishing properties in St George’s Road, with a further 65 town houses to follow.

The Church Wharf development on Bank Street and Manor Street, over the River Croal, is set to make significant progress in the first quarter.

The Globe Works mill development in the Trinity Quarter is set to be complete in 2021 with the developer, Empire, also keen to begin work on 394 apartments on land in Bradshawgate if plans are approved.

There are also developments waiting for council approval that could start in 2021.

A total of 400 new homes on the former Horwich Loco works site were approved by councillors in November last year, with work on the spine road through the site expected to begin in 2021.

Deansgate could also be transformed. The YMCA building will make way for apartments and retail units.

"There is an application by Place First for a six-storey block with 145 homes and commercial space at land off Deansgate and Central Street.

That application was submitted in December 2020 and is set to be decided on in the first quarter of this year, according to the council.

The controversial ‘Cream Mills’ development in Little Lever is to be decided on soon.

Developer Watson’s plans to build 178 properties at the Cream Mill site at the end of Mytham Road, a mixture of greenbelt and brownfield land, with another 96 at Hall Lane.

This would potentially see decades of focus on the restoration, of the disused Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canalrepairing the breach and restoring water to the former route.

However, residents have raised concerns that this would destroy much greenbelt land with limited access to the site through the residential area.

Cllr Richard Silvester, Labour’s shadow cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “The Labour group of Bolton Council believes that it should be brown field first development in order to save our green belt and protected open space designated land.”

“We welcome the recent planning applications in Bolton town centre for housing developments at land off Deansgate and also off St. George’s Road. We need more people living in our town centre.

“A large amount depends upon private investment but the signs are good and these planning applications are coming in.

"It is certainly good for example that the former Post Office building on Deansgate has planning approval to be converted into flats.

"The building is saved and gets new life into it in the process.

“We also look forward to the Trinity gateway project getting started because that end of Bradshawgate really does need to look modern and inviting.

“In our outer areas of the borough, we always need our Green spaces to be maintained.

"I know only too well, representing Horwich, that speculative development such as at Horwich Golf Course and land off Lever Park Avenue is a threat.

“With applications being submitted in Little Lever and Westhoughton, the planning committee members must look very carefully at such applications especially in circumstances when green belt and protected open space land is threatened.

“We certainly need more affordable housing in Bolton as well as energy efficient housing.

"I am very hopeful that 2021 in Bolton, will be a year where we can see a few more pieces of that big planning and development jigsaw puzzle falling into place.”