Social impact developer CAPITAL&CENTRIC – stars of BBC Two’s Manctopia – has agreed a deal with Bolton Council to redevelop the former market precinct in Farnworth town centre.
The plans will see the site transformed into a “vibrant, mixed-use community” based on the developer’s neighbourhood housing concept, and will include over 200 modern homes centred around a new public square for artisan markets, live events and more.
The plans also include a new flexible space for community uses and events, with a village hall feel, which could host vintage fairs, art galleries, and pop-up gin bars.
It will also see a linear park and spaces for café-bars, delis, a mini-cinema, gym and co-working.
Located on King Street in the heart of the town centre, the site is a short walk from the train station with easy access into Bolton and Manchester, and on the doorstep of the refurbished bus-station, making it an ideal location for commuters.
Speaking on the newly-reached deal, Tim Heatley – Co-Founder of CAPITAL&CENTRIC – said: “This is about rebooting and modernising the market town. By creating 200 new homes around the square, we’re bringing life, and spending power, back to the town centre, so it’ll have its own ecosystem.
“We’re looking to attract the region’s best artists, makers and indie operators to set up home here.
“If you jump on a train you can be in Manchester in less than 20 minutes, so we see this rivalling the city centre with the same quality homes but affordable to more people from young professionals to downsizers.
“All surrounded by an incredible public square, plenty of trees and loads of places to hang out.”
Cllr Martyn Cox – Deputy Leader of Bolton Council – added: “It’s great to see such exciting development plans for Farnworth town centre. CAPITAL&CENTRIC have a fantastic track record of not just creating buildings but communities for people to live, work and socialise in, which is what is needed to transform Farnworth town centre and make it more vibrant, attractive for visitors and fit for the future.”
Cllr Paul Sanders – Chair of the Farnworth Steering Group – said: “This is real progress and what we’ve been waiting for. The delivery of the key development proposals in the masterplan is vital for Farnworth and the plans proposed by CAPITAL&CENTRIC are welcomed.
“Our ambition is to rejuvenate the town centre and bring in new community facilities for our residents [and] we are looking forward to sharing the plans with Farnworthians, Kearsleyites and our partners.”
CAPITAL&CENTRIC is planning to launch a public consultation on the plans – which are being designed by architects BDP – in the new year.
This is CAPITAL&CENTRIC’s first project in Bolton, following other town centre schemes in Stockport and Rochdale being announced earlier this year, and the developer is famed for its high quality and bold designs, with a focus on creating a positive social impact.
Farnworth reached the second phase of the UK government’s Future High Streets Fund – a multi-million pound pot of cash set up to make high streets fit for the future – after the council submitted a business case in June 2020, and is waiting to hear whether the £19m bid has been successful.
The additional funds would help in the delivery of a number of key development projects identified in the Farnworth town centre masterplan.
Farnworth is also one of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s Town Centre “challenge” areas.
You can find more information via the CAPITAL&CENTRIC website here.
United new boy Antony moves into Pogba’s £3 million mansion
22-year-old Brazilian, Antony dos Santos, joined the Red Devils just before the transfer window slammed shut on 1 September and now looks to have moved into former United midfielder Pogba’s luxury home, located just outside of Altrincham.
The property itself was valued at around £2.9m when the Frenchman bought it back in 2017, who went on to build a custom indoor football pitch, a gaming pad as well as numerous other luxury additions, many of which bore his personalised ‘PP’ branding.
Pogba finally left Old Trafford in June after a lengthy saga which spanned several seasons and three managers — four if you count Erik ten Hag, though he was virtually out the door before the Dutchman even arrived.
Anthony did joke that it will take some time to remove/replace all of Pogba’s branded furnishings with his own ‘AS’ initials. I mean, it’s a footballer’s gaff, needless extravagance is pretty much a given.
His contribution in the derby on Sunday might not have been enough to spare United’s blushes, but he’s certainly looked like a player doing his utmost to live up to an £86m price tag, let alone a £3m home.
Northern council could become first in England to charge second home owners double council tax
Those who own second homes in North Yorkshire could become the first in England to face a double council tax bill.
In what already sounds like a pretty groundbreaking move, North Yorkshire County Council is considering the introduction of a 100% council tax premium on second properties in the hugely-popular region, ITV reports.
It comes after local people, especially young families, expressed concerns that they are being priced-out of the housing market.
In a report to the Council’s executive, which is set to be discussed at a meeting today (Tuesday 20 September), it was explained that second home ownership within the North Yorkshire area is “significant” and is “recognised to have a negative impact” in terms of the supply of homes available in order to meet local housing need.
The report explained that the proposed new council tax levy would apply to properties that are left empty for more than a year.
It’s believed it could generate £14 million in revenue, the report said.
The report being discussed in today’s meeting follows a recommendation by the Rural Commission last year to place a charge on second homes to finance affordable housing, and comes after people in the North Yorkshire costal tourist town of Whitby voted in favour of new measures to reduce the number of homes being used for holiday accommodation.
It’s not the first time double council tax has been proposed in the region though, as a decision about a second homes premium was once postponed after some Council members said it could encourage council tax avoidance.
Others also said the measure would be difficult to implement – but it seems the Council is hoping it’ll be better received this time round.
Similar measures introduced in Wales have been cited for reasoning as to how it could work.
“The second homes figures in Wales suggest that, regardless of any avoidance issues that might remain within the system, there should still be sufficient incentive for the council to consider a council tax premium on second homes in order to help address the issues caused by second home ownership within the area,” the report reads.
Could it actually become a reality then? And could this be the start of second home council tax premiums in other counties? If approved, the measure would be introduced in North Yorkshire from April 2024.