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Old police HQ and Castle Leisure Centre will be replaced by supermarket
Plans to demolish Castle Leisure Centre and Bury’s former police headquarters and build a supermarket have been given the green light.
As part of the proposals, a new leisure centre will be built in Knowsley Place, on top of the Q Park, and the food store in Irwell Street will only go ahead once the new leisure centre is constructed.
The proposals were given the go-ahead by the council’s planning committee on Tuesday night.
A rival bid to build a supermarket on the site of the First Bus depot at the junction of Rochdale Road and Derby Way was rejected by the planning committee.
Council bosses said the Castle Leisure Centre plans were accepted in an attempt to re-balance the shopping profile of the town centre.
They say building another shopping centre near The Rock would exacerbate the problem, and that the approved plans will help to create more footfall in the westerly side of the town centre.
Graham Stock, of Deloitte, speaking on behalf of Bury Council’s development partner Ask, told the committee: “Irwell Street is well connected for those who use public transport, and it will provide life and vitality and give it that shot in the arm that this part of the town centre needs.
“If you put a food store right next to the main shopping attraction, The Rock, which is a very popular destination, this could lead to other parts of the town centre being neglected.”
Speaking in favour of the Derby Way site, Keith Nutter of WYG, speaking on behalf of First Greater Manchester, said he believed that both sites could have been accepted.
He said: “The evidence your officers rely on says there will be a significant adverse impact on Radcliffe and Whitefield town centres, and there is simply no evidence to support this.
“The conclusion that the Irwell Street site is the better site all round simply defies logic.”
Cllr Simon Carter said: “There is more at stake than simply a supermarket. Taking into account the rebalancing of the town centre and the health benefits and retail opportunities, not just for whoever ends up on the site but also along The Haymarket and the Mill Gate, which in terms of occupancy is in a poor state, the Irwell site is preferable.”
The identity of the supermarket is not yet known, and the leisure centre will be funded by the sale of the Irwell Street site, with no public money being spent.
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