PLANS for a new 130-room hotel on the site of a former fire station have been put forward.

Bury Council is this week set to approve the sale of the former Bury Fire Station site at The Rock to a hotel developer.

The old station was vacated by the fire service when it moved to a new headquarters at Chamberhall and the building was demolished last year.

The site received 13 bids, including developers proposing to build a hotel at the site.

The council acquired the former fire station site from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue in 2012 after the relocation.

The site occupies a one acre site at what Bury Council describes as a ‘prominent gateway location’ and ‘presents a significant development opportunity for the town’.

The fire station buildings were demolished last year due to their deteriorating condition and problems with arson, break ins and anti-social behaviour.

In March this year, Bury’s Labour leadership agreed to sell 20 property assets that were surplus to requirements, including the former fire station.

The council appointed Avison Young as marketing agents and received 13 bids.

Proposals included various commercial, residential and mixed use schemes.

The bids have been evaluated and a report, to be considered by the council’s cabinet tomorrow (Wednesday 30 June), will recommend that the council progresses negotiations with the preferred developer who has submitted plans for a new hotel for the town centre.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, leader of the council, said: “This will bring new private investment into the town centre, and create new jobs.

“It’s a real boost for the town as we seek to recover from Covid.

“This is a brownfield site on a key gateway into the town centre, and a new hotel would help build back our night-time economy and provide a boost to our key visitor destinations such as the East Lancashire Railway, The Met and Bury Market.

“We hope negotiations can proceed at speed and we will be able to make a further announcement on the future of the site shortly.”

He added: “The interest shown in the former fire station site is a sign of confidence in the town centre as an investment location.

“In addition to this, we hope that we will also be able to share some positive news soon regarding potential new arrivals into The Rock.”

In a report to the council’s cabinet, Paul Aungier principal surveyor, gave an update on the sale process.

He said: “Careful assessment of the bids was needed to identify viable development proposals that did not have a detrimental impact on footfall elsewhere in the town centre, detract customers from existing food and beverage establishments or undermine any future development viability elsewhere in the town centre regeneration programme.

“Several proposals for petrol filling stations, standalone retail units and drive-thru restaurants received low scores due to their impact on highway loading on an already busy junction and its effect on the surrounding highway network.

“Proposals that were deemed to impact on footfall within the core of the town centre, undermining the customer base of existing businesses or impact viability of developments elsewhere in the regeneration programme also received low scores.

“This included drive-thru restaurants and food and beverage and retail proposals.

“Hotel, mixed use and residential proposals, with appropriate massing and design plans were high scoring.”