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AN ALTERNATIVE VISION for Cheadle Square & Moor Lane

On Thursday, 19th May 2016, the Bolton & District Civic Trust held a Public Meetingat the Library Theatre in Bolton, with a presentation (Here  if you missed it) :
BUILDING A BETTER BOLTON - FIT FOR THE 21st CENTURY

This was about the possible development of Cheadle Sq to Moor Ln area.  It was our response to Bolton Council's outline designs of December 2015.  The meeting was flagged by a Bolton News three page feature, two days before.  As a consequence there have been many positive comments about our Vision.  But please judge for yourself by studying material on our Publications page, which also includes a handy 8 page A5 briefing note.

In order to demonstrate the viability of our Vision (Initially outlined in February, 2016) we had to go into some detail.  But we feel it is important to show essential design principles, including the need for green infrastructure planning, so that everyone has an opportunity to understand the development potential and what it could mean for Bolton's future prosperity.  If we can all try to influence at an early stage we can, instead, reduce the risk of a Council 'Decide-Announce-Defend' situation.  The presentation of our Vision is a means to raise awareness and understanding and, therefore, empower Boltonians.  If you want Bolton Town Centre to embrace 21st Century design principles, talk to others and tell your councillor.

The Bolton & District Civic Trust do see this development as a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform and regenerate the fortunes of Bolton Town Centre.  But that opportunity will only be realised if the goal is design excellence.  Bolton Council have informed us that it is being advised upon the development brief by the same professional party that advocated 'knocking holes' in Bolton Town Hall, which we had to contend with in 2015.

The Bolton & District Civic Trust stands for a quality and sustainable environment. Locally, as part of civil society, the Civic Trust has worked to champion sustainable development.  Shortly after the Rio Summit, in 1992, Bolton MBC began its own Local Agenda 21 process, to which Civic Trust executive members actively contributed.  In December of 2015, the Chairman visited Paris for the culmination of the COP21 summit, which yielded the first global climate agreement.  His report is posted under 'Publications' or accessed here.  The Paris Agreement, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, has been signed by more than 90 per cent of countries on the planet [Last up-dated 27 April, 2016].

The Bolton & District Civic Trust 51st ANNUAL GNERAL MEETING was held on the Thursday, 23rd July, 2015 at Bolton Parish Church Hall.  We were able to celebrate the successful withdrawal of Bolton MBC's proposals to ruin the facade of possibly the finest Town Hall in the country.  The AGM also included two presentations, which are posted under Publications (Despite dutiful note taking by a Bolton News reporter the paper chose not to make any reference to the latter one):                       A Vision for the Town Centre  and Blue Green Infrastructure                  For our extensive submission that helped save the Town Hall, the document  can be downloaded from the 'Publications' page under 'Submissions to BMBC of Note'.

On the 5th May, 2015, the Bolton & District Civic Trust held a well attended Special Public Meeting to present and discuss the then plans for Bolton Town Centre in view of the prospective plans for the Town Hall, Newport Street and early indications about development west of Le Mans crescent.  The presentation made at the meeting can also be selected from our Publications.

Who we are

The Bolton & District Civic Trust is a charity with a particular interest in promoting quality of the built environment and the care of its heritage.  The idea of Civic Trusts derived from the civic societies, which really developed from the 1920s onwards.  To help moderate town planning concerns from the 1950s, Duncan Sandys, a Government Minister, helped to establish a Civic Trust national body in 1957, and this gave rise to individual Civic Trusts in hundreds of towns across Britain.  The North West regional Civic Trust was established in 1963, and it was actually Bolton's Town Clerk who championed the formation of this Civic Trust in 1964.  A fuller review of our history and achievements can be found with our 50th AGM presentation.

Objectives

The established Aims & Objectives of the Bolton & District Civic Trust are to:

  • Encourage high standards of quality in architecture and town planning
  • Encourage the preservation, development and improvement of features of general public amenity or historic interest
  • Stimulate public interest in, and inspire a sense of Civic pride in, the care for the beauty, history and character of the area of Bolton and its surroundings
  • Protect the natural beauty of the countryside
  • Pursue these ends by means of meetings, lectures, publications and promotion of schemes of a charitable nature

When founded

The Bolton & District Civic Trust was founded from an initiative, in 1963, of the Town Clerk of Bolton Council in order to be a "critical friend".  After a series of preparatory meetings the Bolton & District Civic Trust got under way in 1964, and ratified its constitution in 1965.

Affiliation

We are affiliated to the North West Association of Civic Trusts (NWACTs)

Membership

The Civic Trust was founded, in an age when public participation was much greater, municipal services were in many ways far more wide ranging and development processes straightforward. But the decades since have seen negative trends in all these, and the public right to engagement and access to environmental planning information often disregarded.  So there is even a greater need for an active Bolton & District Civic Trust, if we are to have a quality and sustainable environment.

When local communities do not engage with the changes being made to their surroundings, then those changes may well end up being argued for and influenced instead behind closed doors. The Bolton & District Civic Trust is a voice championing a quality environment, according to its objectives. It is a charity that seeks to help re-address the balance, for the benefit of the wider community.

There are no obligations, other than your subscription. But the local knowledge of members can be important to the work of the local Civic Trust. Members can also help by discussing issues with their councillors as well as the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee consists of members of the Civic Trust elected at the Annual General Meet-ing (AGM) every year. The Executive Committee seeks to represent the views of its members guided by the objectives of the Civic Trust.  We do welcome members aspiring to join the Executive, particular those with planning or architectural related skills and experience.  But conscientious enthusiastic members can acquire and develop understanding simply through becoming involved.  Communities do not thrive where the majority leave it to others.

Contact us

Contact details for our Membership Secretary are given on our latest Membership Application Form, available to download from the page headed 'Join Us'.

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