Ten man-made ponds and six underground amphibian shelters are set to be built to create an ecology zone as part of a new employment park in Bolton.
Plans have been submitted for the ‘ecological enhancement area’ at land west of Wingates industrial estate, Westhoughton.
The work is part of an industrial estate expansion on green land which promises up to 1,500 new jobs. Developers Harworth Group plc has already secured planning approval for the development of up to 1.1m sq ft of logistics and manufacturing space at the site.
Further plans submitted include the construction of 10 ponds and six amphibian hibernacula. Hibernacula are underground chambers that amphibians and reptiles use throughout the winter to protect themselves from the cold.
The shelters would provide refuge for amphibians and reptiles like frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes which is vital for protecting specific species and the biodiversity of the region.
Documents in support of the application said: “In this case, the construction of ponds and hibernacula is considered to constitute a change in the use of the land.
“At this point, the preceding agricultural and grazing use of the land will cease, and it shall be used only as prescribed for ecological enhancement as part of the approved development.”
The site at Wingates is close to Junction 6 of the M61 and Harworth’s existing Logistics North site.
Alongside 1.1m sq ft of commercial space, the Wingates development will deliver upgrades to roads, drainage and utility infrastructure, including a new access road. Harworth previously said that boundary landscaping and the ecological enhancement area were part of their commitment to promoting green spaces and protecting biodiversity.
Lynda Shillaw, chief executive of Harworth, said: “Securing planning for our Wingates development marks a significant milestone for us and will have a substantial positive effect on the local economy in terms of construction, permanent jobs and investment.
“It will allow Bolton businesses to expand, while at the same time improving highways infrastructure and protecting local biodiversity and green spaces.”
The ecology zone plans are now under consideration by Bolton Council.