Five man-made lakes could be created to transform a former pig farm into a major fishing attraction. Plans have been submitted to transform land at Umberton Farm, Salford Road, Over Hulton, Bolton to a new leisure destination.
If approved, the coarse fishery would attract anglers for match fishing with four of the lakes being used for fishing and and a fifth for the stocking of fish. The site is bounded by Cutacre Country Park and the A6 Salford Road and is close to the M61.
The site would be used for commercial fishing, commonly known as ‘coarse fishing’, which is undertaken purely for entertainment purposes, in contrast to ‘game fishing’ is usually to catch fish to eat.
Umberton Farm, which is green belt land, had previously been used as a pig farm, but farming ended on site in 2014. In documents supporting a planning application lodged within the last week, applicant, Darren Mills outlined his proposals for the lakes with up to 160 fishing spots or ‘pegs’.
He said: “The land is the ideal environment to create a new venue for this type of facility, in order to satisfy the demand for this use across the region. The proposed venue comprises of five new fishing ponds with associated pegs, walkways, car parking and toilet facilities.
“Fishing pegs are individual pre-defined fishing areas, divided equally along the banks of the fishing ponds. Of the five lakes proposed, four will be used for fishing and one as a stock pond.
“The existing pond on site will also be used for fishing and it is intended for this pond to host training and educational events for younger and new fishing enthusiasts. The four ponds created as part of this proposal will be available for both match fishing and leisure fishing.
“I’m a member of the Westhoughton Conservative Fishing Club and the waiting list and levels of demand for match day fishing in the region are at a level where the anglers’ club are having to book matches as far in advance as 2024/25.”
The fishery would open year-round and although it is expected there will be more interest in the summer months it is intended to promote winter fishing.
The application said days of the week for opening vary in popularity, however, Fridays and in particular Saturdays and Sundays are very popular with opening hours ranging from 7.30am – 8pm, depending on daylight. Planners in Bolton will decide on the plans in coming weeks.