Skeletons hold up £4M development project
11 March 2011
Workers at a property development site in Bolton have uncovered human remains, after stumbling across a former burial site.
Great Places Housing Group, the developers, said that contractors were levelling a car park on the housing development in Deansgate, when they discovered the human remains.
These findings come only two weeks after a skull and coffin were unearthed on the same site. The site, which is set to hold the £4 million 40-apartment block, is the first stage in the construction of 6,000 new homes in the borough over the next 12 years.
A worker, who asked not to be named, told The Bolton News: "We all feel a bit uneasy about work continuing around it. Something should be done about them before we carry on."
Matthew Harrison, deputy Chief Executive of Great Places Housing Group, told the Manchester Evening News: "Work was halted immediately and the police were called. Police took the remains to a local funeral company.
"Under police direction, and in liaison with the diocese, the bones will be returned to the ground in a casket, in a Christian service performed by a minister. The excavations will then be filled in."
The burial ground of the former St Paul's Church is located next to the site.
Mr Harrison continued: "The car park dates back to before Great Places' acquisition. When Great Places bought the church, we understood that no part of the site had been used for burial. Since the discovery, we have been told that the remains probably date from before the church was built.
"We are sorry that these remains have inadvertently disturbed. Our records do not show this part of the grounds as having been used for burial. We are acting in accordance with the police and the diocese to respectfully return the remains to the ground."
The new housing development is expecting its first tenants later on in the year. However, with the recent discoveries and the unwillingness of the workers to continue construction whilst the graves remain visible, it's possible that the time schedule will be disrupted.