Plans to build a new a golf course and resort in Bolton that is capable of hosting a future Ryder Cup have been given the green light after national government intervened to overturn a local planning decision.
Previous proposals for Hulton Park were approved by Bolton Council in 2018 and the UK Secretary of State in 2020 and remain in place. However, in February, going against the advice of their own planning officers, the council’s planning committee unanimously refused a revised plan submitted by landowner Peel L&P, which contained what they claim ‘enhanced proposals’.
The new golf course will form the centrepiece of a major housing and leisure development
The plans have now been approved on appeal by the national government.A statement from the government planning inspectorate said: “The appeal is allowed and full planning permission is granted for restoration works to Hulton Park and various existing structures and heritage assets within it, including the development of a golf resort, an 18-hole championship golf course, clubhouse, golf academy, comprising driving range, practice course, adventure course and academy building with sports and learning facilities, a golf shop and cafe.”In addition to the housing development, plans also include a village hall, community allotments, primary school, and short stay holiday accommodation.
Welcoming the inspector’s decision, Richard Knight, Director of Planning and Strategy at Peel L&P, said: “We put forward a robust and compelling case at the public inquiry and are pleased that the inspector has recognised the long-term benefits a revitalised Hulton Park will bring to the economy of Bolton and the North West.
“This demonstrates that our plans in the best interests of Bolton and local people and now is the time for Bolton to get behind the bid and support the development coming to the town to help secure a prosperous and exciting future for Bolton. We will continue to promote the unique offer Bolton and Hulton Park provides and looks forward to the continued support it has had to date.”
He added: “We have always been committed to realising our vision for Hulton Park, proposals that will restore and revitalise the historic park while making golf more inclusive, providing better community facilities, more quality housing and improved transport infrastructure in addition to our significant contributions to make the development net zero.
“We want to continue working with the council and local stakeholders and residents to maximise the huge economic, social and environmental benefits of this unique and game-changing opportunity. We know that many people are genuinely excited about the prospects of one of the world’s greatest sporting events coming to Bolton, bringing many jobs, opportunities and international profile to the town.
“Our plans will also help to raise the bar for modern and sustainable championship golf developments. We will continue to develop these ideas and progress discussions with our partners. We will keep people updated and make further announcements in due course.”
Campaigners against the plans, which include locally-born actress Maxine Peake, have described the scheme as a “housing project in golf clothing” and claimed the developer would build more houses after the Ryder Cup.