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Bolton Ryder Cup golf course approved following appeal

Plans for a multimillion-pound golf course at a country park in Greater Manchester have been approved following an appeal.

The plan for Hulton Park – including over 1,000 homes and a primary school – had been rejected by councillors due to the impact on greenbelt land.

Developers hope the top class 18-hole course near Westhoughton will be chosen to host the 2031 Ryder Cup.

A formal bid for Bolton to host the competition will be made next year.

Bolton Council approved plans for the scheme in 2018, which included 1,036 houses built on greenbelt land, despite hundreds of objections.

In 2020, the secretary of state said it could go ahead if the proposed golf course won a bid to host the Ryder Cup in 2031 or 2035.

Developers Peel L&P revised its previous plans to include more parkland after public feedback.

However, it was rejected in February, a month after the area’s planners recommended the scheme for approval.

Peel L&P appealed and planning inspector Dominic Young finally granted full permission the scheme.

It will also feature a clubhouse, golf academy, driving range, practice course, adventure golf course and academy building with sports and learning facilities, a golf shop and cafe.

The inspector also granted outline planning permission for up to 1,036 homes, a village centre, village hall, community allotments, primary school, short stay holiday accommodation, cabins and lodges and a range of other retail, leisure, recreation, community and food drink-related uses.

Additional highways infrastructure and the regrading of land to accommodate the golf course will also be factored in.

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.”

Campaigners against the plans, which included Westhoughton-born actress Maxine Peake, had described the scheme as a “housing project in golf clothing” and claimed the developer would build more houses after the Ryder Cup.

The park forms part of an estate owned for more than 700 years by the Hulton dynasty.

After falling into neglect, it was bought by Peel L&P in 2010.

Source: BBC