Bolton to pay £467,800 after losing Hulton Park appeal
Peel L&P had not sought a cost award after winning its planning appeal against the council’s refusal of its £250m mixed-used project – but the Planning Inspectorate opted to give it anyway, calling the council’s decision “unreasonable, irrational, and injudicious to the extent that no reasonable authority would have made it”.
The decision to award costs was made in November, but the exact financial figure was not known at the time. Now a council cabinet report has revealed the final bill of what Bolton Council owes Peel: £467,746.61. The funds will come from the council’s corporate reserves.
Peel’s Hulton Park plans focus on building a Ryder Cup-standard golf course, primary school, an assortment of shops and leisure facilities, and more than 1,000 homes on 880 acres by Newbrook Road in Westhoughton.
Much of the land is allocated as Green Belt, which had been one of the reasons for the council’s near-unanimous decision to refuse the project in February 2022 against officer recommendation.
The decision had come as a surprise, considering that this was the second version of a previously approved application. This newer version has less of an impact on Green Belt than the older one. Peel’s decision to appeal the refusal was therefore expected.
After consulting with its legal team, Bolton Council ultimately decided to not defend its decision at the appeal before the Planning Inspectorate. That appeal had ended in October, with the Planning Inspectorate ruling in favour of Peel.
The Hulton Park appeal’s reference number with the Planning Inspectorate is APP/N4205/W/22/3299644.
The reference number for the planning application with Bolton Council is 12218/21.